Social Work - BA (Hons)

Begin your journey to become a social worker who enables positive change in people’s lives. Support diverse groups of people of all ages, and promote human rights and social justice in a worthwhile and challenging career.

Year of entry

Course type

  • Single Honours


Subject area / School

UCAS code

  • L500

Duration of study

  • 3 years

Why study Social Work at Keele University?

Regulated by Social Work England with all core academic staff registered as social workers
Member of the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership
Wide range of social work career specialisms
Part of Keele's exceptional School of Medicine which has an excellent reputation in both education and research
An international profession offering potential global career opportunities
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Social Work England

Social Work England

Our programme is regulated by Social Work England. When you successfully complete this course, you will be eligible to apply to join their register as a qualified social worker.

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Additional opportunities

There are a range of additional opportunities available when studying this course.
Please note, undertaking one may impact upon the availability of another.

Entry requirements

The following section details our typical entry requirements for this course for a range of UK and international qualifications. If you don’t see your qualifications listed, please contact us to find out if we can accept your qualifications. If you don't think you'll meet the entry requirements specified, you may be able to gain entry to this course via a Foundation Year.

Additional information

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)

A compulsory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (Enhanced plus Barring Lists) will need to be completed by anyone accepted on the course before they begin their placements with social work practice providers. Completing placements is mandatory for all students.

The University follows the DBS Code of Practice in these issues and can provide a copy of the Code on request.

Health checks

Whilst there is not a formal health check completed by all candidates, prospective students are required to sign a Declaration of Suitability/Fitness to Practice for Social Work form. Depending on the information supplied by candidates, the programme director may seek clarification on any potential health concerns and this may also require further consultation with your GP or the university’s Occupational Health department.


All prospective candidates need to complete an interview. This will usually be held at the university on the selection day where the candidate will be asked questions by a panel comprising a social work academic, a social work practitioner and a service user. Successful completion of this interview is required to be invited onto the course.

Admissions Tests/Institutions Own Test (IOT)

Candidates for the social work programme will be selected through a two-part process. Initially, the candidate’s application form and personal statement will be read and its suitability assessed. As well as reaching the required academic standards, the candidate’s personal statement should demonstrate a clear understanding of social work and its values. If this is achieved, candidates will then be invited to a selection day, which will include a written task, a group discussion and an individual interview with academic staff, a social work practitioner and a service user (in most cases). Only those deemed competent via this process will be offered a place. Candidates must also complete a written declaration of their suitability to undertake social work training in respect of health status, criminal convictions and other matters.


  • A Level requirement BBC


  • Maths at C (or 4)
  • English Literature or Language at C (or 4)
  • Functional Skills or City & Guilds Adult Literacy and Numeracy at level 2 accepted as an alternative


  • BTEC requirements DMM


  • 29 points


  • Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 112 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 15 L3 credits at Distinction


  • An overall score of 7 is required with no less than 6.5 in each subtest taken in one sitting.

English Language Requirements

All of our courses require an English language qualification or test. For most students, this requirement can be met with a 4 or C in GCSE English. Please see our English Language guidance pages for further details, including English language test information for international students. For those students who require an English language test, this course requires a test from .

Alternative and contextual offers

We're committed to ensuring equality of opportunity to all our applicants with the potential and motivation to succeed, regardless of background. That's why we operate a range of alternative offer schemes with clear eligibility criteria, including contextual offers, offers for those studying within the Keele region, and recognising a range of additional qualifications in your offer.

General information

The entry grades outlined in this section indicate the typical offer which would be made to candidates, along with any subject specific requirements. This is for general information only. Keele University reserves the right to vary offer conditions depending upon a candidate's application.

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Sian Holland Griffiths

"Keele has smaller group sizes, a beautiful campus and the staff are friendly and helpful. If you have a problem, even if it is not university related, you can turn up at their office door, they are happy to help."

Sian, Social Work

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Evie Daniel

"The course layout and placement opportunities were the main reasons why I chose to study at Keele, as they allow for me to develop my skills whilst being supported by the University."

Evie, Social Work

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Studying Social Work at Keele

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Foundation year

Our Foundation Year provides an excellent alternative route to Keele, providing a unique opportunity to better prepare for your chosen degree, and with guaranteed entry onto your undergraduate course once you successfully complete your Foundation Year.

This extra year of study can improve your academic skills, expand your subject knowledge, give you a better understanding of higher education and, perhaps most importantly of all, build your confidence.

