BSc (Hons) Social Work

Social Work at Winchester aims to ensure that its graduates understand the impact of the wider social context in which people live. It seeks to challenge inequality and to intervene, support and empower people to make positive decisions.

BSc (Hons) Social Work at University of Winchester

UCAS code: L500

Entry Requirements*

Typical offer:

2017 Entry: 96-112 points

*UCAS has changed the way they calculate the tariff for courses starting in September 2017. Find out more about the new tariff.

Additional entry requirements:

  • A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language and Mathematics, or certified equivalent, is required. Please contact Course Enquiries to discuss equivalent qualifications. Original certificates or certified copies will be requested at interview stage.
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check required when students accept the offer of a place on the course (students cover the cost of this which is currently £44:
  • All candidates must have significant prior social work/social care/youth work experience in a paid or voluntary capacity in a relevant setting, in order to demonstrate an informed decision to embark on a career in Social Work

Degree duration:

3 years full-time only

International Baccalaureate:

25 points

If English is not your first language:

For overseas students outside of the EU, IELTS 7.0 (with no element less than 6.5) or equivalent

Selection process:

Suitable applicants complete a written exercise and attend an individual interview.

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

2017 Entry Full-time £9,250** p/a
Total Cost: £27,750** (3 years)

International Students

2017 Entry Full-time £11,600** p/a
Total Cost: £34,800** (3 years)

For further details, click here

Bursary details:

There are a restricted number of bursaries available for Social Work programmes which are administered by the Department of Health - for further details please go to

For 2016 entrants, bursaries will be allocated using the following criteria:

Primary Criteria for allocation of Social Work Bursaries to 2016/17 BSc(Hons) Social Work intake

Guidance from The Department of Health in The Social Work Education in the 2015 Academic Year Information for HEIs and Students (2nd Edition) indicates that students should be prioritised for a bursary based on ranking during the admissions process and this can be adjusted during Year 1.

Each applicant is assessed and given a score at the end of the BSc(Hons) Social Work selection process. In accordance with the Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning Strategy, it is considered proportionate and reasonable that the following applicants will be given an additional 20% added to their original selection score:

  1. applicants who have a former relevant care leaver status, who are under the age of 25 years old and who were 'looked after' by the local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, which ended after the age of 16 (as per the Children [Leaving Care] Act 2000);
  2. applicants who have been privately fostered up to the age of 16; and/or
  3. applicants who have been the subject of a Special Guardianship Order and were 'looked after' immediately prior to the making of the order.

This will be subject to written confirmation of the applicant's status and a letter of support from their Local Children's Services Department.

This interview score is then combined with academic achievement during the first year of study to prioritise the allocation of bursaries.  The interview score is considered the most important element and is therefore weighted higher than academic achievement.  Research evidence suggests that students from widening participation backgrounds do not do as well in their transition year and therefore a more accurate indicator of their overall ability is shown by the interview score.  Therefore the interview score is given a 75% weighting and percentage marks for first-year summative assessments is given a 25% weighting.

Secondary Criteria

Where scores are equal after applying the primary criteria, priority will be given to students who have achieved the highest percentage score for their first year summative assessments.

Additional costs:


  • Technology: Students are required to pay for Camtasia, for use on campus. Cost £20.


  • Core texts: Core Texts are available from the University Library; however some students prefer to purchase their own copies. Some Core Texts can be bought second hand, or as an ebook which can often reduce this cost. Cost £100 per academic full time year.
  • Field trips: There may be additional costs for optional off-campus activities. Some trips are local and free, however if the trip includes coach travel, the student is expected to cover this cost. Cost £0-20. 

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Other Information


This programme is approved by Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). On successful completion of the full programme, graduates are eligible to register with the HCPC and to use the legally protected title of social worker. Once registered, newly-qualified students are eligible to commence on an Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE).

Work placement:

In Year 1, students undertake a short shadowing placement; in Year 2, a 70-day placement; and in Year 3, a 100-day placement. 

There are also 30 days Skills Training offered to supplement practice placements across the programme.

Placements in the second and third year will be in a variety of locations in Hampshire or neighbouring counties and towns/cities. Access to a car is helpful, as is a full, clean driving licence, enabling students to access varied and appropriate placements which meet their developmental and practice needs. The nature of Social Work requires students to be able to travel independently whilst in placement.


Taught elements of the course take place on the King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU and World

Student Satisfaction:

Students on the programme have commented positively on how the staff team makes the subject interesting, informative and contemporary. The material and methods of delivery challenges student to grow and develop. The team is supported in its delivery by both service users and carers and practitioners to ensure students develop the necessary skills and knowledge to equip them to work in practice in challenging and demanding environments.

