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BSc (Hons) Social Work

TARIFF: 104 - 128
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

You can also study this course:

As a Social Worker, you’ll interact with some of the most marginalised groups in society, supporting them in overcoming barriers to a fulfilled life. Our BSc (Hons) Social Work degree is focused on the quality of your placements, linking theory to practice and helping you register with a professional body.
A career in Social Work is a rewarding and worthwhile profession, and you can act on the issues that matter to you today by applying to our BSc (Hons) Social Work degree. Gaining a Social Work degree from Buckinghamshire New University is the key to your future success.
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95% of our graduates in work or study after 15 months after graduation, HESA 2022

Embarking on a Social Work degree with BNU was the best decision of my life. I received a high standard of education and guidance from course tutors and other university staff.
Zerbrina Peel
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Open Days

We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.

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Application Guide

For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.   

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Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience.

Why study this subject?

Knowing how to work with someone and overcome the challenges they face in life isn’t easy, but a Social Work degree gives you the insight, skills and understanding to become an effective Social Worker. 

As a Social Worker you’ll be aware of the impact societal issues such as poverty, deprivation and exclusion have on your work. Social Workers aim for positive partnerships with individuals and families and find solutions through understanding and relationship building.

Social Workers campaign tirelessly to improve the quality of life for those around them and those in need. You’ll deal with complex emotional situations and learn to balance care, personal safety, client safety and self-control.

The demand for Social Work is increasing globally, and it affects the most vulnerable. Choosing to gain a degree in Social Work means you’re taking the decision to act now and play a crucial role in our society.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

At Buckinghamshire New University (BNU), you’ll benefit from our strong reputation within the world of Social Work. You’ll be able to work in our high-quality placements to enhance your skillset as well as gain valuable experience throughout your degree.

Many of our graduates have gone on to become employed with their degree placements due to the highly desirable skillset and the relationships they built while studying at BNU. You can work closely with people with lived experience, so you can hear first-hand about the impact you could make on individuals and communities. 

We work with a broad range of partners to offer placements within local authorities, healthcare trusts, and organisations from the voluntary and independent sectors, all of which are within a 25-mile radius of our High Wycombe Campus. We help you focus on the theory in the classroom and then transfer what you’ve learnt to work in the field.

We understand employers want to see working experience, and we are offering you the chance to not only gain that, but also benefit from the insight, research, theories and advanced communication techniques that are an integral part of our highly regarded course at BNU.

Our BSc (Hons) Social Work degree is accredited by Social Work England which means you’ll be eligible to apply for registration as a Social Worker in England as soon as you graduate. Combined with your practice hours, you’ll be in the perfect position to pursue a career in Social Work.

In addition, our lecturers have rich working experience from which to draw on. Our tutors remain up to date with the latest sector changes and many of them lead external forums, discussing and influencing the future of the sector. We also have lecturers who are published authors in the field of Social Work.  

The choice to become a Social Worker shouldn’t be taken lightly. We welcome students who are committed to their future career and determined to make a difference to the lives of others, but most importantly, want to join our community.

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I chose to study at BNU because of a range of different career prospects, high reputation in health and and social care courses and work experience opportunities.
Remi Baganza
Remi Baganza

What facilities can I use?

We’ve invested in a range of state-of-the-art facilities across our campus to support your learning. Many of your hours will be spent in placement gaining the work experience and hours that you need.

The university campus is full of modern lecture theatres and rooms where learning can take place and we are proud of the investment BNU has made in this area in recent years.

In addition our library is open 24/7 and is the perfect place to find the resources you need and a quiet place to study, filled with four floors of books, journals, computer suites and study rooms. Or, if you’d rather work off campus, e-Journals and resources are only a few clicks away using our Virtual Learning Environment.


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Embarking on a Social Work degree with BNU was the best decision of my life. I received a high standard of education and guidance from course tutors and other university staff.
Zerbrina Peel

What will I study?

We recognise how crucial Social Workers are in the community. Our Social Work degree helps you aid people in need across their lifespans, from birth to death. We will prepare you to contribute positively to development at all stages.

In this Social Work degree, you’ll gain the necessary skills that employer’s value, like teamwork, communication, problem solving, analysis and evaluation skills, combined with the essential skills required to become an effective and registered Social Worker with Social Work England.

Transferability of skills forms the underlying benefit of this degree course, and your learning content has been designed to complement learning on placement with learning in the classroom. Academic modules are fully integrated with placement learning to bring context to your placement.

Placement, or practice learning, is an extremely important and significant part of the programme, you will complete a total of 200 practice days, with some of these in the academic environment, to develop your vital social work skills. This is essential to building your understanding of Social Work.

Skill module learning will occur throughout the course in the dedicated skills development sessions and while on placement. This is supported by presentations, courtroom skills, and simulations where service users and carers work with the university to design and present realistic practice scenarios and the development of practice learning portfolios.

