Social Work BA (Hons)*
UCAS Code: L500|Duration: 3 years|Full Time|Hope Park
UCAS Campus Code: L46
Accredited|Work placement opportunities|International students can apply
About the course
Social workers overwhelmingly work with the most marginalised and oppressed within society. The people we work with in our professional lives face a range of difficulties and traumas. As social workers our task is to understand such traumas and offer support, help and guidance to those in need during times of trouble. Very often this means understanding the public causes of individual private pains. The Social Work degree is shaped by a very strong commitment to social justice.
As a Social Work student, you will study aspects of sociology, social policy, psychology, law, social theory and social work methods, skills and practices. You will explore barriers such as poverty, disability, racism and sexism that service users often face in society. Such barriers impact on people in a range of negative ways and it is important we understand the nature of the society in which we live and the way it can affect people in their lives. In your second and third years, you will undertake a total of 170 days in a social work setting.
The degree is taught by a teaching team who are all published in the field of social work and are experts in particular fields of the discipline. The School plays an important role in the Social Work Action Network (SWAN). SWAN is a national organisation within social work comprising practitioners, students, academics and service users. During your second year you will have the opportunity to undertake a social work placement in either India or Gambia, or a four-week mental health Summer School that includes an exchange trip to Michigan, USA We are the only social work course in England that offers you these options.
Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars of smaller groups of around 25-30 students, and weekly tutorials which typically have no more than 10 students. There are a number of fieldtrips throughout your three years of study, and you also have the opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting with your tutor each week.
In your first year of study, there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 10 teaching hours in your second and third years. On top of teaching hours, you are also expected to spend a number of hours studying independently each week, as well as studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments you may have.
'Our Single Honours Social Work Degree is accredited by Social Work England (SWE) and has achieved full reapproval in 2022'. Upon successful completion of the degree you will be eligible to register with SWE as a professional social worker.
Assessment and feedback
Throughout your three years of study you will have a number of assessments, including written exams, essays, posters, practice portfolios, and portfolios. In your final year you also complete a dissertation research project.
You will be given written feedback on your assessments, and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with your tutor in more detail.
Introduction to Social Work
At Level C there are three main teaching and learning strands which together provide the foundation in respect of the knowledge, skills and competencies required of students at this level.
These are: Social Work in Context; Social Work in Practice; and small group tutorials. The content of the teaching and learning for this programme has been mapped to Social Work England's Professional Standards (2019).
Social Work in Context
This strand is divided into two key areas, with the content delivered through weekly lectures and seminars.
- Human growth and development from a life course perspective.
- Sociological and policy context of social work.
Social Work in Practice
These sessions include:
An introduction to key themes for social work including values and ethics; anti-oppressive practice; identity; critical reflection; cultural competence; social justice.
An introduction to key areas of practice - mental health; working with children and families; work with older people; working with people with learning and/or physical disabilities; substance use; acquired brain injury; domestic abuse.
Skills development, including communications skills; social work processes (assessment, care planning, reviews); counselling skills; critical thinking; report writing; using ecomaps and genograms; working with service users; narrative approaches.
Tutorials take place weekly within small groups (usually ten students or less). Set readings are provided each week for the students to discuss within their groups - the readings are themed around key topic areas, (such as gender and sexuality, values and ethics, race and anti-racism).
Explorations to Social Work
The curriculum at Level I consists of four thematic strands, Law and Ethics; Theories and Methods of Social Work; Research & Critical Thinking; with a 70 day practice placement.
Law and Ethics
Children and family law. These sessions cover the key statutes: Children Acts 1989 and 2004; Children and Families Act 2014; Adoption and Children Act 2002; Children and Social Work Act 2017, with associated policies and guidance.
Mental health and adult law. These sessions focus upon the key statutes: Care Act 2014; Mental Health Act 1983; Mental Capacity Act 2005 with associated policies and guidance. These are taught with references to the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010.
Consideration is given to where the legislation overlaps and interact in practice; the interface with human rights and civil liberties; and the autonomy versus protection dilemmas that the use of the law in practice can present.
Theories and Methods
Theory topics usually include (but are not limited to): Marx, alienation and social work; neoliberalism and social work; climate change, environmentalism and social work; values and ethics for social work; queer theory, feminisms; critical race theory; intersectionality and social work.
Methods topics usually include (but are not limited to): Person-centred work and the recovery model; systems theory; strengths-based work; crisis intervention; task-centred work; groupwork' community work, migration; working with looked after children.
Research and Critical Thinking
The curriculum has been designed to enable students to enhance their critical understanding of social work research, and to develop their skills in gathering, analysing and critically evaluating information and knowledge to inform practice.
The content also aims to enable students to understand the research process and to critically reflect upon both the theory and ethical practice of research on social issues within the social work and broader welfare field.
