Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Social Work

School of Health and Society




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020

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In a nutshell

Our BSc (Hons) in Social Work provides cutting-edge approaches to teaching and learning. By engaging you in a critical and meaningful approach to practice, the course will provide you with the knowledge, values and skills needed to begin to recognise and address some of the most difficult social problems facing individuals, communities and societies today.

This course comprises periods of academic study and practice learning in a social work or social care setting. These practice learning opportunities enable you to safely apply and develop the learning that has been advanced in practice.

The University was ranked 13th in the Guardian University Guide 2020 for Social Work. 

You will:
  • Study at one of the largest and most reputable providers of social work education in the UK
  • Gain experience through placements provide by our partner agencies for experiential learning that may boost employment prospects
  • Learn about leading developments and gain a solid foundation from which you can build practice, wisdom and the ability to work with safety and effectively with others

options available


students accepted

This is for you if...


You want to make a difference to other people's lives


You can see yourself working in challenging but rewarding roles


You have a compassionate and empathetic character

Course details

All about the course

Our approach to social work education reflects the important connections that exist between individuals, families and communities. We are one of the largest providers of social work education in the UK and we are proud of our ability to offer students a broad and solid foundation for professional social work practice and value opportunities for the exchange of ideas and experience with academics, professionals and experts by experience.

Year one

Preparing to study social work

This module provides you with a range of essential study skills which can also be applied to substantive aspects of the study of social work and to the practice of contemporary social work.

Ideological development of social work practice

On this module, you will gain the knowledge and understanding of the current discourses within contemporary social work, exploring the origins of social work practice; the dominant ideologies within current social work practice and explore how these ideologies have influenced the character, organisation and delivery of social work over time.

Understanding international health and social welfare

This module will give you the knowledge and understanding related to the conceptualisation, organisation and practice of health and social welfare inside and outside of the United Kingdom.

The policy context and structure of social work practice

You will be able to understand how contemporary social work is organised, delivered and practiced in the United Kingdom, the location of statutory responsibilities, the role of the third sector in the delivery of social work and the legal, organisation and professional requirement to work in a collaborative manner.

Framework for ethical social work practice

Through this module, you will develop your understanding that social work is an ethical, moral and legal activity set within a statutorily protected professional context. Frameworks of ethical practice will be identified and evaluated to explore the ideological influences.

Introduction to professional social work

You will be introduced to contemporary professional social work practice, thereby ensuring that you have relevant knowledge and understanding in preparation for the Assessment of Fitness to Practice (a requirement of The College of Social Work’s Professional Capabilities Framework).

Year two

Key themes in contemporary social work: working with children and adults

You will develop knowledge and critical understanding of the nature and consequences of the well-established structural division in social work practice between children and adults.

Assessment and Intervention in Social Work

You will develop detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the role and function of assessment and intervention in contemporary social work practice.

Social Work and Individuals Communities and Societies

You will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of social, environmental and political contexts for social work practice and critically analyse the range of theories relating to power and oppression, life stage development as well as themes of attachment, loss, crisis and trauma.

Professional Capabilities 1 - First placement 70 days

The 70 day professional practice placement (first placement) in an audited social work setting, which will provide you with the opportunities to demonstrate through practice, with supervision and support, the knowledge, skills and values set out in The College of Social Work PCF (end of first placement level capabilities) and the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Social Work.

Year three

Developing an Understanding of Social Work Research

You will gain a detailed and systematic understanding and evaluation of social work research and its application to practice. The module will also identify and evaluate a range of research approaches/methodologies.

Developing Critical Professional Social Work Practice

You will be able to consolidate knowledge related to theory and skills developed so far in the programme and develop a systematic understanding of the application in practice of a range of theories and models which inform decision-making and influence methods in social work.

The Practice of Social Work Research

This module will provide you with a detailed and systematic understanding of managing and producing an original research project (either a critical review of literature or small research project), thereby facilitating your understanding of appraising research and relating this to a particular area of service provision.

Professional Capabilities 2 - Final placement 100 days

On this module you will undertake a 100 day professional practice placement (final placement) in an audited social work setting. This will provide you with opportunities to demonstrate through practice the knowledge, skills and values set out in The College of Social Work PCF (Qualifying Social Worker Level Capabilities) and the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Social Work.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


This course has an integrated approach to teaching and learning, focusing on lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as independent learning methods.

