Social Work

Course type: Single Honours,
Entry requirements: Read more about entry requirements
Typical offer:BBC
Tuition fees: Read more about tuition fees
Duration and mode of study: 3 years, Full time
Location of study:Keele University campus
Subject Area: Social Work, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Course Overview

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. 

This single honours degree offers a broad but focused approach, embracing the social sciences, ethics and the law as they relate to social work theory and practice. You will explore social issues such as diversity, rights, justice and economic wellbeing. You’ll learn to undertake effective assessments, planning, interventions and reviews, working in a confidential and non-discriminatory manner with individuals, families and communities. You’ll develop skills for promoting independence, providing support, and preventing harm, neglect and abuse. You’ll also develop transferable skills such as teamwork, record keeping, communication and reflective practice. The course includes 170 days of placement in at least two settings. Keele is one of four Social Work Teaching Partnerships in England which provide an enriched practice experience.

Single Honours

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of single honours Social Work. All modules are compulsory and there are no elective modules.

First year

Core modules:

  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Key Concepts in the Social Sciences
  • Foundations of Social Work
  • Introduction to Legal Processes 
  • Inequality and Discrimination
  • Introduction to Social Work with Adults (Law, Policy and Practice) 
  • Introduction to Social Work with Children and Families (Law, Policy and Practice) 

Second year

Core modules:

  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Social Work Theory and Methods 
  • Social Work with Adults (Law; Disability; Mental Health; Inter-professional working; Risk) 
  • Social Work with Children and Families (Law; Disability; Mental Health; Inter-professional working; Risk) 

Third year

Core modules:

  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Social Work Theory and Methods 
  • Social Work Research
  • Applying Social Work Knowledge and Research 

Course workload

This contact time measure is intended to provide you with an indication of the type of activity you are likely to undertake during your programme. The data is compiled based on module choices and learning patterns of students on similar programmes in previous years. Every effort is made to ensure this data is a realistic representation of what you are likely to experience, but changes to programmes, teaching methods and assessment methods mean this data is representative and not specific.

Undergraduate courses at Keele contain an element of module choice; therefore, you will experience a different mix of contact time and assessment types dependent upon your own individual choice of modules. The figures below are an example of activities that you may expect on your chosen course by year/stage of study. Contact time includes scheduled activities such as: lecture, seminar, tutorial, project supervision, demonstration, practical classes and labs, supervised time in labs/workshop, fieldwork and external visits. The figures are based on 1,200 hours of student effort each year for full-time students. 

First year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 28%
  • Guided independent study – 70%
  • Placements - 2%

Second year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 14%
  • Guided independent study – 54%
  • Placements - 32%

Third year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 14%
  • Guided independent study – 44% 
  • Placements - 42% 

Skills and Careers

What will this mean for my future?

Your Social Work degree from Keele will enable you to be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council, which will enable you to practice as a social worker in England. The degree will also open up a range of directly related careers in contexts, some of which may require additional training, such as health, charities, education, local government, probation and the prison service. Other less directly related options include working as a youth worker, careers adviser, community development worker or counsellor.


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Codes and Combinations

Codes and Combinations

Single Honours, Major and Foundation course information

Social Work with Foundation Year: L502 View Unistats for this course

can be combined with:

Full Unistats data is available at (opens new window)

Study abroad

Keele has a well-developed relationship with the University of Lapland in Finland and it is possible for you to visit Lapland and participate in an international social work summer school held in May each year. The Teaching Fellow - Practice Learning has also developed practice exchanges between Lapland and England. At the time of writing, it is only possible for you to attend a practice placement in Lapland for part of your placement period (in order to ensure that you achieve the requirements to apply to register as a qualified social worker upon successful completion of the programme). Other possibilities for short practice placements include Finland, Turkey and Italy.

It may also be possible to apply for Erasmus funding to undertake a year out after completion of the first year of the course and then resume your second year studies. We currently have Erasmus arrangements in Italy, Turkey and Finland.

No additional tuition fees are payable for studying abroad but you do have to bear the costs of travelling to and from your destination university, accommodation, food and personal costs. Depending on the destination you are studying at additional costs may include visas, study permits, residence permits, and compulsory health checks. You should expect the total costs of studying abroad to be greater than if they study in the UK, information is made available from the Global Education Team throughout the process, as costs will vary depending on destination. 


The BA (Hons) Social Work programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and endorsed by The College of Social Work (TCSW). 

Find out more about the course

Our Course Information Documents (CIDs) are designed to give you all of the details you need to make an informed decision about what and where to study.

Single Honours Course Information Document (PDF)