BA (Hons) Social Work

Become a social worker

Become a social worker

3 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)
  • Gain the necessary qualification to enable you to apply to register as a social worker
  • Partnerships with several local authorities to develop your skills and employability
  • 95% graduate employment rate
  • Study modules mapped to national professional standards to ensure course remains relevant to current practice
22 Social Work Lessons 3


teaching satisfaction

National Student Survey 2023


in the UK for learning opportunities in Social Work

National Student Survey 2023


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Complete University Guide 2023

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Learn to work effectively with children and adults

Our BA (Hons) Social Work is approved by Social Work England and prepares you for a career in an exciting, challenging and fulfilling profession.

We welcome a range of students with varying backgrounds, whether you’re a college leaver or a mature student.

Gain the skills and knowledge needed for current practice

You will gain a combination of effective and relevant skills alongside up-to-date knowledge of how to work effectively with children, adults and a wide range of social issues.

The course begins with a carefully structured induction programme, before you move on to study modules designed to develop your personal and professional skills.

You will be supported throughout by a structured tutorial programme; linking university-based learning to practice placements.

Our course combines taught modules and high-quality practice placements. This ensures that you will be able to apply in practice the knowledge and skills gained in modules examining:

  • Diversity
  • Law
  • Adult and child development
  • Safeguarding
  • Mental health
  • Disability
  • Ethics
  • Social work methods.

Apply theory to practice on placements

Alongside your academic learning, you will apply theory to practice via placements with our local partners.

We have cultivated strong relationships with several local authorities, where you will learn apply your knowledge to real-world situations and a gain a vital insight into the professional life of a social worker.

Dedicated personal and academic support

Your tutors ensure that you have excellent academic and personal support throughout your degree, as you gain a firm grounding in the skills, professional theory, and values of the social work profession.

We have a long tradition of providing a supportive, student-centred approach to learning and teaching and we believe it is our role to help you develop both personally and professionally throughout your degree.

This has culminated in our excellent rating in the national student satisfaction survey that has underpinned our well-established reputation for teaching Social Work.

Social Work England approved

This course is approved by social work regulator, Social Work England.

By the end of the course, you will be ready to register with Social Work England and begin your career as a registered social work professional.

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On this course you will:

  • Gain the qualification necessary to enable you to apply to register as a professional social worker.
  • Learn from experienced and qualified social workers.
  • Study modules that are mapped to the national professional standards for social workers.
  • Receive targeted careers support to help you open future career opportunities in a variety of professional roles.

The Course

Prepare for the wide range of experiences and learning opportunities that you will encounter in practice

Our BA (Hons) Social Work course prepares you with the skills and knowledge to work effectively in the challenging but rewarding social work sector.

The course will explore the complexities and intricacies of working within social work, as you learn to work confidently with situations and dilemmas in practice with both adults and children and their families.

You will underpin your theoretical learning with dedicated practical experience and assessment as you build the knowledge and confidence that you will need to progress through your career.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year


This module will introduce you to the University. You’ll learn more about the course, the Institute of Education and Social Sciences and there will be an emphasis on academic development. You’ll also discover how you will be supported by the tutorial programme throughout your studies with us.

Introduction to Social Work

This module aims to introduce you to social work roles, tasks and settings, as well as provide you with a grounding in the historical and social context of social work practice.

In addition, you will explore a framework of theories, values, ethics and research mindedness as a foundation for good practice and study throughout the course.

Adult and Child Development Across the Life Course

This module will introduce you to theories of physiological, social, cognitive, and psychological development in relation to children and adults throughout the life course.

It will also explore difficulties in physiological, psychological, and social development and consider cultural, class and gender perspectives in relation to development.

The effects of social problems on development and socialisation will also be examined.

Disability and Social Work

This module will start by considering historical, social, and cross-cultural perspectives on disability and learning difficulties.

The notion of ‘care’ and its impact on the lived experience of disability will also be explored.

You will explore ethical issues, such as the competing rights of carers and service users, as well as anti-oppressive practise, with particular attention to simultaneous oppression, social exclusion and hate crimes.

Diversity, Difference and Society

The module will use a range of approaches to learning and teaching, which will include problem – based learning, small workshops, and the use of multimedia materials plus appropriate external guest practitioners and/or service users. This will encourage you to develop skills in gaining information relevant to the social identity of those with whom you are working.

Introduction to Legal and Policy Frameworks

The overall aim of this module is to introduce you, as a social work student to the legal and policy frameworks that underpin professional practice. The module will outline the relationship and key differences between legislation and policy. It will help you to appreciate the differing ideological approaches to social policy and how these may find expression in welfare practice and its underlying legal framework.