Keele University is consistently ranked among the top universities for student satisfaction, and we have over 70 years' experience of teaching a foundation year to students. On the Keele Foundation Year, you'll study on campus, joining our undergraduate community from the outset, with access to all the facilities and support that you'd get as an undergraduate student at Keele.

The information in this Foundation Year section is for UK/Home applicants. Where an international Foundation Year is available, please see the 'Information for international students' tab.

Our Foundation Year  allows you to develop your critical thinking, academic reading, writing, and communication study skills along with subject-specific knowledge and skills. Upon meeting the progression criteria and successfully completing our  foundation year, you will automatically progress into your Keele undergraduate degree with the confidence that you have the skills, and knowledge needed to successfully complete your course.

This Foundation Year is a is a two semester programme which provides a tailored pre-degree programme of study to better prepare you for the BA (Hons) Social Work. For example, in the Academic and Professional Development for Health module you will begin to develop an awareness of professional standards that you will be working to in your degree and professional career. Course content has been developed in collaboration with degree teaching teams, so that by the time you begin Year 1, you will be ready to excel at your studies, as the majority of our Foundation Year students do.

You will gain a greater appreciation of historical and contemporary approaches to health and social care within the UK, considering key health issues and challenges facing health and science services. We will develop your understanding of  the concept of social inclusion, the factors that lead to exclusion and the impact this may have on individuals, families and communities. At the same time, you will develop academic and professional standards, attributes, knowledge, skills and values, both as a current learner and future healthcare worker.

You will develop subject-specific and broad based skills that will be invaluable in your academic career and beyond. You can find out more about our Foundation Year, including information on learning, teaching and assessment methods and further opportunities available to you by visiting our homepage. 

Course Structure

The module details given below are indicative and will give you a good idea of the range of subjects that we teach. We regularly review our teaching to ensure that the modules we offer are up-to-date; therefore, the modules available to study are liable to change.

Semester One Modules

FYO-00273 Foundations of Law  15 credits
FYO-00201 Foundations of Psychology 15 credits
FYO-00263 Foundations of Social Sciences 1 15 credits

Semester Two Modules

FYO-00269 Advancing Social Sciences 30 credits
FYO-00245 Foundations in Health and Society 15 credits

Year long modules (Semesters One and Two)

FYO-00181 Academic and Professional Development 30 credits



Alternative Qualifications

Additional GCSE requirements

86 UCAS points 

Further information

GCSE English Language at grade C (or 4) and Maths at grade C (or 4). Functional Skills level 2 are accepted as equivalent qualifications


Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview.   

How to Apply

UCAS Applications

Visit UCAS for applications. You should apply for Social Work with Foundation Year

UCAS code: L502

Direct Entry Students

If you are already have your qualifications, are not expecting any further results and only wish to apply to Keele, please contact the Admissions Office directly.

The information in this Foundation Year section is for UK/Home applicants. Where an international Foundation Year is available, please see the 'Information for international students' tab.

We also offer a January start for some of our Foundation Year courses. Adopting a blended learning approach, the January start is particularly useful for students wishing to return to education following time out of studying, or who are seeking a flexible approach to their Foundation Year studies. Our January start is available across most of our Science, Humanities, Social Science and Business courses.

Whilst still being a full-time course, our blended delivery model combines live teaching sessions - both online and on-campus - with self-directed study, enabling you to predominantly study at a time that suits your lifestyle. You will benefit from weekly online taught sessions which encourage you to engage with your teachers and peers.

In addition to online study there will be a series of full study days that you will be required to attend throughout each semester. These sessions may include lab-based activities, group work, review of course and assessment materials studied online. They will emphasise opportunities for you to deepen your knowledge and understanding of your chosen route.

Please refer to the September start tab for more information about the entry requirements and what you will study. The modules that you will take on a January start Foundation Year will be similar to those for the September start, but in a slightly different order and pattern.

For more information, including fees, the UCAS code for this course, how to apply, and how you will be taught, please visit our January Start Foundation Year webpage.

Our International Foundation Year is delivered on campus through Keele University International College (KUIC). Find out more about the International Foundation Year options on the KUIC website.

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Discover the Keele difference

Everything’s on your doorstep at Keele, and you’ll soon feel at home and make friends wherever you go.

We help students manage their money and ensure that they receive any funding for which they may be eligible.

Make yourself more employable after graduation by taking advantage of the whole host of additional opportunities.