Pre-approved for a Masters:

University of Winchester students studying Bachelor Honours degrees are pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible students must apply by the end of March in their final year and meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.

Terms and Conditions 

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here.

**Indicative Fees for 2017/18 Home and EU students are £9,250 per year. Whilst the inflationary fee increases in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Minister, they are still subject to formal parliamentary approval and the approval of The University of Winchester Board of Governors. International fees are still subject to approval from the University of Winchester Board of Governors.

Social work is particularly concerned about vulnerable, excluded and marginalised individuals and groups in society. It seeks to understand the political, social, legal, economic and cultural contexts of people's lives and how these support or undermine social wellbeing. Based on principles of human rights and social justice, social work strives to promote social change, problem-solving and empowerment in order to create an increasingly just and humane society.

Over the three years of study students gain the knowledge, skills and values to enable to respond effectively and professionally to the different challenges and dilemmas which may be experienced by service users and carers. If you have a critical and enquiring mind, enjoy being innovative and creative, have a commitment to service and social justice, and you are looking for a career which can lead to a range of employment opportunities within the human services - then Social Work is the programme for you.

The focus of the programme is on working with children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable and encounter harm, which places them at risk. Fundamental to good practice is the ability of students to develop critically reflective practice where they are able to deal with complex dilemmas in a confident and competent manner. They are supported to become proactive problem solvers, basing their decisions on evidence-based research and best practice. Skills in communication, assessment, planning, monitoring, review and evaluation of social work practice are key. 

The programme works closely with service users, carers and a wide range of professionals to ensure students gain a deep level of understanding of issues across the social care arena. There is an emphasis on partnership with employers, service users and carers who are involved in the planning, developing and delivery of the programme.

Students gain professional knowledge of human behaviour and social processes in a legal context. They critically explore different forms of oppression and inequality in society and develop key skills to challenge disadvantage and marginalisation. Students are encouraged to implement and evaluate social work interventions that engender empowerment and build on people's strengths.

Year 1 is an introduction to a range of subjects giving a solid grounding for students to build upon in subsequent years. This is the start of building confidence in a range of areas relevant for practice and includes both academic teaching and skills development. Students start to explore key social work concepts and theory, and develop basic professional skills in preparation for their first practice placement at Year 2. By the end of the first year students demonstrate 'readiness for direct practice' evidenced through progress in their first year, undertaking a shadowing experience and an interview.

Module content at Year 2 is more demanding theoretically and practically. It is a year of consolidation and integration of learning and teaching. It includes the first practice experience of 70 days, which is delivered concurrently with teaching and learning in the University. Students spend 70 days in practice. For this first practice learning opportunity each student is placed in a social care agency which has been screened by members of staff in order to ensure appropriate learning opportunities are available. Each student is supervised by a qualified social work practice educator. On completion of this practice learning opportunity, the performance of each student is assessed.

Year 3 is more complex in nature and prepares students for practice in their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) and aims to continue to develop the students confidence and competence. The final 100 day practice experience is supported by teaching in the University. Students spend 100 days in a second practice placement. At this level of study students continue to work under the supervision of a qualified social work practice assessor but are expected to demonstrate increasing skill in their practice, greater ability to integrate theory and practice, assumption of more responsibility and more initiative in the role of student social worker. Modules in Year 3 encourage students to further develop their critical thinking and conceptual skills.

Year 1

Core modules include:

  • The Role of Social Work in Society
  • Introduction to Law, Ethics and Social Policy
  • Introduction to Sociological Perspectives: Identity, Equality, Diversity and Values
  • Introduction to Psychological Perspectives: Life Span Development
  • Use of Self and Working with Others
  • Communication - Working with Service Users

Year 2

Core modules include:

  • First Practice Placement
  • The Legal and Professional Knowledge Base of Social Work
  • Professional Social Work: Methods and Interventions
  • Critical Analysis and Investigation of Practice

Year 3

Core modules include:

  • Social Work Risk and Assessment (Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults)
  • Second Practice Placement
  • Social Work Practice in Contemporary Society
  • Independent Study

For further information about modules, please view the course leaflet (see right hand side).

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at

The University aims to shape 'confident learners' by enabling students to develop skills to excel in their studies, classroom and practice based, and be transferable to further studies or the employment market. Staff and students form a community of learners who, together and independently, seek to generate and exchange knowledge. Over the duration of the course, students develop independent and critical learning, building confidence and expertise progressively through independent and collaborative research, problem solving, and analysis with the support of staff. Students take responsibility for their own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available. To ensure relevance and applicability of programme content social work practitioners and service users and carers are involved in different aspects of the planning and delivery of programme content.