Linked Tutorial Programme

This module links the learning gained from the academic modules to an understanding of the knowledge, skills, and values of social work.

This will enable you to demonstrate that you have developed sufficient skills to enable you to undertake assessed practice.

The programme will comprise individual and group tutorials and you will have your individual identified Academic Tutor.

Skills for Practice 1

This aims to develop the intellectual and practical skills that will be of value in a variety of situations and will include the development of self-awareness, problem-solving, reflection and reflexive skills. It will prepare you to communicate effectively with a range of people in a complex and diverse society. You’ll gain insight into the ethical issues and professional codes of practice in relation to intervening in the lives of others.

Skills for Practice 2

Build on basic communication and relationship skills in order to prepare for social work practice. You’ll develop an understanding of the wider community in which social work takes place. Opportunities to introduce you to the perspectives of service users, carers, and the organisations with which social workers liaise and operate.

Assessed Practice 1

You will be required to demonstrate your ability to work within the Professional Capabilities Framework.

There will be a range of activities to help you develop skills in critical reflection in relation to your social work practice and be able to apply appropriate social work skills and methods in practice.

You will be supported to demonstrate skills in synthesising information and reflecting critically on social work knowledge.

Ethics and Professional Dilemmas

You’ll develop the ability to apply philosophical ethics and ethical reasoning, as a tool for exploring value dilemmas and conflicts in interpersonal and professional contexts. You will consider strategies that develop personal resilience alongside seeking to contribute to making resilient organisations. Learn to understand the contested nature, scope and purpose of social work in an unequal society.

Law in Social Work

You will consider the role of the social worker within the legal system and explore the difference between legal rules and rights and the ethical dilemmas that arise, in a context of applying the law to promote human rights, equality and social justice.

Linked Tutorial Programme

You will partake in a series of activities that seek to develop your capacity to reflect within a group and individually, as you a focus on the application of professional standards in practice placements.

Mental Health

This module explores key dominate themes within contemporary mental health practice. You will examine the bio-psychosocial conceptual framework model alongside other mental health models and learn to utilise these models within the field of mental health. It will identify what factors both enhance and debilitate mental health and the ways in which professionals may respond and work together to support them.

Methods of Intervention and Assessment

This module will focus on the methods and skills in the processes of assessment, planning, intervention and review. You will learn risk assessment, intervention and management skills, all of which will link to your ability to recognise the key signs and symptoms of child and adult abuse. You will also consider the ethical implications of intervention.

Professional Effectiveness in Groups and Organisational Contexts

This module will build on previous skills modules with a particular emphasis on effective working with groups and teams. It will prepare you to work within multi-disciplinary and multi-organisational teams, networks and systems.


The module will consider safeguarding adults, child protection and domestic violence as inter-related rather than in isolation as you explore the concepts of “significant harm” and “good enough parenting”.

You will also explore the signs and symptoms of abuse, issues of disclosure and confidentiality, the use of supervision and the appropriate referral process if child protection safeguarding adults and/or domestic abuse issues are involved.

Assessed Practice 2

At the point of qualification, you are expected to have developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills and to be able to demonstrate personal responsibility and decision making in complex and unpredictable professional situations.

Linked Tutorial Programme

This module aims to support and guide you through the final year programme by linking learning from the academic modules to current practice standards and to support the development of critical evaluation and reflection.

Research Methods

This module looks at the application of qualitative, quantitative, statistical and mixed methods to social work practice. Research approaches such as thematic analysis, ethnography, evaluation and grounded theory will be explored. Research design and instruments such as observation, interviews and questionnaires, focus groups and surveys will be used as well as data collection and analysis.


The research dissertation acts as the culmination of your years of study. You will be supported to examine research philosophies and strategies, identifying their strengths and limitations in relation to research questions and how they might be used together to achieve optimum impact. You will also be required to examine the ethical issues encountered in social work research.

Complexity and Risk

This module introduces you to the complexities of managing risk within the social work profession. You will critically explore the current organisational and policy context alongside relevant research into practice, as well as methods of observation with children and adults including the setting up of observations and addressing ethical issues and the tension these create.

Teaching and Assessment

Receive the support of dedicated and experienced social work professionals

You will get to experience a mix of teaching strategies to make sure that you are building the knowledge and confidence you need to progress in your career.

Tutorial support

Your personal tutor will support you throughout your time on the course.

We have a team of experienced professionals who work together to give you the best experience while at university.

You’ll get to know the team, and we will get to know you personally. We pride ourselves on our student support, and our commitment to your learning.

