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Social Work

BA (Hons) - single

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council

Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health

This course leads to the qualification you need in order to apply for social work registration in England with the HCPC. Our aim is for you to become a competent, resourceful and confident practitioner, able to work autonomously in multiprofessional environments.Oxford Brookes’ BA (Hons) in Social Work has a consistent track record of delivering high quality social work education. The course has been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You can study full-time over three years, or opt for part-time or mixed-mode study.

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112

Available start dates

September 2017 / September 2018

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Marston Road site

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: 6 years

UCAS code

L500

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will be prepared for social work according to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency for Social Workers in England, and The Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).
  • You will experience a significant component of practice-based learning, with two work placements during your course, where you work alongside your own practice educator to develop your capabilities as part of the PCF.
  • You will be studying with lecturing staff who pride themselves on their ability to ground their teaching in evidence-based practice, promoting the most current social work research.
  • You will be supported and prepared for your work placements with a specialist module in your first year, part of which takes place in our Communications Skills Suite, where we use two-way mirrors, video recording of your work and service user input to support you as you develop your skills.
  • Interprofessional working is essential in contemporary social work and you will have the opportunity, throughout your course, to learn alongside students on other health care courses.

The curriculum meets the requirement for social work registration as defined by the former College of Social Work, Health and Care Professions Council and QAA Benchmark Statements.

 

Study modules

This course leads to a professional qualification, and therefore all modules are compulsory.

As our courses are reviewed regularly, the module list may vary from that shown below.

Year 1

Year 1 is designed to provide a common academic and skills foundation for all social work practice. Core module content includes:

  • Human Growth and Development
  • Law and Social Policy
  • Skills Development and Professional Communications
  • Professional Practice and Partnership Working
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable People.
In Year 2 you will study specialist modules on social work with children and families, adults and mental health, and you will also take modules on research methods and interprofessional practice.

In Year 3 you will take modules in professional development and write a dissertation on a topic related to social work.

In both Years 2 and 3, you will spend time on placement (170 days in total), where you will work alongside your own practice educator while you are introduced to social care and social work roles.

Years 2 and 3

Human Growth and Development 1: The module aims to introduce the concept of using evidence in professional practice, to develop skills of literature searching and evaluation, and to discuss inclusion, diversity, beliefs and attitudes, social and environmental factors in relation to team working in professional practice.

Human Growth and Development 2: This module aims to give an understanding of some of the key personality theories and some additional factors, including childhood attachment, which shape and influence personality and behaviour across the lifespan.

Legal Aspects of Social Care: This module provides an overview of the legal context of social care and social work practice in England and Wales. It also explores the relationship between the legal and policy framework, service provision and empowerment.

Social Policy: Social Policy is the study of social welfare, and its relationship to politics and society. It identifies the factors that impact on welfare, and the role of the state in mediating, promoting or reducing them.

Skills Development and Professional Communication: The module focuses on the assessment of suitability to work with a vulnerable population with the title of student social worker.It incorporates a twenty day skill development pathway to prepare  for starting social work practice.

Safeguarding Vulnerable People: This introduces a foundation level understanding of safeguarding vulnerable children and adults, enabling students begin to consider the impact of abuse and neglect on people's lives, and to consider an appropriate professional response. 

Evidence in Professional Practice: This module aims to provide an introduction to using evidence in professional practice which will form a basic grounding for academic and practice development throughout the remainder of the professional course and career for which the student is studying.

Social Work with Adults: This informs and supports students in preparation for practice with the most vulnerable adults in society. It focuses on social work practice from statutory and independent sector perspectives.

Social Work with Children and Young People: This helps students explore and evaluate children's rights and needs and the role of the state when these are not met. The law, theories of child development and evidence informed practice and research are used to explore the role of the social worker in relation to children, young people and their families.  

Mental Health for Social Workers: Social Workers frequently interface with individuals and families challenged by Mental Health Disorders. This module will introduce students to the models, theories, legislation, research and practice, which provide the context for current mental health services. 

Support to Social Work: This module seeks to develop students' introductory level knowledge and skill base, following successful completion of the first year of the programme, in order to provide an applied context to social work theories, methods and models.  

