Social Work BA
- Special Features
- Course Content
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
This is a broad-based course which benefits from a wide range of staff specialisms. It is validated by the General Social Care Council (GSCC).
Our degree in Social Work is organised by a partnership group that includes Brunel and 10 London agencies, including a number of local authorities, the Family Welfare Association, Heathrow Travel Care and other voluntary and private agencies. The BA is awarded via either the full-time route or the employment-based route.
The professional and academic elements of the course are closely integrated throughout. Seminars, tutorials and formal classes are integrated with professional practice, and theory is applied through the analysis of social issues and problems.
You must be able to attend university and your placement between 9am and 5pm each day.
A high percentage of our intake are mature students, and these applicants are considered on an individual basis. Candidates must demonstrate the capacity to undertake the academic demands of the course and have substantial and relevant work experience.
Find out about bursaries for students studying social work
Hear about Social Work at Brunel
The course aims to provide a rigorous and intellectually broadening educational experience. It will develop your understanding of theories, concepts, analytical techniques and research methods from the social sciences, and apply them to social welfare policy and practice to give you a critical understanding of social welfare.
Dr Sue Hanna
BA Admissions Tutor (PT and FT)
School of Health Sciences and Social Care
Tel +44 (0)1895 268824
Web Social Work subject pages
- The Social Work Division has an excellent academic record and reputation, and we are currently ranked number one in the UK (Guardian, 2012).
- The course is validated by the General Social Care Council (GSCC).
- Students enjoy first-rate facilities in the brand-new, multi-million pound Health Studies Centre.
- We are one of the leading providers of university-based social work research in London and have attracted funding from, amongst other sources, the ESRC, the AHRC, the Rowntree Trust, the Department for Education and Skills and the NHS.
- Students benefit from close links with social service and voluntary organisations.
- Recent groundbreaking research into comparative social work, community care, child development, and race and social work feed into our taught programmes, making them highly relevant and up-to-date. We have an active research centre, as well as an international reputation for our work in the field of social policy. Lecturers include authors of best selling books on citizenship, community care and child protection.
- We have a long-standing commitment to providing training opportunities for mature applicants and for students from ethnic minorities. Anti-discriminatory practice has been at the core of our training philosophy for some years and this emphasis is evident in the teaching of this course.
Facts and Figures
School of Health Sciences and Social Care
Health Sciences and Social Care has become one of the most hotly discussed and debated issues of our time and is a subject that can be studied from a biological, psychological, sociological, philosophical, political, environmental or cultural perspective. It affects us individually and through our families, communities and society as a whole.
Health and social care issues have always attracted legal and ethical debates ranging from questions about the beginning and end of life to the difficulties of managing professional health staff. These issues have become more complex as consumers of care services become more demanding and more knowledgeable of their rights.
The courses offered at Brunel aim to meet the needs of a wide range of professions as well as individuals who want to explore and think critically about current health and social care issues as a whole.
We have a long history of providing courses for health and social care professionals. Most of our courses are supported by various consortia of health trusts or social work agencies.
We aim to combine a thorough professional education with academic excellence and have a substantial record of research, innovation and publication which is reflected in the quality and relevance of our teaching, and in our excellent Quality Audit Agency Review of 22 points out of 24.
Despina is studying for a BA in Social Work
My name is Despina, I am 37 yrs old and I am originally from Greece. My social work training at Brunel has been a continuation of many years of working in social care as a mental health support worker and many more years of encountering vulnerable people in my travels. I am the first person in my family to go to university and it has been a great inspiration to my younger brother who is also now studying at university in Greece. It has not been easy.
As a mature student, I have far more responsibilities and this has made this a challenging experience. It is all worth it though. Throughout the three years of the BA Social Work I have met some great people. I have re-discovered myself, and most importantly, I am now more sure than ever that doing this course was the best decision of my life. I am where I want to be and I have chosen the right profession.
Brunel has been a great provider for the training and although there have been hiccups on the road overall it has been a good experience. The administrator of the course has been amazing to the students and our lecturers have provided us with inspiration and guidance.
