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*Subject to revalidation

  • Choose a career where you can make a real impact on the lives of vulnerable people
  • Gain vital real-world skills on practical work placements in each of the three years
  • Learn from staff, service users, carers and practitioners who ensure teaching material is interesting, challenging and up-to-date
  • Join a course that is approved by Social Work England
  • Top 15 for Social Work in The Guardian's Best Universities UK 2022

Do you want to gain the professional skills to make a difference to people’s lives and society? Through expert teaching and quality placements, our specially-designed Social Work degree will help you achieve this.

Social Work at Winchester aims to ensure you 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.

The focus of the programme is on working with people of all ages who may be vulnerable and at risk. Fundamental to good social work is your ability to develop critically reflective practice where you are able to deal with complex dilemmas in a confident and competent manner.

The programme works closely with service users, carers and a wide range of professionals to ensure you gain a deep level of understanding of issues across the social care arena. You gain professional knowledge of human behaviour and social processes in a legal context. You critically explore different forms of oppression and inequality in society and develop key skills to challenge disadvantage and marginalisation.

In Year 1, you start to explore key social work concepts and theory, and develop basic professional skills in preparation for your first practice placement at Year 2. By the end of the first year you demonstrate 'readiness for direct practice' evidenced through your progress.

As part of the first year students are required to undertake a number of days shadowing in a social care environment in order to prepare them for their forthcoming practice placements in years 2 and 3.

Year 2 includes a practice experience of 70 days. You are placed in a social care agency which has been screened by members of staff and you are supervised by a qualified social work practice educator. On completion of this practice learning, your performance is assessed.

Year 3 is more complex and prepares you for practice. The final 100-day practice experience is supported by teaching in the University. You continue to work under the supervision of a qualified social work practice assessor but are expected to demonstrate increasing skill in your practice, greater ability to integrate theory and practice, assumption of more responsibility and more initiative in the role of student social worker.

Few careers offer as much opportunity to support people as social work. Graduates go on to careers in social work or related professional roles in the social care, voluntary and independent sector, health and education sectors.


This programme is approved by Social Work England which means you’ll be eligible to apply for registration as a social worker on successful completion of the course.


Graduates go on to careers in social work or related professional roles in the social care, voluntary and independent sector, health and education sectors. This programme is approved by Social Work England which means you’ll be eligible to apply for registration as a social worker on successful completion of the course.

The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021, HESA.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.


*Subject to revalidation

This course is subject to revalidation. 'Revalidation' is the process by which the University refreshes its existing provision. Revalidation assesses the quality and standards of the programme to ensure it continues to provide a distinct, high quality academic experience for students, enabling them to acquire the necessary academic knowledge, understanding, general and subject-specific skills required to pursue a graduate level career.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

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 is also 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.

Learning and teaching

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.
While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 288 hours
Independent learning: 888 hours
Placement: 24 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 144 hours
Independent learning: 528 hours
Placement: 528 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 120 hours
Independent learning: 324 hours
Placement: 756 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.

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.


Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.


Our validated courses 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.

We ensure 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 on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

Year 1 (Level 4)*

95% coursework
0% written exams
5% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*

83% coursework
17% written exams
0% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*

100% coursework
0% written exams
0% practical exam

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

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





2022 Entry: 96-112 UCAS tariff points

Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:

A-Levels: CCC-BBC from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. CCC is comparable to BCD in terms of tariff points)
BTEC/CTEC: MMM-DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications
International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4
T Level: Pass (C or above on the core) in a T Level

In addition to the above, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32, from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.

In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSE’s are required:

  • GCSEs in Mathematics and English Language at grade 4 or C, or higher. Functional Skills at level 2 is accepted as an alternative, however Key Skills qualifications are not. If you hold another qualification, please get in touch and we will advise further.

If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:

  • IELTS Academic at 7.0 overall with no element less than 6.5 (for year 1 entry)
  • We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT.

If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on their website which may be of interest.

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students

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

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.

Additional 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. Indicative cost is £40.

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.

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

The Role of Social Work in Society 15

This module introduces students to the social work context. It outlines the importance of basic communication, relationship building and interpersonal skills needed for direct social work with a range of service users in different life situations and with colleagues and other professionals. This includes both practice settings and the University. The module provides initial preparation for the first extended placement at the second level of study.

An initial understanding the role of the regulator; Heath and Care Professions Council and the professional body; The College of Social work will underpin this module.

Social work practice relies on the application of the best knowledge and requires practitioners to be aware of research and have the skills to assess, interpret and apply its insights effectively. Students will begin to understand the importance of ‘research mindednesses’.

Through the preparation for practice students are given the opportunity to ‘shadow’ an experienced practitioner. They will develop an initial understanding of agency policies and practices which impinge on social work practice, and the nature of contemporary partnership working, within and across disciplines and agencies.

Content covered during the module places emphasis on understanding the different needs and experiences of service users and carers, and with professional and non-professional colleagues in the agency setting. The concept of safe working practices with respect to self, service users, colleagues and the community is introduced.