Social Work Practice 1: This is a 70-day placement, by the end of which, students are able to demonstrate a developing understanding of the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Social Work (SOPS),  and how they are able to evidence meeting them, together with the Professional Capability Framework (PCF) requirements, at the ‘End of First Placement’ level. The placement will be in a private, voluntary or independent sector setting. The module includes five preparation/skill development days which will occur before and during the placement. 

 

Working with Teams, Groups and Communities: The focus of this module will be on how health and social care professionals work collaboratively in order to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups and diverse communities. This will lead to a greater awareness of the multiple strategies used by organisations and groups to develop supports that meet their own needs, often outside the framework of statutory commissioning. 

Social Work Practice 2: This is a 100-day placement in a social welfare or care setting, undertaking statutory social work tasks.  on completion students are able to demonstrate that they are achieving an understanding of the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Social Work (SOPS), and how they are able to evidence meeting them, together with the Professional Capability Framework (PCF) requirements, at the ‘Qualifying Social Worker’ level. 

Practice Learning Interventions: Students critically examine a piece of work  undertaken as part of practice learning. They are required to make links between learning in University based modules and practice in placement. 

Professional Consolidation: Students are given the opportunity to prepare for employment as a newly qualified social worker. They analyse and engage with key current debates for the social work profession in the UK, and in an international context, and locate them within a philosophical and ethical framework. 

Dissertation in Social Work: The dissertation draws together and enhances the ability to utilise the knowledge, understanding and skills developed across the programme in a substantial piece of investigative, literature based research. 

Decision Making and Social Well-being: This module requires students to explore the complexities of professional practice. This includes evaluation of the practitioner’s role within the context of organizational decision-making when promoting social well-being. Students are required to critically examine the influences of personal and professional values when justifying practice decisions. In addition, students will discuss ethical responsibilities in effective leadership and management, and will be able to appraise the requirements of professional mentorship.

Work placements

To help you feel confident in starting your work placement, you take a preparatory module on Skills Development and Professional Communication in the first year. This includes specific skills development, augmented by communication practice in our skills suite.

In both Years 2 and 3 you will undertake work-based placements (70 days in Year 2 and 100 days in Year 3). Placements could involve working with children or older people, people who are disabled or those who may have mental health issues. Statutory, voluntary, private and independent organisations all offer opportunities to engage with service users in a real and meaningful way. The settings include hospitals, agency teams, family centres, day centres and residential care settings.

We offer a range of support mechanisms both within the University (including an academic adviser/link lecturer) and in the placement area itself. While on placement you will be supported by a named member of staff. Your capability in practice is assessed by a suitably qualified and experienced practice educator. They will be responsible for helping you to develop your practice to reach the required standard by the end of the your placement.

The faculty has a dedicated Practice Education Unit that provides administrative and academic support for placement learning/practice education for all its pre-qualifying courses.

Travel costs to / from placement may be incurred. Students may be eligible for a fixed contribution towards placement travel expenses through the social work bursary scheme.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Attendance pattern

Full-time students typically attend university for two days per week and are in placement for the other three days of the week, or undertaking online / independent study. This varies slightly from year to year, and depends upon the type of placement setting.

Teaching and learning

The teaching and learning includes an exciting blend of lectures, outside speakers, group work and the use of multimedia. The course encourages active student participation and urges you to contribute your own knowledge and experience.

IT plays an increasingly important role in our courses and an extensive range of learning resources can be accessed through Moodle, an online repository of lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises. Some experience of IT is therefore necessary.

In health and social care no professional group works in isolation. Oxford Brookes teaches a wide range of pre-qualification and foundation courses. They include nursing (adult, children's and mental health), midwifery, occupational therapy, operating department practice, paramedic emergency care and physiotherapy. You will share your learning with these other health care students. This is a key component of the course - it is essential to developing teamwork skills and an understanding of the other roles you will encounter in practice.

Approach to assessment

Our modules are assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments, exams and class tests, portfolios, examined interviews, presentations and the production of a dissertation.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £9,250 2018/19: £9,250 (subject to OFFA agreement)

Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £750 per single module 2018/19: £750 per single module

International - full time: 2017/18: £12,890 2018/19: £13,150

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

Home and EU students in their second and third year of study can apply for a non-means-tested Social Work Bursary from the Department of Health (DOH). The number of bursaries is limited/capped and the number allocated by the DOH to the University reviewed annually. Students must meet eligibility and residency criteria, and be nominated to receive a bursary. The basic grant includes a fixed contribution to placement travel expenses.  Students who meet all the eligibility criteria but are not allocated one of our bursaries can receive the Placement Travel Allowance. Please check the Social Work Bursary website for further details about the social work bursary and their capping arrangements.