Winston returned to the UK and Brunel in 2008 to complete his Social Work degree after a period living abroad.“When I was first at Brunel, most of the intake comprised mature students like me with significant previous work experience, whereas now a significant proportion are younger, many straight from A-levels. Many of these students have much to offer a profession in need of more dedicated individuals, and my student colleagues represent a diverse and interesting group, not only in terms of their backgrounds and individual challenges, but also in relation to their insights from their own work and life experiences.
"This group are a credit to Brunel along with many staff members that encourage us to challenge our world views and unlock everyone’s potential as students and future practitioners. I look forward to graduating with them before going on to develop a career in social work management.”
- Supported Learning for Key Skills
- Introduction to Social Work
- Social Policy
- Human Development
- Practice Learning 1 (30-day placement)
- Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work
- Social Work, Law and the English Legal System
- Values and Contemporary Issues
- Reflective Social Work Practice
- Practice Learning 2 (70-day placement)
- Social Research Methods
- Either Children and Families or Community Care
- Social work Electives (Family work, Care Management and Networking, Specialist Therapeutic Settings, Psycho-Social Interventions)
- Practice Learning 3 (100-day placement)
You will work in the following fields:
- Children and families
- Mental health work
- Older people
- Illness and disability
Social Work Methods
You will learn to employ the following methods:
- Therapeutic work with individuals
- Family work
- Care management
- Group work
Teaching methods combine seminars and tutorials with more formal classes. These emphasise the integration of social science subjects with professional practice and the application of theory to the analysis of social issues and problems.
Tutorial and practice teacher support
All students have an academic tutor during the course, and an experienced practice assessor on each work placement. Individual and group tutorials are a core timetabled part of the curriculum. Your academic tutor has particular responsibility for helping you to maintain links between your university-based and placement-based learning.
Assessment in practice placements is continuous and culminates in the placement report, to which both student and practice teacher contribute.
Academic work is assessed through a range of assignments, with published submission dates. These assignments include tests, presentations, essays and revealed examinations.
As there is no ‘compensation’ between practice assessments and university assessment, both elements must be passed.
Practice Learning is an essential part of the course at Levels 1, 2 and 3. The professional and academic elements of the course are strongly integrated. The GSCC requirement is 200 days in practice learning settings over the three years.
You will have a course tutor and an experienced trained practice assessor in each placement. Individual and group tutorials are a core timetabled part of the curriculum. Your tutor has a particular responsibility for maintaining links between your university-based and placement-based learning and ensuring that you meet the required National Occupational Standards (NOS).
The aim of this course is to produce competent practitioners, who are able to work critically and professionally in combating racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.
Many students who complete the BA in Social Work go on to attend one of our post-qualifying courses.
UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time
International students: £15,000 full-time
Social Work Bursary
The social work bursaries are available to students ordinarily resident in England studying on an approved undergraduate course. Amongst other eligibility criteria, students must also meet certain residency criteria.
The availability of bursaries for the 3013/14 academic year has been under review and consultation.
The latest information to hand is that there will be no bursary for the new BA1 social work students in 2013 and there will be a cap of 2500 bursaries available in 2014/15 as they move into year 2 however the methodology for how decisions will be made as to who gets bursaries has yet to be published on the NHS website.
Application forms for the new bursaries will be available from May from the NHS social work bursaries website and prospective students should visit this website for those and for additional information about the social work bursary.
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Requirements for 2013 Entry
- GCE A-level BBB, including Grade B in a Social Science subject (General Studies not accepted; Critical Thinking accepted as 4th subject only).
- Irish Leaving Certificate ABBBB, including a Social Science.
- Scottish Advanced Highers BBB, including Grade B in a Social Science.
- Advanced Diploma Progression Diploma Grade B in Society, Health and Development or Public Services plus a B at A-level for Additional and Specialist Learning.
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject.
- IBDP 32 points, including 5 points in a Social Science subject at Higher Level
- Access Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2 with Merits in all units. Applicants aged 21+ are considered on an individual basis.
For all of the above, 5 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above are also required, to include English and Maths (please note that these must have been gained by the time you submit your UCAS application).
Interviews: All shortlisted applicants sit a written test and are observed in group interviews.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 7 (min 6.5 in all areas)
- TOEFL Paper test: 600 (TWE 5)
- TOEFL Internet test: 100 (R20, L20, S20, W20)
- Pearson: 66 (59 in all subscores)
- BrunELT 70% (65% in all areas)
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.