Social Work

Social Work BA (Hons)

Train to enter the fulfilling discipline of social work and help to improve the lives and wellbeing of vulnerable people and communities.


Subject to approval by Social Work England - please be aware that the course and module content, cohort size and start date may be subject to change following the approval process. This page will be kept updated with the latest information.

Would you like to make a difference to society? Social workers play a key role in supporting and helping people and our degree helps train you to be a confident, effective, resilient and safe practitioner. The course covers all aspects of social work, including theories and methods, legislation, skills for practice and developing professional competency. 

Taught by highly experienced staff, on this course you will learn to work with both adults and children and will be eligible to enter any area of practice upon qualification.  

Social workers support in a wide range of areas, including child protection, with vulnerable adults, older people and in mental health. 

Subject to approval by Social Work England, successful completion of this degree will allow eligibility to apply for registration as a social worker upon graduation.

Key features

  • 100% of our Social Work graduates are in work or further study within six months, according to the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17 report.*
  • 100% of students on this programme said that the course was supportive and they received good advice and guidance about their studies (NSS 2019).
  • Our staff have extensive experience in social work practice, teaching and multidisciplinary research, ensuring your learning experience is high-quality and up-to-date with contemporary issues, advancements and debates within the sector.
  • This course is designed so that you will learn to work with both adults and children and be eligible to enter any area of practice upon graduation.
  • Benefit from practical work placements in settings including Child protection, Adoption and fostering, Physical and/or learning disability support and Youth Justice, which will take your learning beyond the classroom and enhance your experience and employability.
  • Develop your transferable skills with interprofessional learning, working alongside students and practitioners from a wide range of other professions including nurses, doctors, criminal justice workers, teachers and the police.

Social Work Bursary

You may be eligible for a non-repayable social work student bursary of up to £4,575 (this is based on the NHS guidance 2018-2019 so may change for future years).

More course like this

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  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: L502

Duration: Three years full-time
There is an attendance requirement of 70% for university-based teaching and learning sessions and 100% for placement day attendance.

Start date: September 2020

Location: De Montfort University, Leicester UK

Fees and funding: For 2020/21 tuition fees will be £9,250

Find out more about tuition fees and available funding.

Our dedicated DMU Global High Flyers Award offers ambitious students a discount of up to £1,000 towards a DMU Global opportunity (terms and conditions apply).

Additional costs: You may incur additional costs for this programme, including the cost of travelling to and from project/placement locations.

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Key facts for international students

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: L502

Duration: Three years full-time
There is an attendance requirement of 70% for university-based teaching and learning sessions and 100% for placement day attendance.

Start date: September 2020

Location: De Montfort University, Leicester UK.

Fees and funding: £13,750 

Additional costs: You may incur additional costs for this programme, including the cost of travelling to and from project/placement locations.

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Entry criteria


  • Five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English
  • We will consider applicants with Key Skills or Functional Skills in Adult Literacy/Adult Numeracy at level 2 as an alternative to GCSE Maths and English.

Plus one of the following:

A levels

  • A minimum of 120 points from at least two A levels


  • BTEC National Diploma - Distinction/Distinction/Merit
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - with Distinction/Distinction/Merit

International Baccalaureate: 30+

Access course (started before September 2014)

Pass. English and Maths GCSE equivalency of 12 level two credits in each subject required.

Access to HE Diploma (started after September 2014)

Pass Access qualification with GCSE English and Maths at grade C or above. 


Applicants will have an individual and a group interview. Applicants will produce a short written piece of work on the selection day, based on a case study which they are sent prior to the selection day. Demonstration of an example of emotional resilience is required during your individual interview. Professional conduct during the event will also contribute to the decision making regarding an applicant’s application.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check: Yes

You must submit an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure application form before starting the course (if you are overseas you will also need to submit a criminal records certificate from your home country), which needs to be cleared in accordance with DMU’s admissions policy. Contact us for up-to-date information.

Work experience

We require applicants to have achieved 250 hours of relevant work experience (paid or voluntary) in a social care setting prior to the start of the programme. References are required from all work experience providers. The range and types of work experience will be considered in the application process.

You must complete a declaration form and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service application form before starting the course (if you are an international applicant you will also need to submit a criminal record certificate from your home country), which needs to be cleared in accordance with DMU’s admissions policy. Applicants will also be required to complete a health declaration.