The strand will introduce students to the research process, key concepts in social work research and some of the major theoretical and methodological perspectives.
During this second year of the programme, students are required to complete a 70-day practice placement. This will take place with an agency from the private, voluntary, independent or charity sectors and may be with any service user group.
Advanced Studies to Social Work
Advanced Studies in social work comprises four main ‘strands’: Professionalism, Partnership and Empowerment (PPE); Contemporary Issues in Social Work; Advanced Research Seminars; and an Assessed Practice Placement (100 days).
Professionalism, Partnership and Empowerment (PPE)
The PPE Level H strand provides an opportunity for students to explore critically the concepts of professionalism, partnership and power/empowerment with the application of theory into practice.
Topics include, PPE in the context of: International social work; adult mental health; child and adolescent mental health; child protection processes; children's voices; street children/child labour; early intervention with children and families; work with older adults; work with people with disabilities.
Contemporary Issues in Social Work
This strand critically reviews a number of contemporary issues in relation to social work and social welfare. The nature of the curriculum structure and its strong links to contemporary practice/practitioners also ensures that programme leads can adapt programme content to incorporate emergent issues.
Topics are subject to change, however have previously included: CAFCASS; Child protection and the voice of the child; trauma informed work with adults; writing court reports; transgender experiences and rights; harmful practices (forced marriage and female genital mutilation); family court proceedings.
Advanced Research Courses
Reflective of the strong research interests of staff within the School, the advanced research courses provide an opportunity for students to engage with and explore a range of contemporary topics through a critical and reflective lens. The seminar series is structured so as to enable discussion of current research and themes within a key topic area, locating this within wider debates regarding social work practice.
Topics may be subject to change, however have included: Interpersonal violence and abuse, sexual exploitation and disadvantaged Young People; Perspectives on mental distress in neoliberal mental health settings; Professional Values and Ethics in Neoliberal Era: Politics, Culture and Digitalization; Information sharing in multiagency settings; Child Welfare Systems: early intervention, family support and multi-agency practice; 'Race' and mental health.
Level H students must complete a 100-day practice placement that will take place in the statutory sector. They can request a preferred service setting (such as mental health, or child protection) that will, in most cases, be provided. Students must complete a practice placement portfolio to evidence that they have met the required levels of the Professional Capabilities Framework.
Level H students are required to complete a 10000-word dissertation for submission before they begin their final year practice placements. Students should draw back upon the teaching from the Research and Critical Thinking strand that they completed at Level I.
The dissertation is to be literature based and as such students will not be completing empirical research. Students are allocated to a dissertation supervisor drawn from the teaching team at the beginning of the year.
|UCAS Tariff Points||Minimum of 120 UCAS Tariff points must come from a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent). Additional points can be made up from a range of alternative qualifications.|
|Access to HE||Minimum of 120 Tariff Points|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Minimum of 120 Tariff Points from Higher Level qualifications only|
|Welsh Baccalaureate||This qualification can only be accepted in conjunction with other relevant qualifications|
|T-Levels||120 Tariff Points / Merit|
|Subject Requirements||In addition, you need a GCSE Grade C or above in English (Grade 4 or above in the new grading system). Offers will be subject to a successful interview, a satisfactory Health Check Statement and application to the Disclosure and Barring Service (unfortunately, due to requirements of the placement providers we are unable to consider any applicants with convictions within 5 years of the start of the course). Please note that this professional qualification can be greatly oversubscribed so applicants are advised to apply early.|
International entry requirements
|Specific Country Requirements||Select your country|
Non-UK applicants should achieve a minimum score of 7.0 overall in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) assessment (or an equivalent assessment).
We also accept a wide range of International Qualifications. For more information, please visit our English Language Requirements page.
Social work equips you with the knowledge and skills required to apply for recognition as a qualified social worker. Social work skills are also highly transferable and valued by potential employers. By the end of your time with us you will be suitably qualified to embark on a career in social work. This could include (amongst others) working with children and families, older people, people with learning disabilities, people with disabilities, young people, drug and alcohol misusers, alongside homeless people or people with HIV and AIDS.
The vast majority of our graduates are in employment within six months of graduating.
Work Placement Opportunities
Studying Social Work at Liverpool Hope University includes 170 days on placement in professional settings. These placement opportunities provide you with the skills and knowledge to begin your successful career as a social worker.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
Unfortunately the Study Abroad option is not available for this degree.
The tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
If you want to apply for membership of SWE once you graduate, there is an initial subscription fee, plus a biennial subscription fee – full details of costs can be found on the SWE website.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
For students who opt for an International placement or fieldtrip, there will be additional costs for travel and accommodation.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
International tuition fees
The International Tuition fees for 2024/25 are £12,500.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
This degree is only available to study as a Single Honours.