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.


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. 

Successful completion of this degree will allow eligibility to apply for registration with Social Work England as a social worker upon graduation.

Key features

  • 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.
  • Benefit from a high level of involvement of people with lived experience across the programme, including co taught lectures and assessments.
  • 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 two assessed practical social work placements from a wide range of settings across statutory, voluntary and charitable service areas, with children, young people and adults, 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 £4,862 (this is based on the latest NHS guidance so may change for future years).

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  • UK
  • EU/International

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.

Location: De Montfort University, Leicester UK

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

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

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.

Location: De Montfort University, Leicester UK

Fees and funding:

2024/25 tuition fees for international students: £16,250

Find out more about available funding for international students.

Entry criteria


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

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

T Levels

  • Merit

Access to HE Diploma (started after September 2014)

Pass Access qualification overall 120 UCAS tariff.

GCSE English at grade C/4 or above, or an equivalent.

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.

Work experience

Although not essential, some relevant social care experience – paid or voluntary, is desirable and can strengthen your application with us. Work experience will form part of the scoring criteria used at your interview.

Please tell us in your personal statement, and at interview details of the length of time spent gaining relevant social care experience and the type of social care experience you have. You should also clearly demonstrate your motivations and suitability to study and train as a social work practitioner, and how your experience relates to the role. 


Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be invited to attend an interview with a member of the Social Work team, usually in conjunction with a person with lived experience, a practice educator or a local practitioner.

Interviews are currently being conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams. You will receive further guidance about our online interviews along with your invite to interview.

Professional conduct during the interview will contribute to the decision making regarding your application. Applicants must meet the interview threshold score to receive an offer.

Suitability Declaration

You will be required to complete a Suitability Declaration before the interview that also enquires about health conditions. Please note that if we require a form of written medical evidence you will need to pay for this yourself. We may also ask you to attend a suitability assessment meeting.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check

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.

We strongly advise that you opt for the DBS update service as it is possible that future placement providers may request a recent DBS and not one from the start of the programme. If you decide not to opt for this service then you will have to pay for the DBS again if requested by your placement provided – the university will not cover this cost.

You must meet and fulfil all non-academic requirements before 15 July 2024. Failure to meet this deadline may result in your offer being withdrawn.

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. In addition, you will be required to pass both the second and third year placements

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 Social Work England. Approval of the programme means that that on successful completion of the programme, students are eligible to apply to register with Social Work England as a qualified social worker. Social Work regulation transferred to Social Work England on December 2nd 2019.

Facilities and features

Health and Life Sciences facilities

Substantial investment has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you expand 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. 

Recently renovated, the Undercroft offers dedicated break out spaces and study spaces allowing for collaborative and interprofessional learning beyond the classroom.

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including the Virtual Learning Environment, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

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, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team
CCJ Graduate


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. 

During this course, students undertake two placements of 70 and 100 days to prepare to be effective practitioners. Placements are located in a range of public-sector, voluntary and private agencies such as hospitals, residential care and in fieldwork settings. 

You may work alongside a range of service user groups, including 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 occasionally placements may be in a neighbouring area. 

Please be aware that the social work placements team identifies placements for students, and you will not be able to find or arrange your own placement. Whilst we take student needs and preferences into consideration, placement opportunities are allocated based upon learning needs and professional standards.

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

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global 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-based activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges. 

Students on this course have recently attended summer schools in Turkey, Japan and South Korea. These DMU Global trips have given 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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