Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Social Work

BA (Hons)
Entry 2018: BBB / 120 UCAS points
Duration: 3 years
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: BA (Hons)
UCAS code: L500
Placement: Placement year not available
Suitable for international students
Faculty of Social Sciences
Apply Prospectus downloads


Become a HCPC accredited social worker, equipped to practice in a range of settings, with the BA (Hons) in Social Work.

You’ll learn the latest theory and gain hands-on practical experience, in a research-led learning environment. The programme has been developed in close collaboration with partner social work agencies to ensure you develop the skills you need to excel in this challenging profession.

You will study subjects such as:

  • psychology
  • sociology
  • ethics and values in social work
  • effective communication
  • social policy and legislation

You will learn a range of practice skills to ensure you can work effectively with individuals, families and groups, including the use of art, play and role play.

In years two and three you will develop real-world experience on practice learning modules, enabling you to apply your knowledge in social work settings.

On graduation you will have a wide range of career opportunities open to you in both the public and private sector. You will also have the tools you need to go on to further study, teaching, and research.

Professional Accreditation/Recognition

This course has approval by the Health and Care Professions Council and relevant government departments. This means successful completion of the course will result in a social work qualification recognised by the HCPC (formerly accredited by the General Social Care Council). If you complete the course successfully you will be awarded an Honours degree in Social Work and will be eligible for registration with the HCPC as a qualified Social Worker.

Why Bradford?

At Bradford your learning is enriched by the teaching input of experienced social work practitioners.

The curriculum is also developed in close collaboration with agency partners.

Teaching is informed by the latest research, ensuring you gain the cutting-edge knowledge and skills you need to practice in contemporary society.

Our academics are research active - we were ranked top ten in the UK for research output in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise.

The programme is shaped by the following industry standards and requirements: 

  • HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) Standards of Proficiency for social care workers
  • Department of Health (DoH) requirements for social work training
  • Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) benchmark statements for social policy administration and social work

The programme is approved by the HCPC, and gives you a professional social work qualification.

On graduation you will have everything you need to start work in a statutory, voluntary or independent social work agency.

There is an active student-led Social Work Society.

Entry requirements

Typical offer: BBB / 120 UCAS points

A levels:

Including at least 80 points from two full A-levels.

BTEC Extended Diploma:

DDM — there are no specific subject requirements.

Applicants on Access Programmes:

Meet UCAS Tariff of 120 — there are no specific subject requirements.

Plus minimum of:

GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C or 4 (equivalents accepted).

Additional entry requirements:

At the point of application, applicants need to demonstrate they have a minimum of 100 hours of relevant social care work experience. This should have been undertaken within the last two years.

Experience in a social care setting (either paid or voluntary) is essential. We also welcome experience in social work overseas, either because you lived there or because you have undertaken paid or voluntary work in another country. Relevant social care experience includes direct work with people and could include:

  • Direct work with people who need practical or emotional help or support either through face-to-face work or on an individual or group basis or telephone work.
  • Mentoring or counselling.
  • Care work (such as working as a health care assistant).
  • Youth work.
  • Working with children or young people who are socially excluded or have additional emotional and/or practical support needs.
  • Placements through school or college which has been undertaken within the last 2 years at the point of application.
  • Personal experience of caring for a relative or friend where you have had first-hand experience of social services or social work intervention; having a parent(s) who is a foster carer.
  • Personal experience as a service-user of social work intervention.

We attach importance not only to the amount of experience that you have gained but crucially to the learning that you have gained from it and are able to bring to the course and your professional development. It is helpful if you include the following information in your personal statement:

  • Your roles and responsibilities.
  • Reflections on the ways in which your experience has helped to prepare you for social work

As part of the selection process, we interview short-listed candidates prior to making offers.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for direct entry onto this course you may be interested in our Foundation Year in Social Sciences and Management or our International Certificate of Foundation Studies.

