BA (Hons) Social Work (full-time)
List of Courses
Start Date
Course Type
Course Code
Sep 2020
Franchised HE
About this course

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Delivered at Wiltshire College & University Centre's Trowbridge campus and franchised by Oxford Brookes University, the BA (Hons) Social Work degree is approved by Social Work England, the regulatory body which oversees professional social work training in England. 

On successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) Social Work degree.

Successful completion of this programme provides eligibility to apply for registration as a qualified Social Worker.  It is a legal requirement under the ‘Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001’ to be registered in order to practice with the protected title of ‘Social Worker’.

For more information, please see the Social Work England website at

What will I learn?

Social Workers perform a key role in providing the right support at the right time to individuals, families and groups.  The degree will provide you with the knowledge, skills and values to enable you to make a real difference to people’s lives.  The course is three years in duration and all the modules are compulsory.

Year 1 is designed to provide a common academic and skills foundation for social work practice.

Year 2 involves study of specialist modules on social work with children and families, adults, mental health and research methods.  It includes a 70 day full time practice placement typically in a voluntary or independent organisation. 

Year 3 involves study of modules on professional development and a dissertation on a social work related topic.  It includes a 100 day full time practice placement in a statutory social work setting. 

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements:

You should normally have:

  • 3 A Levels at grade C or above or a BTEC Extended Diploma at grades MMM (96 UCAS Tariff Points).
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C (4) or above.
  • Sufficient experience of paid or voluntary work with vulnerable people.  This experience should be sufficient to enable the applicant to clearly demonstrate their commitment, motivation and understanding of social work knowledge, skills and values.

Mature Applicants:

Applicants aged over 21 who do not meet the academic entry criteria may still be considered if they have significant and relevant work / life experience.

However, we would still expect to see evidence of further studies at level 3, e.g. an A Level, Access to Higher Education or Open University course in a relevant subject and GCSE grade C (4) or above (or Functional Skills equivalent) in Mathematics and English Language.

What counts as relevant experience?

You do not need to have had paid employment in social care to apply for the course.  There is a range of settings where you can gain paid or unpaid experience in statutory, voluntary and independent social care agencies.  Involvement may be part time, full time or sessional but should be sustained over sufficient time to demonstrate interest and commitment.

Examples include:

  • Working with children and families in social care settings settings such as local authority children and families teams, Action for Children, Barnardo’s and residential homes.
  • Working with adults in social care settings / agencies such as local authority adult teams, supported accommodation, residential / nursing homes, charities working with people with disabilities, homelessness services, substance misuse services, mental health provision and organisations supporting domestic abuse survivors etc.
  • Experience in counselling settings or working on a one-to-one basis within youth and community work settings.
  • Experience within education settings could be appropriate where this involves direct work with children with special needs as opposed to working in mainstream education and / or nurseries / creches.

It will enhance your application to specify the details of the relevant experience such as the setting, the total hours worked, and your roles and responsibilities.

For the purpose of entry to the course, we are unable to count the following as relevant experience:

  • Personal experience of caring for a relative or friend where you have not had first hand experience of social services or social work intervention.
  • Baby sitting.
  • Non formal mentoring or support of younger school children, college or university students.

In considering the relevance of your past experience, the admissions and interview panel will look at wider aspects than duration of experience. The panel will consider how that experience has impacted on your understanding of the social work role and the context in which social workers operate and services are delivered and how it demonstrates your commitment, motivation and understanding of social work knowledge, skills and values.

Requirements of the Professional Regulatory Body:

Criminal Convictions

As part of the admissions and selection process, all applicants invited to interview are required to complete a self declaration form to indicate if they have any criminal convictions.  Criminal convictions will not necessarily preclude you from gaining a place on the course.

This form is collected on interview day and if you are not offered a place on the course, the form will be destroyed.  If you are offered a place on the course, the admissions advisor will check your form for disclosures. 


When a declaration has been made, your case will be risk assessed on an individual basis by the admissions advisor and programme leader. The programme leader may liaise with the partnership (placement) agencies within the risk assessment process if the nature or severity of an offence is likely to impact on placement provision.