You will undertake practice placements as part of the course. These will allow you to gain practical experience of the social work role in working with service users and carers. They will also provide you with the opportunity to explore and relate theory to a practice setting.

The University makes every effort to assist students in finding a placement but is unable to guarantee that a placement opportunity will be available or that students will have access to the placement of their choice. There is a nationally recognised shortage of placements and availability is dependent upon external providers who are able to offer a limited number of placements opportunities. If you are unable to take up a placement opportunity you will need to return any funding that you receive from the Student Loan Company if you are not actively attending the programme. Further guidance is available from the Practice Education Lead, Allison Coleman.


  • Written assignments (50%)
  • Assessment of practice (40%)
  • Poster (5%)
  • One 'open book' exam (5%)

School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real-world impact.

Our courses are informed by the latest research and we work closely with organisations from both the public and private sector to ensure our teaching is at the forefront of practice.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Social workers can expect to work in a wide variety of settings with differing career pathways that can take them to manage small voluntary sector projects or becoming commissioning managers. There are equally exciting careers to be had in the statutory and non-statutory sectors. Social work education also offers a challenging and rewarding career.

You can specialise in either adult or children's social work, providing services which could include:

  • Working with people with mental health problems, learning difficulties or physical difficulties
  • Providing assistance and advice that helps families stay together
  • Providing support to younger people leaving care who are at risk or in trouble with the law
  • Supporting older people to maintain their independence and wellbeing

As a professionally qualified social worker, you will be eligible to work in a variety of environments such as statutory, voluntary, independent or the private sector. You could also be employed by service users and carers.

A taste of what you could become

A children's social worker

An adult social worker

And more...

Career Links

Social work has many links with a wide variety of agencies in the Greater Manchester area. We work with local authorities, not-for-profit agencies and the voluntary sector. We work with over 300 agencies and are involved in collaborative training with our local authority partners.


What you need to know


Due to the nature of the social work profession, we aim to recruit empathic, committed people who have a passion for the welfare of others. If you can see yourself working in challenging and rewarding settings where you know you will make a difference, this will be the right choice for you.

Applicants for the full-time course please apply for this course through UCAS. Applicants for the part-time course please apply directly to the University. For more details contact the Admissions Tutor.

Bursaries may be available for students on years two and three of the full-time programme only.

Candidates who are selected for an interview will be required to attend and complete a written test, group activity and individual interview. Service users, carers and practitioners will be involved in the assessment process.

Acceptance on the course is also subject to satisfactory health and DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance.

Have a look at our top ten tips for preparing for your interview. If you are offered an interview following your application, you will be sent further information about what to expect and what you need to bring with you on the day.


International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 7.0, with no score below 7.0, is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements


Two GCSEs at minimum grade C/ grade 4 in English Language and Mathematics. Level 2 equivalents such as functional or key skills can be accepted

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

120 points 

BTEC National Diploma


Access to HE

120 points

Scottish Highers

120 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

120 points

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 75%

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2019/20 £12,660per year
Part-time 2019/20 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £12960per year
Additional costs

Students will be expected to pay approximately £30 for health clearance from their GP. Please note, the charge for health clearance is at the discretion of your GP and can range from £0 to £120. Health clearance is required in year one of study only. In addition, students may incur other expenses during placements. Costs are approximated based on the current academic year.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

For more information go to International Scholarships.

Social Work Student Bursaries

Funding may be available for social work students. Social Work Bursaries are provided and administered by Student Services, part of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). The number of bursary recipients for both part-time (MA) and full-time courses (BSc and MA) are limited (or ‘capped’). There is no guarantee you will receive a bursary even if your application is accepted and you take up an offer of a place on a social work course.

The number of social work bursaries allocated to each University varies from year to year. It is also important to note that bursaries are linked to a student engaged in a placement. If you are not on a placement you will not be eligible for an NHS bursary. The role of the University is to nominate social work students for bursaries. Thereafter the University must submit your enrolment and attendance information to NHSBSA for you to retain your bursary. Once you have been nominated for a bursary, by the University, the contractual relationship is between you as the student and NHSBSA, and not the University. The capping criteria are different for the BSc and MA degree programmes.

The capping criteria for the BSc Social Work are detailed below (in ranked order).

  • Attendance
  • Progression to level 5
  • Academic results across level 4
  • Subject to any disciplinary matters

NHS bursaries for BSc students are only available in your second and third year of study (and not for your first year of study). 

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Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID L505

Institution S03