Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Social Work

Change lives for the better and make a difference in the world.

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Course overview

Social work is about changing lives for the better - and this is the core of our teaching at Kent. Our degree has been designed with professional practice in mind, helping you to develop the knowledge and practical skills you need to become a confident, competent social work practitioner.

You'll gain a thorough understanding of the issues and trends in adult services and social care for children and families. You critically examine how to work with individuals experiencing mental distress, and the role of mental health services. You'll also explore partnership working, interventions and skills, research skills and critical and reflective practice. This 360 approach means you graduate ready to step into social work and make a real difference.

The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of the best in the country for teaching and research. Successful graduates of this programme are eligible for professional registration with Social Work England (SWE), the regulatory body for social work, meaning you are ready to jump into a meaningful and successful career in social work. 

Why study Social Work at Kent?

Hear from a Kent Student

"With the knowledge I have acquired in the social work course, I hope to eventually become a clinical psychologist."



Social Work at Kent scored 91% overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.

Funded Social programme

The Kent and Medway Regional Partnership has opened recruitment for 20 aspiring social workers to join the Step Up to Social Work programme in January 2024.  

Enhanced employability.

Our graduates are highly sought-after. 95% of our graduates are in work or further study 15 months after graduating (Discover Uni). 

Teaching partnership

Academic staff on the Social Work team from SSPSSR play an active role in the Kent, Medway and South East Social Work Teaching Partnership.   

Everything you need to know about our Social Work course

Entry requirements

Typical A level offer
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Click below to find out more.

Course structure

Our social work course is designed to help you make rapid progress towards professional registration and your career in social work. In your first year you will cover trends and themes in the sector, giving you a wide base knowledge and context. In your second and third years, you will sharpen your focus, and gain vital, hands on experience with placements, so you are ready to jump into a successful and rewarding career after graduation.

How you'll study

Most staff teaching on the Social Work degree are qualified social workers and all have a varied range of practice, managerial, research and academic experience. Practice experience is an integral part of the course and placements allow you to try out the knowledge and values you have learned in your studies.

Social Work at Kent

Social work is about changing people's lives for the better.

Students and lecturers talk about the benefits of studying Social Work at Kent.

Your future

With recent developments in computing, automation, and artificial intelligence, many of today's jobs will give way to new types of careers and opportunities. This course will develop your critical, analytical, communication and research skills to prepare you for this contemporary, ever-changing world of work, giving you lots of career options when you graduate, and in the years beyond.  

Many of our graduates take their concern with people, society and social justice into their career trajectory and move into roles that allow them to affect real-world impact. Our Social Work graduates are highly sought after and have gone on to work for companies such as: 

  • The NHS
  • Local authority adults' and children's services
  • Charities and other voluntary organisations
  • Private agencies eg fostering agencies
  • Social research
Essential skills
"My work placement has been challenging, but amazing... an invaluable opportunity to gain experience and insight."

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are:


  • UK
  • EU
  • International

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Successful applicants to this programme are required to complete and pay for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (which the University will facilitate), and the update service as required/recommended.

This programme includes a compulsory placement element. Although a government bursary may be available, there may still be costs associated with this aspect of the programme. Please see this document for estimated costs associated with the placement, and contact us for further information.

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is responsible for the administration of social work bursaries. Please refer to the NHSBSA website for the latest available information including the eligibility criteria www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students/825.aspx

Students on Social Work BA programmes are only eligible to receive a bursary during Stages 2 and 3 of their programme. No student receives a bursary at Stage 1.

We do not receive confirmation of the number of bursaries for Stage 2/3 of our BA programme until the Summer Term of Stage 1. There are generally fewer bursaries than students registered. We are obliged to provide the NHS Business Services Authority with a ranked list of students. Students will be ranked according to the following: academic achievement and Stage 1 attendance.

Students who do not receive a bursary, but meet the eligibility criteria, are currently able to apply to the NHSBSA for a Travel Allowance to help with placement-related travel costs.

Undergraduates (including those who receive a bursary) may continue to be eligible for a student loan from Student Finance England, subject to eligibility criteria.

In addition, Kent offers generous financial support schemes to support eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Find out more on our fees and funding page.

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.


We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

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Next steps

Ready to apply?

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.

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