On gaining a place on the course, all applicants must undertake an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. An enhanced DBS check will show details of all cautions, final warnings and reprimands as well as spent and unspent convictions.

Where a DBS return is clear, the certificate number is recorded.  Where an offence or other relevant circumstance is indicated, the DBS will be screened by the admissions advisor and programme leader.

Where the applicant had disclosed offences at admissions stage, the admissions advisor will check the admissions records for consistency.  Where there are discrepancies, the admissions advisor and programme leader will meet with the applicant to discuss the issue and will then undertake a risk assessment process.  Failure to disclose a relevant offence at admissions stage will impact on this risk assessment.

The risk assessment process is undertaken is led by the programme leader who is a registered professional social worker.  The programme leader will consult the local authority representatives as criminal convictions may impact on individual placement provision.  Risk will be assessed at a joint college / local authority discussion meeting using a standard ‘Risk Assessment Matrix’ (RAM). The matrix will be consistently applied to all students with declared convictions in keeping with equal opportunities.

The candidate will be informed of the outcome of the Risk Assessment process by the programme leader by telephone or in person.

Health Checks

All applicants must undergo occupational health checks as part of ‘fitness to practice’ screening.  Physical and / or mental health issues will not necessarily preclude you from gaining a place on the course.

As part of the admissions and selection process, all applicants invited to interview are required to complete a health screening form indicating any health issues / concerns.

This form is collected on interview day. If you are offered a place on the course, the admissions advisor will check your form for disclosures. 

If you make a health declaration that could potentially impact on your ability to undertake social work training, the programme leader will refer your case to an externally contracted occupational health organisation for assessment.  You will then either be referred to an occupational nurse for further enquiry or to a consultant if required. The cost of this will be payable by the student up to the value of £45.

Study, assessment and qualifications

Year 1 of the course is college based and is taught over a maximum of three days in college. You will be expected to undertake both independent reading and learning via the college’s internal online learning platform (eStudy) to support your learning.

Years 2 and 3 of the course are a mix of college based learning and practice placements. The college element will be a maximum of three days a week. The practice placement element involves full time five days a week attendance at an allocated placement setting where you will be expected to work a normal agency day of 7.5 hours.

A college tutor will be assigned to support you academically throughout your studies. You will be supported and assessed on your practice placement by a practice educator who is both qualified as a social worker and educator.

Taught modules are assessed in a range of ways, e.g. assignments, tests and presentations. Your practice placement is assessed by a portfolio of evidence which you compile during your placement.

Additional costs and information

Students may be required to attend an interview and are welcome to apply for this programme via UCAS.

Please ensure that you apply for the correct course by selecting the Oxford Brookes course at Wiltshire College & University Centre.

The cost of this programme is £7,570 per year (£9,270 per year for international students).

The UCAS institution code for this programme is O66.

The UCAS course code for this programme is L505.

Click here for the programme handbook.

Please consult Student Finance England for advice on tuition fees and maintenance loans at

You will also be required to pay for your initial and any subsequent DBS checks.  You can purchase this through the online shop on the student services section of the college website and the cost for 2020/21 is £51.80 (subject to change).   The DBS will last you through the normal 3 year duration of the course.  If you declare any changes to DBS status during the programme, you will be required to obtain a new DBS at an additional cost of £51.80.

In addition, if you repeat a year of the course or suspend studies and return to the course, you will be required to obtain a new DBS as the placement agencies will not accept a DBS over three years old as valid.

Occupational Health cost (please see Health Check) may incur an additional cost of £45.

The Office for Students (OfS), the new independent regulator for Higher Education in England, has confirmed that Wiltshire College is successfully registered as a provider for Higher Education and that students are eligible for funding and student support from Student Finance England.  Please visit for more information.

What could I do next?

On successful completion of the course and successful application to the regulatory body for registration as a social worker, you will be able to secure employment as a qualified social worker in a wide variety of settings, e.g. community teams, hospitals, public sector and voluntary organisations.

You can specialise in areas such as children and families, adult care, older people, people with disabilities, mental health or youth justice.