Social work is about changing lives for the better. 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.
The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of the best in the country for teaching and research.
This programme is regulated by Social Work England (SWE).
You gain a thorough understanding of 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 study partnership working, interventions and skills, research skills and critical and reflective practice.
You’ll complete 20 practice-focused skills days in your second year, as well as a 70-day practice learning placement and five skills development days. Additionally, your final year includes 100 days of practice learning and five skills development days. During these placement periods, you are supported by a practice educator and assessed in accordance with the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
Mature candidates with equivalent qualifications are considered dependent on their qualifications and experience.
Satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and a satisfactory health declaration are required for applicants receiving offers.
In addition to the examination grades set out below, candidates must demonstrate awareness and understanding of the needs of people requiring social care or social work. Paid/voluntary social care experience of dealing with vulnerable groups in society or some personal experience is required. All candidates are assessed against the criteria for entry level of the Professional Capabilities Framework for Social Work.
Applicants being considered will complete a written test and, if satisfactory, will be invited to attend for an individual interview and observed group discussion.
Students will be required to travel to placements by car due to the geography and transport infrastructure of the locality. As part of the admissions process, applicants will be asked to declare that they have a driving licence for the duration of the programme, use of a car and appropriate insurance. This does not apply to students who are not able to drive because of a health condition or impairment.
In certain circumstances it may be possible for a student who has completed a stage of the BA Social Work from another university to be considered for entry to the second year of the degree at Kent. Before considering a transfer, the Admissions Tutor for the BA Social Work will need to be satisfied that the student has met the preceding stage's learning outcomes as required and defined by the University of Kent.
Once this has been accessed and to be considered for direct entry, the student must complete health and criminal offences declarations and also provide evidence that:
A reason for requesting the transfer will also be required and, normally, the student will be invited to an interview with a member of the Social Work team.
English at GCSE grade 4 or above (or equivalent) is essential for all candidates. GCSE equivalence within an Access to Higher Education course is acceptable as a substitute for GCSE or Functional Skills level 2. Although Maths GCSE at 4 or above is preferred, applicants will still be considered if this requirement isn't met.
We welcome applications from applicants with the Access to HE Diploma
Distinction, Distinction, Merit
30 points overall or 15 points at higher level
Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average (plus 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent). Progression is also dependent on entrance tests and interview.
The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.
If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.
Applicants who do not have English as their first language must complete the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) qualification and achieve a score of 7.0 overall and in each subtest.
Duration: 3 years full-time
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:
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.*
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 contact us for further information.
Social Work is an applied degree that links theory to the practical skills required of social workers. 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.
Teaching methods include formal lectures, large and small group discussion and experiential work, and a programme of seminars.
During placement periods, you will be supported by a practice educator and assessed in accordance with the Professional Capabilities Framework.
In addition to the assessed placements, you will be assessed through a mixture of written assignments, in class tests, presentations and video work. Successfully completing Stage 1 also includes satisfying the Board of Examiners that you are safe to undertake the practical component of Stages 2 and 3. This will include completing the Readiness for Direct Practice module.
Social workers are required to be computer literate and you will be expected to develop these skills.
More information about teaching and assessment can be found in the Programme Specification for this degree, available on the University's Course specifications webpage.
Students must also meet the Education and Training Standards stipulated by Social Work England
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Social Work at Kent scored 91% overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.
Social Work at Kent was ranked 2nd for research quality and 15th overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.
Our programmes provide you with knowledge and skills that appeal to employers such as:
Some graduates choose to take on agency supply work to experience a range of situations and workplace settings.
The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research has its own employability team who work with businesses to maximise opportunities for our students. We also hold an Employability Month every February and run networking events throughout the year.
The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:
During your studies, you spend 170 days out on placement. You are supported by a practice educator and assessed in accordance with the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). The PCF was developed by the Social Work Reform Board to set out consistent expectations for social workers throughout their careers.
You graduate with subject-specific knowledge that is essential for a career in social work. You also develop the key transferable skills graduate employers look for, including:
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
Social work is a regulated profession. A qualifying degree in Social Work is a prerequisite for eligibility to apply for professional registration with Social Work England (SWE) as a qualified social worker.
As a social work student, you will be expected to adhere to SWE's Guidance of conduct and ethics for students. As well as regulating individual social workers, SWE also regulates the performance of social work courses, and publishes its reports on its website.
Please note that driving - and having access to a car - are requirements for undertaking a placement in a statutory setting with our local authority partners.
The Partnership Initiative (PI) works to embed service user and carer perspectives, experience and expertise into social work programmes at the University of Kent, including student selection, teaching and assessment and research activities. The PI was set up when the BA Social Work was founded at Kent in 2003 and also works closely with the MA Social Work programme that began in 2013.
The PI’s mission statement is that, ‘PI exists in order that people who use services and carers work collaboratively with staff and students. This is to ensure that the skills and experiences of all are integral to the social work programmes at the University of Kent.’
T: +44 (0)1227 768896
Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.
Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.
Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.