Heart of Worcestershire College

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: Birmingham City University

Social Work

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Course summary

Would you like to make a real difference to the lives of individuals, families and communities? Would you like to prevent harm, neglect and abuse? The course has a long standing history of delivering social work training going back to the late 1980’s. We have a small and friendly team with a great wealth of experience covering a range of areas of expertise. We have approximately 20 students in each year group and this enables us to have small teaching groups and offer a high level of tutorial and academic support to students. Students also benefit from regular sessions presented by service user and carer groups. Service user and carer input to the programme is integral to its design and delivery for which it has been commended. Current social work practitioners assist in the delivery of modules by virtue of the well-established relationship between the college and social work agencies. Students complete placements within social work settings of 70 days in year 2 and 100 days in year 3. The majority of placements are in Worcestershire and will often require students to be able to travel to and whilst on placement. The course is validated by Birmingham City University (BCU). On completing the programme, students receive their degree from BCU and are eligible to apply to register as a social worker. The course is also run in accordance with the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership, an accredited social work teaching partnership funded by the Department for Education to strengthen the quality of education and training for social work students and practitioners across the West Midlands. The Partnership is led by Principal Social Workers, Workforce Development Leads and Senior Academics across Children's and Adult Services. As a result the partnership aims to raise the standard and consistency for entrants onto social work programmes and strengthen the links between academia and practice to support the development of research. It also aims to enhance the pre- and post-qualifying social work curriculum to reflect contemporary research and practice and ensure students undertake high quality statutory placement and ASYE programmes. These aims help to develop the students’ knowledge, skills and experience to practice as Newly Qualified Social Workers. You will be taught by experienced and enthusiastic staff, most of them qualified and registered social workers. All our staff maintain active links with partner agencies and practitioners. The course is supported by online materials via our Virtual Learning Environment and may be supplemented by online delivery.

Course details


YEAR ONE – The Professional Learner and Safe Practitioner Gives an overview of social work, exploring what social work entails, different settings for practice, and lays a foundation for law, theory and skills, as well as covering study skills to help students meet the academic requirements of this course. – Skills Development Prepares students for their first placement by providing structured opportunities to practice key generic skills and to increase their understanding of the social work role. – Applied Psychology and Human Development Underpins knowledge of psychological theory and explanations of human development with a strong emphasis on how they relate to social work practice; such as assessment, intervention, supervision and disengagement. – Sociology: Themes and Perspectives in Social Work Aims to equip students with knowledge from the field of sociology which underpins social work practice. – Ethics and Values of Social Work Provides a framework for understanding the operation of discrimination and oppression and looks at the historical oppression of different groups within society. – Development and Delivery of Social Welfare Provision Focuses on the development and delivery of social welfare, and provides an introduction to key concepts such as ideology, poverty and welfare. YEAR TWO – Law for Social Work Practice Provides a broad introduction to the law involved in social work with children and young people, adult service users and carers. – Advanced Social Work Skills Develops the themes from the first year skills module and represents a second level in communication skills. It provides an opportunity to develop a range of other relevant social work skills. – Assessment and Intervention, Theories and Methods Introduces students to a range of methods for assessment and intervention and develops students’ understanding of the role and processes of social work practice. – Understanding Research in Practice Provides underpinning knowledge in evidence-based practice; research methods and application of research to practice. Students will practice and develop skills in critiquing research and developing academic arguments within both lecturer-led sessions and small seminar groups. – Practice – Developing Capability Consists of a 70 day placement in a social work setting. YEAR THREE – Practice – Achieving Capability Builds on the practice experience in year two, requiring the student to work in situations of greater complexity and to manage risk. The module is made up of a 100 day placement in a social work setting. – The Competent Practitioner Links to the final practice learning opportunity, by the end of which students will need to have demonstrated capability in practice. Students will elect to follow either the Children and Families or the Adult Services pathway. – The Research and Policy Context of Social Work Practice Builds on students’ understanding of social policy as introduced in the year one module, Development and Delivery of Social Welfare Provision, and examines the relationship between policy, research and evidence based practice. – The Professional Learner: Independent Study Module Offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability as independent and resourceful learners in a professional context. The independent study should clearly illustrate the individual’s ability to identify, explain, analyse, and evaluate academic evidence and relate this to social work practice in an area of their choosing. At the end of the module students submit an 8000 word dissertation on their chosen topic.

Assessment method

Students are assessed using a variety of methods including assignments, individual and group presentations, direct observations and practice portfolio. There is also an exam for the Law Module in year 2.

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Osprey House
Campus code:

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

For further information please contact our HE Admissions team [email protected]

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

• GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics (formerly Grade C). Equivalent qualifications such as Key Skills Level 2, Adult Numeracy Level 2, Adult Literacy Level 2, Functional Skills English and Maths Level 2 or CSE Grade 1 will be accepted • Basic IT Skills • At least 6 months relevant social care experience, whether paid or voluntary. We can also take into account personal experience of social care • 2 references are required before an offer of a place can be made; an academic reference and a reference commenting on suitability for social work as evidenced during experience in social care • Where previous language of instruction is not English, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum overall score of 7, with no element below level 6.5, is required. MATURE APPLICANTS Applications from mature applicants are particularly welcomed, where they will be assessed on their ability to benefit from and be successful on the course via a range of range of alternative qualifications and experience. This is often demonstrated through the achievement of a level 3 qualification in a relevant area. OTHER CONDITIONS • Satisfactory health check • Satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check

Additional entry requirements

Admission tests

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)



Basic IT Skills Satisfactory declaration of suitability

Institutions Own Test (IOT)

Written Exercise (IOT). Where Level 3 qualification is not recent, you may be asked to undertake a written exercise prior to being shortlisted for interview. All shortlisted applicants must undertake a written exercise on selection day. For the first year entry of this course you will be assessed by interview

Institutions Own Test (IOT)

Group Exercise. All shortlisted applicants must undertake a group discussion activity on the selection day, observed by service users/carers which will give the opportunity to demonstrate communication skills, preparation and self-reflection

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £8650 Year 1
England £8650 Year 1
Northern Ireland £8650 Year 1
Scotland £8650 Year 1
Wales £8650 Year 1
Channel Islands £8650 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are required to pay for DBS checks during the course of the programme. More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barringservice-check/overview.

Sponsorship information

Heart of Worcestershire College is offering Boost Awards to all first year full time HE students. If you are applying for your first year of your first Higher Education course and have “Firmly” accepted an offer of a place on a HE programme at Heart of Worcestershire College as your first choice (not insurance) you may be eligible. To be eligible you must meet the national criteria: • Normally resident in England • Have a household income of less than £25,000 (as assessed through Student Finance England) • Self funding, not sponsored by an employer, the NHS nor the Training and Development Agency for Schools. Please note that due to the limited nature of these funds meeting the criteria does not equate to an entitlement to the Boost award. Each application will be considered by the panel of senior staff based on the information provided.

Provider information

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Our COVID-19 information

Heart of Worcestershire College
Peakman Street
B98 8DW

Clearing contact details

Clearing Contact Line

01527 572822

Course Clearing information

Additional information

Monday - Thursday (8:30am - 5pm) & Friday (8:30am - 4:30pm)

Course contact details

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Social Work at Heart of Worcestershire College - UCAS