Making your application to study social work

What to include

It is very important that you provide all the relevant information on your UCAS application as we will review your submission and decide whether to progress your application or reject it at this stage. 

While further details of the entry requirements are on the BSc (Hons) Social Work webpage, there are some general points that you should also consider:

  • All applications must be made via UCAS and must be submitted prior to the submission date of 15th January. Late applications will not be accepted.

  • You must ensure that all your relevant qualifications are recorded in the correct section on the UCAS application as either 'achieved’ or 'pending’ and that the recorded grades are completely accurate – Check your certificates with the awarding body if you are unsure. Applications containing inaccuracies will be rejected. 
  • Remember to focus your personal statement on your course of choice; you must make it clear why you want to study Social Work.

  • Do not omit any details relevant to your application i.e. previous training/courses/relevant experience/transferable skills. If you previously started a course at the University of South Wales (including the former University of Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport) then you must state this on your application. If you omit any of this information then your application will be rejected.

  • The application must include a reference. Referee details alone are not sufficient. If you do not provide a reference your application will be rejected. Ensure your referees are happy to be contacted if additional information is required.
  • A requirement of the course is a satisfactory disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly the CRB). Under current legislation some Convictions/ Cautions/Reprimands/Warnings are no longer disclosed (further information can be obtained from the DBS web site).  If you have a Caution/ Conviction/ Reprimand or Warning that is disclosed under current legislation please ensure you indicate this on the initial personal details section of the UCAS application, as well as the second page that opens under the choices section  (you need to tick this box to confirm you have a conviction). No details of the Conviction/Caution/Reprimand/Warning are required on the UCAS application as the details will be requested by the University if your application is progressed. The decision on any DBS issue is made at the shortlisting stage. The Programme and our partner agencies will review  the nature and timing of the Convictions/ Cautions/Reprimands/Warnings and decide whether an offer of an interview can be made . With the changes to legislation if you are unsure whether you need to disclose any Cautions/ Convictions/ Reprimand or Warnings please contact the University for advice. We may reject applications at a later stage where a disclosure is made that we were previously unaware of.
  • Due to the nature of the course it is necessary for you to self declare your physical and mental fitness to practice. If you indicate any health needs of any nature you may be required to undertake an examination by your GP.  You are responsible for the cost of any examinations or reports.
  • Once you have submitted your application you will need to scan and send copies of your exisiting qualifications to Please include your name and date of birth so we are able to identify your record.

Personal Statement

The personal statement is a key aspect of the selection process; it gives you the opportunity to explain to us why you want to study social work, what has inspired you to be a Social Worker, and to demonstrate the skills and attributes you have which you feel are applicable to this field. 

The personal statement needs to be personal, and, while we would recommend that you take advice where necessary and have your statement proof read by someone else, it must be written by you. Since you are applying for a professional course you should focus on your decision to become a social worker and apply the transferable skills you posses. 

Experience of 420 hours in a supervised social care setting is essential. This  refers to anywhere that service users of a social service attend (including a voluntary service). 

Typically we are looking for work with:

  • The elderly
  • Children
  • Young carers or young offenders
  • Adults with disabilities or mental health, substance misuse or domestic abuse problems.

All of these fields, even if in voluntary sector, would need staff to be ‘supervised’ and trained to some level, because of the vulnerability of the client groups. We are therefore looking for you to show experience of service users and some understanding of the context of social work.

If you are re-applying because you have previously been unsuccessful we accept that the basis of your personal statement will remain the same, however, we do expect to see updated information on your experience and/or any qualifications gained since your previous application.

The decision to invite to interview, once your qualifications have been reviewed, is based on your personal statement, so this is your opportunity to introduce yourself to us, demonstrate you have the attributes we are looking for, and convince us that we should meet you in person. This is also where you need to clearly state that you have met the aforementioned 420 hours work experience in a supervised social care setting. If your referee is your current manager, they should verify this in their reference. 

If you are invited to an interview, we will use some of the information in your personal statement as a basis for a number of our questions. You should therefore ensure you have re-read this before your interview.

Understanding how your application is processed

The University’s Enquiries & Admissions Team manages all undergraduate applications. Your application is assessed against the course entry criteria stated on the website and is checked to ensure that you meet them. You should also consider the following:

Your application will be rejected if:

  • Your personal statement includes spelling mistakes or text language

  • It does not include a comprehensive personal statement clearly outlining you have completed 420 hours work experience in a social care setting
  • You have not achieved, exceeded or are not predicted to obtain the minimum entry criteria for the social work degree
  • You do not list all your qualifications or pending qualifications
  • You apply for a deferred place

Once your application has been assessed by the Enquiries & Admissions Team, providing it meets the initial criteria as stated above, it will be forwarded to the Admissions Team within the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education for further consideration. 

At this point your personal statement is analysed to determine whether you will be invited to interview or not.

 Given the large number of applications we receive for the above courses, you may encounter a delay in receiving a response to your application, however, we endeavour to complete the selection process and inform the majority of applicants on the outcome of their application by the end of March.


The majority of decisions will be made by the end of March and all decisions will be communicated via UCAS. The University is unable to enter into correspondence regarding decisions with applicants directly.  

All applications received on or before 15th January are considered equally, however, due to the volume of applications received, and to ensure that all applications are given equal consideration, you may attend an interview in January but may not receive your decision until March.

If your application is successful and you are made an offer you will need to accept this (Firm or Insurance) through UCAS once you have received responses from all of the institutions to which you have applied. If you do not do this by the UCAS deadline given on your Track page your application will be declined by default and you are likely to lose your place.