You will learn in lectures, small groups, and in practice placements where you will receive personalised support and guidance.


We use written assignments, group work, workshops, feedback, presentations, discussions, and placements to develop your skills.

The practice elements of the course are assessed through portfolio presentation and assessor reports.

There are support sessions for particular assessments and a dedicated online platform for study skills to help support your written academic skills.


Discover facilities that help support your learning

This course is located on the historic Bishop Otter campus in Chichester, which has a variety of facilities to allow you to get the best out of your time at university.

Work Placements

Gain vital experience within the social work sector

From the beginning of your course to your final year, there are modules available to develop your personal and professional skills.

We have developed strong working relationships with local authorities across the south of England, where you will gain the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of working within the social work profession.

Placement requirements

Social work programmes must ensure that students spend at least 200 days (including up to 30 skills days) gaining different experiences and learning in practice settings.

At Chichester, you will have the opportunity to carry out key social work roles within practice placements totalling 170 days.

In addition, your professional development will be supported by 30 Skills Days.

70-day placement

For the first (70-day) placement in your second year, you could gain experience in organisations such as West Sussex and Hampshire County Councils, Homestart, Stonepillow, Aldingbourne Trust, Barnardos and Citizens Advice.

We also have opportunities in schools who have units for pupils with additional needs. These include Front Lawn Primary and Felpham Community College.

There are similar opportunities in hospital teams and other support organisations such as Motiv8, My Sister House, Cornerhouse Mental Health Resource Centre and Change, Grow, Live.

100-day placement

The second (100-day) placement in your third year include local authorities like West Sussex and Hampshire County Council within teams such as family support and child protection, looked after children, fostering, disabilities, older persons, youth offending, children’s asylum, and mental health.

30 Skills Days

The skills day programme is integrated into the course and is designed to develop key skills and knowledge that you can apply in practice.

Whether developing your resilience or learning to use play in direct work with children, Skills Days are an essential part of your professional development.


Take the first steps to becoming a registered social work professional

This course is approved by the national social work regulator: Social Work England.

This means that graduates will be eligible to register with Social Work England as a registered social worker.

We are proud that our BA (Hons) Social Work course has a 95% graduate employment rate.

Our close relationships with our social work placement partners often result in our graduates continuing into Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) with those local authorities.

Our employer partners provide careers support and guidance to enable your transition to becoming a Registered Social Worker.

Further study

You may also choose to develop your knowledge and practice further through our postgraduate options.

Postgraduate pathways

  • MA Advanced Professional Practice
  • PGCEs
  • Postgraduate research
  • Certificate in Councilling

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Student View

"Speaking from the heart, the course would have to be described as life changing"


BA (Hons) Social Work graduate
"The course is driven by a warm and experience team, with an abundance of lived and worked experience in their specific fields. In addition, their creativity towards the subjects we are learning is hugely stimulating and challenging. The lecturers are always open with their suggestions and there has never been a moment when they are not there to give support and advice for those difficult times. Not to forget the advantage of a truly approachable administration team who are an integral part of the department, and knowing there are always available with additional support for all those other challenges is vastly reassuring. Speaking from the heart, the course would have to be described as life changing and an essential component towards gaining a greater understanding and compassion in relation to our own communities and fellow human beings."


BA (Hons) Social Work graduate
"Chichester University has offered me such a positive experience of completing my Degree in Social Work. I have felt incredibly supported throughout my journey with the University, and feel privileged to have been taught, and guided by some of the most intellectual and knowledgeable individuals in the sector."


BA (Hons) Social Work graduate
"I absolutely love studying here. I have made great friends because our lectures are small and intimate; I am not just a number and my lecturers all know my name and know me on a much personal level. They are always available to help me when I have concerns and the course work is easy to understand and easily accessible. As the university is quite small I never get lost and my lecture rooms are easy to find. All the professionals are friendly and helpful with whatever concerns I have. The town itself is beautiful and there are many shops, pubs and restaurants to go to and Chichester is close to other major towns that have a more hectic night life and clubbing community. Chichester is also close to the sea which is great in summer. I have no regrets and I actually look forward to lectures and course work."

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Course specific costs

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check costing £40 which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.


Entry Requirements

tariff points.
A Levels
Cambridge Technical
Access to HE Diploma
Pass with at least 12 Distinctions and 15 Merits.
or above in English Language.
26-28 points
7.0 overall


The interview is designed to assess the applicant’s suitability for the social work profession.

It is expected that most students will have significant experience of a statutory care agency or voluntary/private organisation providing a social work or social care service.

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check.

A satisfactory occupational health assessment is required.


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.

What are UCAS tariff points?

Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.

How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?

Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.

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