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Overview Start your career as a social worker on a course which knits together study and practice

UCAS code


Typical offer

BBB (full entry requirements)


3 years full-time

The BA in Social Work at York provides you with the academic knowledge and practical skills you need to become a registered social worker in England. Through a carefully tailored programme of coursework and placements you'll gain the knowledge and skills required for effective practice in this demanding and rewarding profession.

Completing this degree will mean you're eligible to apply for registration as a social worker with the Health & Care Professions Council.

This course is validated by the Health & Care Professions Council.

You'll acquire professional capabilities in nine different domains as you progress towards your degree. These capabilities are defined in the Professional Capability Framework (PCF) for Social Work.

I was really impressed by the diversity of students on my course and how supportive they were of each other. My tutor and the teaching staff were always there for me.
BA Social Work (Graduated 2011)

Course content What you’ll study


This course follows the British Association of Social Workers Professional Capabilities Framework.

Throughout your three years you'll study the three parallel streams that make up the Professional Capabilities Framework:

  1. The Knowledge Stream - what you need to know to be an effective social worker
  2. The Context Stream - understanding the legal, ethical and policy frameworks that shape the practice of social work
  3. The Practice Stream - the skills for professional social work practice.

You'll also undertake two work placements with different social work agencies. Some agencies reimburse travel costs but others don't.

Year 1

In your first year you'll study three required modules that follow the streams in the Professional Capabilities Framework.

  • Practice Stream: Introduction to Practice (40 credits)
  • Knowledge Stream: Knowledge for Social Work (40 credits)
  • Context Stream: Context for Social Work (40 credits)

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Year 2

In your second year you'll continue to study the three steams from the Professional Capabilities Framework. You'll also undertake your first placement which will last for 70 days. This will contribute 60 credits toward your course.

  • Practice Stream: Developing Practice (20 credits)
  • Knowledge Stream: Applying Knowledge for Social Work (20 credits)
  • Context Stream: Expanding the Context (20 credits)

Year 3

As part of your third year you'll undertake your final placement. This will take 100 days and will contribute 60 credits toward your course. You'll also chose a module that will allow you to study a particular branch of social work in more depth.

  • Dissertation and Research Skills (30 credits)
  • Choice of one pathway option (30 credits):
    • Children and Families
    • Youth Social Work
    • Health and Disability
    • Mental Health

Study abroad

Here are some of the many study abroad opportunities you'll find here at the University:

When I visited York it just clicked. The course structure, the variety of modules and the emphasis on group work all appealed to me. In our Ethics and Values and Law modules I've enjoyed learning about the legislation that will govern our role as social workers.
Phil BA Social Work

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

Your lectures, seminars and tutorials will all be delivered by knowledgeable and enthusiastic academic staff who are also experienced practitioners. Guest speakers with specialist expertise, including service users, also contribute towards some modules.

Teaching is delivered through lectures and seminars. Because of the applied nature of social work most of your modules will also include some group work. You will undertake focused and guided reading to develop your own understanding and knowledge and you'll develop professional skills through presentations of your work. Throughout the three years of your degree you'll participate in regular professional development group sessions, developing social work knowledge and skills.

You will be allocated a personal supervisor, a member of teaching staff who will provide support through your three years here. While on placements you will receive specialist support from a practice educator or work-based supervisor who will manage your induction on the placement as well as guide you through your time there.


Most of your modules will be assessed by written assignments and presentations. We'll provide you with feedback on assignments within four weeks of submission. You'll be asked to provide written work or presentations at interim points during modules, and we'll provide feedback on improving your work for the later assessments.

You'll also be assessed on your placements by your practice educator. They'll assess your competence to practice by observing your interaction with services users and by reading your report. They'll also use feedback from services users and your colleagues when assessing your placement.

The NHS Business Services Authority offers bursaries for students studying social work in years 2 and 3 of their degree, subject to eligibility and availability.

One of the most valuable opportunities I had on placement was to work with 'real' service users but in a safe and supportive environment, allowing me to practice my basic social work skills. I feel that I achieved an immense amount on my placement and I am confident that I will be able to use everything I have learned as a solid base for the future.
BA Social Work (Graduated 2015)

Careers Where you’ll go from here

After completing the BA in Social Work you'll be able to register as a social worker in England. Some of our students choose to go on to further study, often progressing to a PhD. We offer an MA in Social Research which bridges the gap between undergraduate and PhD level study.

Career opportunities

As well as registering as social workers graduates from our department go on to work in a range of areas, including:

  • Advocacy and advisory services
  • Child protection
  • Community care management
  • Media, marketing and public relations
  • Research
  • Youth development work

Transferable skills

The BA in Social Work will help you develop a range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, including:

  • Critical analysis
  • Debate
  • Research and evaluation skills
  • Presentation skills.

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS.

Before we offer you a place we'll invite you to an interview. You'll have the chance to learn a little more about our Department as well as look around the campus. We look for applicants who have some understanding of the role of a social worker as well as the motivation to become a social worker.

We welcome applications from people from a range of different backgrounds. If you have a non-traditional educational background and want to know whether you would qualify for entry then please have an informal discussion with our admissions tutors for guidance.

A-levels and GCSEs

A level

  • BBB
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking are accepted


  • Grade C or better in Maths and English (or a recognised equivalent)

Other UK qualifications

Cambridge Pre-U

  • Pass with M2 in three subjects

Access to HE diploma

  • Achieve 30 credits from units awarded Merit or higher

Scottish Highers



  • BTEC National Diploma: DDM
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: DDM

International options

International Baccalaureate

  • 31 points overall

Irish Leaving Certificate


European Baccalaureate

  • 75 per cent average overall

English language

  • IELTS: score of 7.0 overall, with 6.5 or better in each component
  • Pearson: 64 per cent, with 59 or better in each component
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: C
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: A

Other accepted tests and qualifications

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutors if you have any questions