English language requirements:

Minimum IELTS at 7.0 or the equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

Stage 1

  • Introduction to Social Work. 20 credits, core
    An introduction to the social and historical context of social work practice.
  • Social Work Values and Ethics. 20 credits, core
    An introduction to social work values, to enable you to examine patterns of inequality, discrimination and oppression.
  • Academic Personal and Professional Development. 20 credits, core
  • Communication Skills: Children and Adults. 20 credits, core
    This module will equip you with appropriate first level communication and interviewing skills with children, young people and adults.
  • State and Society. 20 credits, core
    An introduction to concepts necessary to analyse contemporary society, politics and welfare and to provide a basis for further study.
  • Introduction to Psychology. 20 credits, core
    This module aims to develop your understanding of key concepts, issues and debates in psychology.

Stage 2

  • Child and Family Social Work. 20 credits, core
    Reflection on the concept of childhood and an introduction to the topic of child abuse; to enable you to critically consider the policies & practices of social work with children, young people & their families.
  • Law. 20 credits, core
    An introduction to legislation relevant to social work practice.
  • Practice Learning I. 40 credits, core
    Critically reflect on your own social work practice in preparation for and during your first placement.
  • Working with Adults. 20 credits, core
    Develop a critical understanding of social work practice and related theoretical issues when working with adults.
  • Mental Health. 20 credits, core
    Develop an understanding of a range of mental health issues affecting people across the life span including children and young people, people of working age and older adults.

Stage 3

  • Service Users’ and Carers’ Perspectives. 20 credits, core
  • Organisations and Professional Development. 20 credits, core
    Reflect on the way in which social work and social care is organised.
  • Research Methods for Social Workers. 20 credits, core
    Develop an understanding of research methods for social workers.
  • Practice Learning II. 40 credits, core
    Critically reflect on your own social work practice in preparation for and during your second placement.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

We recognise that students all learn in different ways and our teaching and assessment methods reflect this.

Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars, and tutorials.

You will be allocated a personal academic tutor who will support you in your studies. Assessment methods include academic essays, group presentations, poster presentations and portfolios.

In addition to your academic studies, the Division of Social Work and Social Care has a strong history of supporting our students to develop their employability skills.


We offer hands-on practical skill development sessions on top of your academic modules.

These sessions prepare you for your first placement, providing structured opportunities to practice key skills and to develop your understanding of the social work role, without the immediate pressure of assessment, and without the need to be in a social worker role with service users and carers.

We also provide opportunities later in the course to develop more advanced skills.

In years two and three you will undertake two assessed practice placements in contrasting settings, one of which must include statutory tasks.

The first will run for 70 days in year one and the second for 100 days in year two.

You will need to be prepared to travel to practice placements within a 30-mile radius of the University of Bradford, and many placement providers will expect students to possess a full UK driving licence.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Employment statistics

97.5% of our 2016 graduates in Social Work found employment or went on to further study within six months of graduating.*

Career prospects

There are a wide range of opportunities available in the public sector: in local authorities, the criminal justice field, social service departments, voluntary sector organisations, family service units, resource centres, women’s aid, counselling schemes, residential or day care work, and in both the local and national civil service. Many of our graduates also go on to work in the private sector or go on to further study, teaching and research.

Salary expectations

The average starting salary for our 2016 Social Work graduates was £23,984.*

*These DLHE statistics are derived from annually published data by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), based on those UK domiciled graduates who are available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known.

Study Support

We have a commitment to strong pastoral care for all of our students, which includes a Personal Tutor for all students, regular contact hours for tutor groups and our supportive student service teams who are always ready to help with any questions and provide the advice that you need. In addition to standard study support through taught sessions, our Virtual Learning Environment allows students to access resources, participate in group work and submit work from anywhere in the world 24/7. University central services are rich with support teams to assist students with every aspect of their journey through our degree programmes. From our Career and Employability Service, through our strong Students' Union, to our professional and efficient Student Finance team, there are always friendly faces ready to support you and provide you with the answers that you need.


The JB Priestley Library has excellent resources for research. Student Central and the Richmond Atrium have cafes, bookshops and meeting spaces.

Students also have access to the Communal area of the ground floor of Pemberton building and can also book meeting rooms in the Library for collaborative learning and groupwork.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £14,950

* Fees going forward have been capped by the Government at £9,250 in October 2017..

See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

See our Fees and Financial Support website.

A limited and capped number of bursaries will be available for students on years 2 and 3 of the programme.

How do I find out more?

Got a question?

Fill in our form and our Enquiries team will answer it for you.

Enquiry form

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.