As you progress through this Social Work course the focus is on development of the Social Work role and providing input to help your work placement with service user groups – children and families, adults and people living with mental health illnesses. You’ll be required to engage in reflective practice and really identify areas for improvement.

In addition, you will begin to reflect on your role within the workplace and apply the knowledge, skills and values you are learning, engaging with your classmates and discussing, debating and analysing what you are gaining. Knowledge of Social Work policy is an important part of the role and the current government legislation will be explored in depth.

During this Social Work degree, you will be given the chance to gain an academic understanding of the core values, legislation, theory, and psychology that underpins Social Work. This knowledge is best gained through our degree programme and will set you apart from others in the field.

You can gain the ability to transfer your skills to new practice situations and excel within communities, referencing specific journal chapters and articles and seeing their use in real time provide an effective and reflective development strategy for your client. 

The modules you'll study will enable you to have greater self-awareness, which will include your ability to manage your emotions and the emotions of others. Modules will also offer you the opportunity to gain relevant knowledge in theory, law and policy and how to implement this knowledge in practice.

The experiences of people who have Social Work support needs will also be explored and examined, both from a theoretical perspective and a practice perspective, during your placement work. You will cover important topics like Ethics and Values, Society and the role of Social Work and you’ll learn about how Social Work is framed by legislation and policy in England.

My course offers bespoke teaching, good employment prospects and help with personal and professional development. My final year placement has been very challenging and I do not believe I would have made it through without the support of my tutor and the Practice Learning Lead.
Collett Small
Collett Small

How will I be taught and assessed?

A variety of strategies ensure that theoretical concepts are understood and can be related to practice. Students will be required to research and evidence topics before applying it to practice. Assessments are to see if your learning outcomes have been achieved.

Skills learning will occur throughout the course in the dedicated skills development sessions and while on placement. This is supported by presentations, courtroom skills, and simulations where service users and carers work with the university to design and present realistic practice scenarios and the development of practice learning portfolios.

Students must also have undergone an Occupational Health Assessment and achieved clearance, alongside satisfying DBS checks (an admissions requirement).

Assessments are usually carried out through:

  • practice portfolio
  • essays
  • exams
  • presentations.

There are several formative assessment opportunities for learners to receive feed-back on their development before submitting summative work.

Placements Plus

BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Useful information

BSc (Hons) Social Work Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 104 - 128

For this course, you must hold both GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C/4 or above, or equivalent qualifications such as Level 2 Functional Skills in Literacy and Maths.  

UCAS points can be obtained through qualifications such as A Levels, BTEC’s and Access to Higher Education courses in a relevant subject.  

Please list all your qualifications on the application form - you will be asked to provide copies when we receive your application. 

Every application is considered on an individual basis. 

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Selection days

If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to attend a Selection Event. This will include completing a written test to assess your written English ability, a group activity to assess your verbal English ability, and an individual interview. 

Information about health, criminal, employment and personal history will be collected as part of the Selection Event but will not be disclosed to the interview team or used to make a decision about making you an offer. 

If you disclose something that needs further exploration, this will be done separately from the interview process and any offer of a place will be made on a conditional basis, while your circumstances are assessed further. 

All offers are subject to passing the Social Worker Selection Event and you will be informed of the outcome either via UCAS Track or directly by us. 


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Lifespan Development

Society and Social Work

The Context of Social Work

Preparation for Practice

Ethics and Values

Social Policy and Social Work

Developing Social Work Skills for Practice

Advanced Skills for Professional Development L4 20

Year 2 Modules

Social Work Law

Social Work Theory and Processes

Practice Learning 1

Practitioner Researcher

Service User Groups

Advanced Skills for Professional Development L5 5

Year 3 Modules

Practice Learning 2

Organisations, Management and Change

Inter Professional Practice


Advanced Skills for Professional Development L6 5

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£14,250 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects?

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

We’re so proud of our consistently high employability rate for our graduates. We have close and collaborative relationships with a range of Local Authority employers, and many graduates work with them now. We offer a recruitment event in your final year where you’re able to meet with employers to explore the next steps in terms of your first year of newly qualified status. 

Our employer partners are very keen to ensure that they provide opportunities for our successful graduates every year. We also encourage you to start networking in your final year placement, which is often a springboard to future employment. We recognise that your journey to becoming a Social Worker does not simply end with us and we strive to provide a clear path between your education and your new career.  

When you graduate, if you choose not to pursue employment with local authorities, you’ll be eligible to apply for professional registration with Social Work England (SWE) and your degree can also be recognised and accepted in other countries around the world.


Bespoke teaching, good employment prospects, and support with personal and professional development are just a few reasons why I would recommend this course.
Collett Small
Collett Small

Course leader

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