English language requirements:

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning (CELL), is available both before and during the course.

Please visit for more information.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments




First Year

  • Preparation for Social Work Practice
  • Introduction to Law, Policy and Procedure
  • Understanding the Life Span (Human growth and development)
  • Introduction to Social Work Theories and Skills in practice

Second Year

  • Practice Placement (70 days)
  • Law for Social Work Practice
  • Research informed practice
  • Social Work Theories, Processes and Skills in Practice
  • Inter-Professional Education (IPE)

Third Year

  • Research Project
  • The Developing Professional Practitioner
  • Professional Judgement and Decision Making
  • Final Practice Placement (100 days)

Social work is a full-time programme and in the first year, you can expect to be in taught sessions on most days. In the second and third years, you will have one to two days of independent study each week.

Teaching and learning approaches include:

  • Individual and group work
  • Shadowing
  • Problem-based learning
  • Lectures
  • Tutorials

While on placements, you will work during the normal hours of your placement agency and may be required to attend placements 5 days per week. 


To ensure students are ready to practice, they are assessed in their first year through a communication exercise with a service user or carer and a shadowing exercise where they will shadow a social worker in their practice with service users and reflect on this experience.

Each module has its own assessment. This will usually include a written assignment. Some modules are also assessed through presentations, phase tests, or other appropriate forms of assessment.

Students undertake a research project in their third year where they have the opportunity to undertake research into an area of interest that is related to social work practice.  

Teaching Contact Hours

Contact hours in a typical week will vary from week to week. . However, typically you will have up to 23 contact hours of teaching and this will break down as:

Personal tutorial/small group teaching: approx. 1 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) some weeks.

Medium group teaching: approx. up to 5  hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week

Large group teaching: approx. up to 20  hours of lectures each week

Personal study: approx. up to 15 timetabled hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs, online activities, etc.

The timetable for each week varies and each week is made up of different activities. 

Our Social Work BA (hons) programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Approval of the programme means that that on successful completion of the programme, students are eligible to apply to register with the HCPC as a qualified social worker. This is subject to change due to the transferring of social work regulation to Social Work England on December 2nd 2019.

Facilities and features

Health and Life Sciences 


Investment of £12 million in Health and Life Sciences has developed our first-class teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate current practice in health and life sciences, including contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories, audiology booths and nursing and midwifery clinical skills suites.

Purpose-built clinical skills areas allow you to apply theory to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff, to ensure that your practical ability in the clinical skills suites is accurate.

Library services

The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and offers a range of print and online resources to support your studies. Many resources and services can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone. We also have space across campus for group or individual work and study, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology available.

Learning zone

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Opportunities and careers

CCJ Graduate


Students have two placements of 70 and 100 days to prepare to be effective practitioners. Placements are located in statutory, voluntary and private agencies such as hospitals, residential care, in fieldwork settings and in a wide range of voluntary sector agencies. Please be aware that the social work placements team identifies placements for students, you will not be able to find or arrange your own placement on this course. Whilst we take student needs and preferences into consideration, you will not be able to choose where your placement is, placement opportunities are allocated based upon learning needs and professional standards.

The range of service user groups you will potentially work alongside include children and young people, adults with mental health needs, older people and people with physical and learning disabilities.

Placements are usually based in Leicestershire or Leicester City, although exceptionally placements may be in a neighbouring area. 

CCJ Policing Graduate

Graduate Careers

Our graduates go on to work in statutory and voluntary agencies with the range of service user groups identified above and also includes:

  • Social work with children and families
  • Child protection
  • Older people
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People who misuse substances and alcohol
  • People with mental health needs

Postgraduate opportunities allow you to continue your professional development, including;

  • Masters in Research (Social Work) MRes
  • Health/Youth and Community Development (with or without Professional Qualification) MA

DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Students on this course have recently undertaken DMU Global trips including summer schools in Turkey, Japan and South Korea, giving students the opportunity to learn alongside students from around the world, study unique modules and explore the cities of Istanbul, Fukuoka and Seoul.


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How to apply

We welcome applications from UK and international students with a wide range of qualifications and experience. We are happy to help guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have. 

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