Introduction to Law, Ethics and Social Policy 15

The module will develop an understanding of the ethical framework in which the law in England operates. The law is limited when applied in isolation of ethical practice. Students will understand how to apply ethical decision making as the basis for sound professional judgement. They will explore the concept of sound professional judgement using the 4 model framework applied by Jonathan Dickens (e.g. duty, society, virtue and care (2013).

Introduction to Sociological Perspectives: Identity, Equality, Diversity and Values 30

This double module gives students the opportunity to gain a thorough grounding and appreciation of a number of key concepts from a sociological perspective that are used to understand and explain the relationships between individual and their social contexts. It will provide a theoretical understanding to support students in practice with a range of service users.

Introduction to Psychological Perspectives: Life Span Development 30

Social workers engage with a diverse range of people across the life course, therefore a thorough understanding of human growth and development is a central element of social work practice. A person’s life course is not always a straightforward, linear progression, and the impact of social, political, cultural, economic and environmental factors must be recognised, so that inequalities identified in practice can be challenged.

This module will explore physical, cognitive, moral and personality development, the transitions and changes that occur throughout the life course and examine the factors that impact on / contribute towards attachment and people’s coping and emotional resources. Students will be given the opportunity to observe children in different settings in order to make links between theoretical perspectives and social work practice. The module will also place emphasis on the positive aspects of human personality and behaviour and the positive outcomes that are being achieved by practitioners working in a variety of different settings using different techniques and Programmes.

Use of Self and Working with Others 15

The use of self in social work practice is the combining of knowledge, values and skills gained in social work education with aspects of one’s personal self, including personality traits, belief systems, life experiences, and cultural heritage. Through the use of self as a therapeutic tool, you will be able to effectively establish rapport, build positive working relationships and thus improve outcomes of interventions.

In the first half of this module students will be supported to raise awareness about their own personality, worldview, relationship skills and life experiences that can be drawn upon to bring about positive change in others.
The second half of the module will focus on ‘learning about groups by being in a group’. Theoretical knowledge about groups: processes and dynamics will be applied in practice as students learn how to work collaboratively and effectively with others as a member of a Team.

Communication - Working with Service Users 15

Service user and carer involvement is driven by a policy agenda that recognises the importance of involving service users and carers in the design and delivery of services, and this module introduces students to the history of involvement examines the notion of citizenship, by working directly with a diverse range of service users and carers, focusing on positive partnership.

The module introduces students to a range of skills needed in working with service users and carers, in order to develop confidence in communicating and working with others, gain experience of presentation skills, understand the importance of professional boundaries, promote choice and involve others in the decision making process. The use of reflective exercises, peer and user feedback will be used throughout the module, alongside practical workshops to allow students to develop their skills.

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

First Practice Placement 60

The first practice placement of 70 days will give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge values and skills in working directly with service users and their carers. In this placement there will be an emphasis on building relationships, developing communication skills and working with other professionals.

Students will have the opportunity to put into practice core teaching from level 4 and further develop their understanding of key and fundamental aspects of social work.

The Legal and Professional Knowledge Base of Social Work 20

This module will give students knowledge underpinning legal and safe practice.

Contemporary practice requires social workers to operate within a legal framework which comprises of powers and duties contained in primary and secondary legislation, statutory guidance and case law. Within this, complex decisions need to be made in order to protect vulnerable people as well as promoting their rights, being mindful of operating within an ethical and moral framework.

In this module students will develop the skills needed to keep up to date with legal knowledge and particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of research and evidence based practice. A focus of this module will be thinking and practicing critically, by considering a range of complex case studies which will help students to be accountable in their practice.

Students, in developing ‘research mindedness’ will begin to understand what makes good social work research, have an introduction to methodologies and methods and the principles of systematic enquiry and putting research to use; applications and implications.

Professional Social Work: Methods and Interventions 20

This module will introduce students to a range of relevant tools, models, methods and theories in order to develop skill in supporting positive change in working directly with individuals, families, groups and communities, within an anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive framework and in preparation for and to run alongside the 70 day placement.

Critical Analysis and Investigation of Practice 20

Aim of module: To develop skills in being able to critically analyse practice.

Critical thinking and reflective skills are essential to effective decision making and this module will take the form of critical reflective learning in small groups. Students will share and discuss critical incidents from their practice experience in a safe learning environment supported by service users who are experienced in this type of student engagement and facilitated by lecturers. They will be invited to think about their practice and make links with relevant theories, skills and experience. To do this successfully they need to engage in evidence-informed practice, evaluate practice systematically and participate in audit procedures.

Students will also be encouraged to make links with ethics, values and to think anti-oppressively. It will be a requirement that students keep a learning log which can be drawn upon in the summative assignment and used as evidence in their practice placement assessment. Students will also be expected to use the University closed discussion board system throughout the module.

This module will run in Level 5 concurrently with the placement and reinforce the HCPC standards of proficiency particularly relating to understanding the need to maintain high standards of personal and professional practice, students maintaining their own health and wellbeing, understanding the need to keep skills up to date and the importance of career-long learning, and manage the physical and emotional impact of their practice.

Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Social Work Risk and Assessment (Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults) 20

This module will address safeguarding in both adult and child contexts; enabling students to recognise, and respond to signs of harm and abuse. It will support students in their understanding of assessment of risk. Assessment and risk represent deceptively simple concepts, however good assessment is the cornerstone of social work practice and therefore will be explored in-depth.

Assessments can have a significant impact on the lives of children, young people, families and communities; therefore assessment frameworks and the ways in which ways assessments are conducted and how information is used and analysed will be considered.  Effective assessment is a transparent area of practice where the social worker is clearly accountable for his/her actions. Stringent recording and communication are essential cornerstones of good practice. Student’s will continue to learn about the importance of research and by encouraging research literacy they will develop skills required to be critically informed and their work be supported through evidence based practice.

Second Practice Placement 60

The second practice placement is 100 days and builds on the development of practice competence acquired during the first 70 day placement.

Students building on their first placement will have the opportunity to utilise theory and apply it to practice situations to test, review and enhance further knowledge. Students, through practice experience will develop critical reflection and self- directive enquiry. Understanding of professional judgement and decision making is central to the student’s development of becoming a qualified social worker.

Students will further develop their understanding of the need to maintain high standards of personal and professional practice.
-Understand the importance of maintaining their health and wellbeing.
-Understand the need to keep skills and knowledge up to date and the importance of career long learning.
-Be able to manage the physical and emotional impact of practice.
- Support service users and carers’ rights to control and be able to support the development of networks, groups and communities to meet the needs and outcomes.

Students will be aware of applicable health and safety legislation and any relevant safety policies and procedures in force at the workplace, such as incident reporting and be able to act in accordance with these.
By the end of the module they will be able to make and receive referrals appropriately and contribute to processes designed to evaluate service and individual outcomes

Social Work Practice in Contemporary Society 20

Building on from the learning and teaching in level 5 and from the 70 day placement, this module will provide students with the opportunity to develop their skill in working directly with service users, carers, and families, safely and effectively. 

Using the platform of established areas of practice, such as mental health, domestic violence and addictions, students will look at both direct practice in more depth and be introduced to relevant tools and methods and theories underpinning practice in these fields, working with individuals, families carers and groups, including systemic models and motivational interviewing as ways to intervene and affect change.

Students will be encouraged to think critically about interventions, linked to research findings and also the contemporary context in which social work takes place, with a focus on sociological and political structures.

Independent Study 20

Social work practice relies fundamentally on the application of the best knowledge and understanding available to all aspects of intervention, in the interests of people who use the service. It requires research minded practitioners who are aware of available research and have the skills to assess, interpret and apply its insights effectively. This module allows students to work independently on a topic of their choice linked to their practice placement. The title will be negotiated with their tutor and practice educator.

Students are not expected to undertake empirical research but to identify appropriate sources of evidence and critically review available literature and research. They will also make sense of potentially complex and sometimes conflicting findings and apply research messages appropriately to specific practice settings. Students will receive input on academic research methods to enable them to understand methods of data collection and analyse findings systematically; demonstrating the capacity for critical analysis.

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 www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.

2022 Course Tuition Fees

 UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland


Year 1 £9,250 £14,100
Year 2 £9,250 £14,100
Year 3 £9,250 £14,100
Total £27,750 £42,300
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,385 £1,385
Total with Sandwich Year £29,135 £43,685

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2021, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.

Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.

* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year. To find out whether this course offers a sandwich year, please contact the programme leader for further information.

** The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.


As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


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. Indicative cost is £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. Indicative cost is £20.



Students are required to pay for Camtasia, for use on campus. Indicative cost is £20.

Disclosure and Barring Service

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check may be required if you undertake a placement, volunteering, research or other course related activity where you will have contact with children or vulnerable adults. The requirement for a DBS check will be confirmed by staff as part of the process to approve your placement, research or other activity. The indicative cost is £40.

Students are not required, but are recommended, to register for the DBS update service during the length of the programme. Indicative cost is £13 per year.

Business Insurance

Students will be required to have appropriate motor insurance if they are driving their own vehicle during any placement. The type of motor insurance cover will depend on the type of journey that they undertake. Driving to and from the placement is commuting and driving as part of the business activity during the placement day is driving for business use.

Printing and Binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 mono pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.


BSc (Hons) Social Work Bursary allocation criteria for 2021 entrants:

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) currently provides a limited number of bursaries for social work students to help with study and living costs.

There are not enough bursaries for all social work students and the number of students that the University can nominate changes each year.

Currently students will be prioritised based on their household income; with lowest household incomes receiving priority. This decision was arrived at following a review of the nomination process. It is reviewed at least every four years.

The household income figure used for the purpose of the bursary nominations is based on the Student Finance Assessment completed during the 2021/22 academic year. Students and their Sponsors (Parents/Partners) are required to consent to this information being shared with the University early on in the 2021/22 academic year (before April 2022) to be considered for the bursary. If you have any queries regarding this, please contact studentsandmoney@winchester.ac.uk

If secondary criteria is needed to identify who will be nominated (in cases in which two or more students fill the last nomination place, having identical household incomes) the first year summative percentage score for BSc Social Work Students will be used.


Key course details

UCAS code
3 years full-time only
Typical offer
96-112 points
On campus, Winchester