Social Work BSc (Hons)
COURSE INFORMATION (2013 ENTRY)
3 years full-timeHealth and Life Sciences
Coach Lane Campus
Social Work is ranked third in the UK - Sunday Times University Guide 2013
Is Social Work for you?
A Social Work qualification can lead to a very rewarding career but it is also a challenging professional discipline. It is helpful for you to consider your knowledge, skills and experience when applying for the course and also to find out about what social work involves as there are a wide range of roles carried out by Social Workers.
The College of Social Work (www.collegeofsocialwork.org/) is the independent professional body for Social Workers in England and states that at the point of entry to University, prospective social work students should demonstrate awareness of the social context for social work practice, awareness of self, ability to develop rapport and the potential to develop relevant knowledge, skills and values through professional training.
The course itself requires students to have a balance of academic ability, practical skills and relevant personal qualities. To help you decide whether you might be a suitable candidate, Northumbria has identified a number of key attributes that we believe candidates must possess. These are:
- Academic aptitude – the potential to successfully study at undergraduate degree level
- Some knowledge of what social work involves along with some understanding of the range of roles and the type of work that a Social Worker may carry out
- Relevant personal or professional experience to become a Social Worker
- Professionally suitable and safe to practice (for example demonstrates maturity and emotional resilience)
- Good interpersonal skills (written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills)
- Motivated by desire to help others and service user focussed.
You can review these attributes and assess if you think you have the right knowledge, experience and attitudes to apply for the course and, if there are any gaps, what you could do to address these. Our social work course is also approved by the regulatory body for the social work profession so we also have to be sure that candidates are of ‘suitable character’ to be admitted on to a social work course and fit for practice as a social work student. This means we you need to supply a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced certificate and be confident you can uphold the standards of conduct, performance and ethics expected as potential registered Social Workers. Please look at the websites of the College of Social Work and the Health and Care Professions Council so that, having considered all this information, you will be in a better position to decide if this is the right course for you.
Studying Social Work at Northumbria
Northumbria’s Social Work courses are rated as one of the top 20 programmes in the UK, according to the 2013 Complete University Guide.
In the National Student Survey (2012) 96% of Social Work students said that staff are good at explaining things, and 95% said staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching.
This three year course is the undergraduate qualification for professional social work. It aims to produce skilled graduates who are able to work in a variety of settings with a wide range of user groups. This up to date and modern curriculum has been designed to meet all the current requirements and recommendations of the College of Social Work and will enable students to develop a range of capabilities common to all kinds of social work intervention. It will equip students with the knowledge, skills and values to work effectively with service users, carers and multi-agency partners. Particular strengths of the course are the quality and range of placements which reflects the strong partnership between the University and the placement providers in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors, and the strong ethos of service user involvement in course delivery enhances the student learning experience. Successful completion of the programme will enable students to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
A key emphasis of the first year is to support students to develop their professional identity and to consider what it means to become a Social Worker. Students will gain a range of skills in effective communication, develop their understanding of the nature and practice of professional social work and consider the perspectives of service users and other professionals.
Students will further develop their critical reflection and analytical skills and their understanding of social work theory, methods and practice. They will have the opportunity to explore a number of contemporary social work issues including diversity, ethics and professional social work leadership. Problem-solving skills related to assessment, planning and intervention will be developed through teaching and learning activities and during an assessed placement of 70 days.
Students will consolidate their understanding and application of social work knowledge, skills and values. They will also develop a deeper understanding of assessment processes and management of risk in those areas of practice that involve working within a statutory framework. They will be supported to develop their conceptual and analytical skills in enquiry and evidence-based practice. Students undertake a 100-day assessed placement and must satisfy the formal requirements for qualifying social work training and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
LEARNING AND TEACHING METHODS
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, group and one-to-one tutorials as well as video recording and the use of electronic resources. Practice is an essential part of your learning and you will spend more than 170 days on placement.
There is a significant amount of directed and independent learning. You are encouraged to plan, manage and review your own personal and professional learning to enable the development of knowledge, skills and values that are essential on a programme leading to a professional award.
The assessment strategy has been carefully chosen to support student centred learning in meeting both the academic learning outcomes of the programme and the professional practice requirements and standards for social work at qualifying level. There are a variety of assessment methods, including written work such as essays and examinations, assessed coursework such as group presentations and reflective accounts as well as practical work such as direct observation of practice and practice portfolios.
This programme meets both the regulatory (Health and Care Professions Council) and professional body (College of Social Work) requirements for qualifying social work training. You must complete all three years of study, and meet all the standards for social work in order to achieve your professional qualification and Honours degree in Social Work. This will then ensure you are eligible to apply for registration as a social worker in England with the HCPC.
Graduates can register as qualified social workers and have excellent employability prospects given their knowledge, skills and values that are relevant to many areas of practice, policy formation and research both locally and nationally.
Our graduates are working as social workers in local authorities with children in need, in family centres, mental health teams and community care projects. Some enter the voluntary and independent sector, working, for example, with organisations for service users with substance or alcohol misuse problems, or with people who are homeless or needing support in other ways. Employment is also available in marginalised communities or in areas such as housing, education and disability
Beyond direct practice, there are opportunities in management, specialist consultancy, training, planning and strategic roles, as well as possibilities for further academic study and research.
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Northumbria University has taken reasonable care to ensure that the information published is accurate at the time of publication. However, the University gives no warranty or representation as to the quality, accuracy or completeness of the information.