Guide to Studying Social Work

What is Social Work?

  • Social work is a profession that is centred around people – from babies through to the older generations. Working with those of all creeds, ages and races who need help to try and make their lives better.
  • Social workers work with individuals and families to help improve outcomes in their lives; it is a tough and responsible job.

Why study Social Work?

  • For sheer variety of learning experience in a degree, social work has little competition. You learn about how to take care of a wide range of people, young and old, in a range of situations.
  • Social workers are found all around society. A degree here opens up the chance to work in public agencies, private businesses, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, police departments, courts and more.
  • Mostly, a social worker works with individuals in a community – it is good for those who are people-people, but don't enjoy being crushed under the demands of a faceless horde.
  • Social work can open up areas of real power in a career. Social workers serve in government and education. Whether it's this, or you're offering personal therapy, you will change lives. Hopefully for the better.
  • It is a flexible degree, just as easily studied part-time as it is full-time, or as a masters as it is an undergraduate course. Take your pick.

Coursework, assessment and exams

  • Learning is assessed through a wide range of methods, ranging from coursework assignments and essays, to observed practical placements, presentations and role-play situations. Exams take place each year, both open and closed book, with a dissertation as a third year option.

What degree can I get? 

  • BSc Sport Rehabilitation
  • BA Learning Disabilities Nursing and Social Work
  • BA Social Welfare and Advice
  • BA Applied Social Work

What qualifications do I need?

  • Different universities ask for different A level grades or equivalent. These are subject to change.
  • Confirm the requirements before applying.

Use our Course Chooser to search through Social Work courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include straight MAs in Social Work, as well as master's in Adult Services Support, Advanced Child Protection, Advanced Clinical Practice, Autism Practice, and Neurorehabilitation.

Graduate job prospects



*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • Social Work degrees teach students transferable skills, such as presentation, research and communication, as well as how to delicately understand the concerns of others, and how to ensure they get the help they need.
  • Particular job areas, aside from social worker, include probation officer, adult guidance, careers adviser, charity work, counselling, volunteer coordinator, and youth work.
  • Numerous companies offer graduate schemes in this subject, including the Man Group.