Theory modules are presented in the form of lectures, tutorials, small group discussions, experiential exercises and presentations. The practice modules of the programme involve a minimum of 170 days of placement learning. Placement learning takes place in each of the three years of training and comprises a period of preparation for practice in Year 1 and two placements - one each in Years 2 and 3. Service users and carers are involved at all levels of the programme, and initially students will meet them at the selection process. All students undertake supervised field practice learning in a range of settings. In the second year of study there is a less complex placement with emphasis on relationship building, communication skills and understanding context and in the final year, a more complex placement is offered. A student placement experience reflects two different service user groups one with adults and one with children, in recognition of the generic nature of social work training. Both classroom and practice learning modules emphasise the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and the involvement of service users and carers.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time (i.e. lectures, seminars etc), students are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, personal tutors and the wide range of services to students within the University.

Programme Leader

  • Thomas Wilks

Teaching team

Attendance regulations

The BSc (Hons) Social Work programme is a professional training programme that demands a high level of commitment and full attendance. Students are expected to attend all taught sessions unless prevented from doing so for valid reasons as full attendance supports both academic and professional development. Significant absences will affect a student's ability to undertake their duty of care to service users. 

The Programme team monitor attendance through the use of registers at each teaching session. Students sign into sessions and the register is passed to administrators who keep attendance records and alert module leads and tutors to non-attendance after three consecutive absences. Students must sign the register in the teaching session as attendance details cannot be altered after the session.

If a student is unable to attend a teaching session they must email the administrator and tutor to explain the reason for non-attendance and when they will return. It is the student's responsibility to catch up with missed work through reading and material supplied on the learning network.  Every absence must be notified to the programme administrators and certification of illness provided for absence beyond 5 days. 

Where a student is absent for three consecutive academic teaching sessions in a module, administrators will request that they contact the module leader to discuss any problems they are facing which is affecting attendance. If absences continue the tutor will arrange to meet with the student to discuss this further. Students are reminded of the links between academic attendance and achievement and that attendance is requested in references for employment and post graduate study. Students will also be advised that if their attendance drops to below 50% (and concessions are not in place) they will only have access to support for assignments in taught sessions. Currently there is no mandatory attendance requirement for academic teaching but frequent absence will be considered if issues arise regarding fitness to practice.

Attendance of 170 days in practice is mandatory and monitored by use of a placement register. Days lost to illness or other reasons must be made up before completion of placements. Work based supervisors/practice educators confirm full attendance at the final placement meeting and any unresolved issues relating to attendance will be discussed and managed through the intervention of tutors. 

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures library 

The University is committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to students on their academic progress and achievement, enabling them to reflect on their progress and plan their academic and skills development effectively. Students are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from their programme tutors and lecturers. On the BSc (Hons) Social Work the engagement of service users and carers, and social work practitioners helps to ensure that students receive holistic and integrated feedback.

A range of assessment procedures are used throughout the three years of study in order to ensure students are provided with ongoing feedback on their progress and that on completion of the Programme be ready to register with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Assessment includes oral and written presentations, essays, project reports, practice portfolios, tests conducted under controlled conditions and observation of practice. Students are not able to proceed to the next level of study unless they have successfully completed all of the theory and practice modules of the preceding year. At the end of the first year of study, students are expected to undertake a 'readiness to practice' interview. This is a pre-requisite for progressing to the next level of study.

Two separate placements enable students on the BSc (Hons) Social Work course to demonstrate progress against the professional standards for qualifications as a Social Worker. As an approved programme of study, classroom and practice assessments are required to meet PSRB [Professional Statutory Regulatory Body] requirements.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Graduates go on to careers in social work or related professional roles in the social care, voluntary and independent sector, health and education sectors. On successful completion of the full programme, graduates are eligible to register with the HCPC and to use the legally protected title of social worker. Once registered, newly-qualified students are eligible to commence on an Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE).

For more information about graduate employment visit From Freshers to Future - what will yours be?


The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.

While DLHE provides accurate information about first destinations, this data needs to be viewed with some degree of care. Six months after leaving university is often a time of much uncertainty and change for leavers; many will be unsure of their long-term career plans and may take a temporary job or time out. The destinations of graduates only six months out of university do not necessarily reflect longer term career success and are therefore a crude measure of employability. Therefore, DLHE data should be viewed as merely a 'snapshot' of one particular year's experiences at a specific point in time.

At the University of Winchester, we are committed to ensuring all our students gain employability skills to enable you to enter graduate level jobs and pursue the profession of your choice, for more information please read the Employability Statement.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
UK and EU Students:Send us a message

International Students 

International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to or call +44 (0)1962 827023

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