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112

A-level: BBC or equivalent
International Baccalaureate: 30 points
BTEC: DDM

A new UCAS Tariff point system is being introduced for students applying to start university in September 2017, which uses  a qualification’s size and grades to calculate total Tariff points under a brand new system. Therefore the Tariff points for 2017 entry look very different from 2016 entry - the 2017 BBC equivalent for this course will be 112 UCAS points for 2017. Please visit the UCAS website for more information.

Specific entry requirements

A-Level: 3 A-levels at grade BBC

GCSE: 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including Mathematics and English Language

  • BTEC extended diploma candidates should aim for grades DDM, preferably in a relevant subject area.
  • Experience of paid or voluntary work with vulnerable people is needed. This experience should be sufficient to enable you to clearly demonstrate your commitment, motivation and understanding of social work's knowledge, skills and values.

Additionally, for applicants aged over 21 years:

  • Applicants who do not meet all of the academic entry criteria can still be considered if they have significant and relevant life or work experience with vulnerable people. However, we would expect to see all applicants with a GCSE at grade C or above in Mathematics and English Language plus further studies at level 3 - for example, an A-level or Open University course in a relevant subject.
Please note: all grades where stated are minimum requirements.

Entry to the course through the accreditation by Oxford Brookes University of prior certificated learning will be considered.  

We welcome applications from people who already have a degree in another subject; you may be eligible for study at MA or PGDip level.

We also welcome applications from individuals sponsored or supported by their employer.

Screening

All applicants will be screened for fitness for practice and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

If you are short-listed you will be invited to an interview day which comprises a written test, a team exercise and an individual interview.

Information about health, criminal, employment and personal history will be collected on the day of interview, but will not be disclosed to the interview team or used to make a decision about making you an offer.

If you disclose something that needs further exploration, this will be done separately from the interview process and any offer of a place will be made on a conditional basis, while your circumstances are further assessed.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need an IELTS score of 7.0 overall, with no category scoring below 6.5.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

Part-time applications only should be made directly to the university.

If you are an international applicant, you will need to apply early to allow enough time for obtaining a visa and completing the necessary screening if you are offered a place.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Many of the clinical and community settings you will be learning in have national and international reputations, exposing you to up-to-the-minute practice in care and support.

One of the world's great academic cities, Oxford is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects. It is a small but vibrant city with plenty of attractions for its large student population.

Support for students studying Social Work

We offer a very friendly and supportive environment in which to learn, and all our courses adopt a student-centred approach to teaching and learning. We strongly focus on encouraging you to attain your full potential as a lifelong learner.

There is a wide range of support mechanisms for students. These include academic advisers, who will facilitate your academic development, and student support co-ordinators, who provide a drop-in service for queries about any aspect of student life, whether academic or personal.

The University’s support services include Upgrade, which provides advice on:

  • planning and writing essays, assignments and dissertations
  • exam preparation
  • statistics and maths.

There is a dedicated Student Disability and Dyslexia Service, which provides support for students with disabilities including sensory and mobility impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and medical conditions.

The service's staff offer advice and support on a range of issues, including:

  • physical access
  • funding
  • alternative assessment arrangements
  • liaison with teaching staff to ensure that they are aware of your requirements.

Specialist facilities

We have excellent teaching facilities including a 280-seat lecture theatre, a dedicated communication skills suite and simulation resources, and fully networked computer rooms. We also have excellent library resources, accessible both through the web and through a range of locally based facilities on University and NHS sites.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Professional accreditation

On successful completion of the BA (Hons) Social Work, students are eligible to apply for professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Please note, HCPC approval for this course is subject to review and can be withdrawn at any time.

Career prospects

There are a wide range of job opportunities in a variety of settings, with the possibility of employment in the statutory, private, voluntary or independent sectors. Our careers service will support you in the development of your application skills.

Current data indicates that approximately 90% of students are in employment six months after finishing the course. Local authority and private, voluntary and independent partners employ many graduates who go on to undertake the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (AYSE).

Further study

Oxford Brookes offers a variety of programmes suitable for studying at post-qualifying level.