BSc (Hons) Social Work
Few careers oﬀer as much opportunity to support people as social work. Often, inequalities and injustices in society create diﬃculties for people involved with social services. The social work profession acknowledges these diﬃculties and endeavours to support people to manage their situations and eﬀect positive change.
USW's social work degree is based on the All Wales Assessment Framework for Social Work, which includes the National Occupational Standards for Social Work, and the Social Care Wales Code of Professional Practice for Social Care Workers.
This means you will graduate with the professional qualification required to register as a social worker. If you apply through UCAS, you may be eligible for a bursary from Social Care Wales (subject to their conditions).
The social work degree consists of academic and practice-based elements. Half your time will involve practice learning opportunities in statutory, voluntary and third sectors. This will help consolidate your knowledge and skills, and prepare you for practice.
Our social work training is based on the All Wales Assessment Framework for Social Work, which incorporates the National Occupational Standards for Social Work. Students will work to Social Care Wales' Code of Professional Practice for Social Care. Students are required to register with the Care Council for Wales prior to starting the course and complete an enhanced DBS check on a yearly basis (additional costs apply).
The social work degree is split into two distinct areas: University study and work–based practice. Throughout your three years you will study a number of subjects relevant to social work. This theoretical learning will provide a foundation for the practice based element of the programme and each year you will undertake a Practice Learning Opportunity.
Year One: Social Work Degree
- Human Growth and Social Sciences
- Communication Skills in Social Work
- Foundations for Practice and Personal Development
- Social Work Processes
- Law and Social Policy
- Twenty-day Fitness to Practice Learning Opportunity
Year Two: Social Work Degree
- Outcomes Focused Practice in Social Work
- Application of Legislation and Ethics in Social Work Practice
- Development of a Social Work identity
- Integrating Research with Social Work and Social Care
- Eighty-day Practice Learning Opportunity
Year Three: Social Work Degree
- Competence in Social Work Practice
- Social Work with Individuals, Families and Communities
- Integrating Research in Social Work and Social Work Practice
- Inter-professional and Multi-agency Working
- One-hundred day Practice Learning Opportunity
Over the three years, you will experience a diverse range of teaching methods. The social work degree is taught through traditional methods such as lectures, group debate and presentations, as well as more experiential methods such as role play and courtroom debate, or online learning.
In practice, you will learn and be assessed through supervision and direct observation.
You will also benefit from the real-life experiences of representatives from the Service User and Carer Group, who contribute to the social work course. This means you’ll get a valuable insight into their personal experiences, to further prepare you for your career as a social worker.
You must pass both theory and practice elements of the course to qualify as a social worker.
Practical placements account for 50% of our social work degree, each in a different setting. This means you’ll not only be well prepared when you qualify, but you’ll also have a good idea of the sector in which you would like to work. These block placements can often lead to employment opportunities when you graduate.
You can specialise in a particular area in the third year, for example working with adults, children or in mental health.
You’ll also be prepared to work in integrated multiagency teams alongside professionals from other services such as the police, health and education.
Newport City is a modern campus with up to date classrooms and facilities which include access to a range of computer and IT resources, as well as an extensive library service.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The entry criteria below reflect our standard entry requirements for the course for September 2023. However, all applications received by the University are reviewed holistically and individually. Entry criteria for September 2024 is changing and will be published on ucas.com from 8th May 2023. Entry criteria for September 2024 will be updated on our website from the end of October 2023.
We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.
Other qualifications and experience
We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.
To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.
If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here
An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)
An interview is required. This will consist of a written task and an individual interview.
At least 10 weeks’ work experience (approximately 360 hours) carried out in a supervised social care setting or agency with a reference from the supervisor submitted at point of interview confirming you have completed the required hours. This work experience must be completed prior to your interview, and you must clearly reference that you are undertaking a minimum of 360 hours in your personal statement. If you have previous experience that you feel could contribute towards these hours then please contact the course leader [email protected] to discuss further. Instances such as these will be assessed on a case by case basis. Our relevant work experience feature tells you more.
We do not accept deferred applications for the Social Work degree. We recommend reading through the guidance for Social Work applicants prior to submitting your application.
Typical A-Level Offer
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Grade C and BB at A Level
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits equating to 18 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 3 Passes
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent.
Equivalent qualifications considered are Essential Skills Level Two in Communication and Application of Number, or Functional Skills Level Two in English and Maths.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: £14400
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: £15260
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
|DBS Updating Service *||£13||
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
|Other: Travel to Placement *||
Cost is dependent on placement location. These can be claimed back if the student has been allocated a Social Care Wales bursary.
|Other: Register with Care Council for Wales *||£10||
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
Social Work Funding
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
International and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
A social work degree is a professional qualification. It allows you to practise and use the title of social worker, which is protected by law. Graduates can register as a social worker and enter a profession that offers professional development and excellent opportunities for career progression.
There’s an ongoing demand for social workers, so you can expect to find employment soon after graduation. Work is widely available in a variety of roles and settings. Whether you want to work with older people, families, children or people with disabilities, you could build a professional career that offers immense job satisfaction.
Around 5,500 social workers are employed in Wales and, with demand increasing, plenty of opportunities exist for graduates with a social work degree. The majority of newly qualified social workers secure a job within six months of qualifying and starting salaries are competitive.