This applied course paves the way for you to register and practise as a qualified social worker, reaching out to help people from many different backgrounds to assess and tackle their problems.
- Gain the skills, knowledge and professional qualification you need for one of the most worthwhile careers of all
- Meet high standards: this course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, so you can be confident about the quality of the training you receive
- Build a dynamic portfolio of skills and theories to work with your clients in a variety of settings
- Gain vital experience on practice placements, where you can put theory into practice and increase your confidence on the frontline of social work
- Develop your capacity to work flexibly in multi-agency teams, thanks to our strong focus on inter-professional learning
- Be inspired by our experienced, enthusiastic academic team who put teaching first and are dedicated to your success
- 91.5% of students were in graduate level jobs six months after graduating
If you already hold a degree and are looking to qualify as a social worker, find out more about our MA Social Work.
We prepare you to work as a confident, caring and highly skilled social worker in a variety of settings. This wide-ranging course equips you with the skills, knowledge and theories you need to make a difference from day one in your role.
Join a new generation of social workers
Becoming a social worker will challenge you in ways few other careers ever will. You need resilience and flexibility to manage complex cases, but the rewards are immense as you make a genuine difference to people’s lives.
Your role could involve supporting young people who need protection, homeless children and adults, people with mental health problems, teenagers in care, or people with drug or alcohol dependency.
You will learn how to form effective partnerships with individuals, families and other professionals and will become skilled in assessing, interpreting and addressing people’s individual problems. Our emphasis is on helping you to develop empowering, supportive and focused solutions to those problems.
Gain professional credibility
Because our course is accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), you will be working to the standards set out in the Code of Practice for Social Workers , giving you the ideal preparation for real workplace environments.
When you graduate, you will be able to register with the HCPC to practise as a qualified social worker, as long as you meet the HCPC’s requirements.
Placements to inspire and challenge you
This course features substantial periods of work placement so that you can apply the theory you are learning to practice. You will have 80 days of placement during stage two and 90 days of placement in stage three, all providing you with effective, practical and meaningful experience which will stand you in good stead for your future career.
Thanks to our strong professional partnerships with local and regional employers, we offer opportunities for you to work with adults and children in both voluntary and statutory settings. Our students have, for instance, been placed in local authorities with teams specialising in children and families, adult social care, disabled children and looked after children.
They have also worked with child and adolescent mental health teams in hospitals and have undertaken voluntary sector placements focusing on issues such as housing, substance abuse, sexual abuse and domestic abuse.
Pursue your specialist interests
We offer opportunities for you to undertake projects which match your professional ambitions and personal interests. The Independent Study module provides a chance for you to explore a particular theme in depth and our students have produced thought-provoking research into a wide range of topics.
Recent examples have seen them investigate how dementia patients are institutionalised and marginalised in the UK; how social workers can effectively intervene with sibling sexual abuse; how mental illness can affect personal relationships; and the impact parental alcohol dependency can have on adolescents.
Support from our expert team
You’ll be taught by a supportive, enthusiastic and inspiring team, all of whom are qualified social workers. They offer a wealth of professional experience, sharing practical insights which will keep your learning up to date and relevant.
Their experience spans all aspects of social work, including areas such as loss and grief, poverty, inequality, housing and homelessness, learning and physical disabilities, social exclusion and mental health. In some cases, they combine their teaching with continuing social work caseloads and roles with leading professional bodies such as the Care Quality Commission.
A dynamic learning experience
We are committed to enriching your learning, offering a range of activities such as guest lectures by leading professionals, visits to various workplace settings and work shadowing opportunities which form part of our Skills Days.
Among new initiatives on the course, we have launched a scheme where students from the second and third stages of the degree act as mentors to first year students.
Working together to learn from each other
Successful social work professionals have to be adaptable, versatile and prepared to work in multi-agency teams. You will therefore have opportunities to learn with, and from, students from other disciplines through our Inter-Professional Learning agenda.
This is important in preparing you to work alongside other professionals after graduation so that you can achieve positive outcomes for clients. We adopt this approach right from the start of your course, where you will attend a major conference with other new Health and Social Care students representing courses ranging from nursing to counselling.
In tune with latest developments
We’re proud to say that our courses are closely mapped against the needs of health and social care employers which ensures that our curriculum is always up to date and relevant.
We respond to national developments such as latest government policies and, as a result, some of the information about our courses may change.
You'll study modules such as:
- Social Work Law and Policy
- Communication Skills
- Attitudes and Values
- Preparation for Practice Learning
- Applied Sociology
- Assessing Risk Need and Vulnerability
- Research Methods for Practice
- Mental Health
- Practice Learning 1
- Human Growth and Development
- Substance Use
- Practice Learning 2
- Independent Study
- Safeguarding Adults
- Protecting and Safeguarding Children and Young People
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
This course is exciting and challenging. You’ll undertake 170 days on placement to gain experience and develop your skills. You’ll be taught in a number of ways, including activity-based group work, lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops. You’ll also complete your own self-directed study.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, presentations, one exam, written reports, assessments, placement portfolios, court experiential learning, role play and professional discussions.
We are constantly introducing new and effective methods of assessment to enrich your learning experience. We have just, for instance, introduced a VIVA approach – which involves a spoken assessment – for two modules.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|IELTS||7.0 (with 6.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||Yes - see interview details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DDM
- Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
- An Occupational Health Assessment and Clearance by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this when required. More information.
An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
Any undergraduate social work bursaries awarded to the University of Derby (by NHSBSA) will be allocated according to the following criteria: performance at an interview during the admissions process; the written test during the admissions process; attendance during year one of the programme; and academic achievement in the Preparation for Practice module. Students must pass the Preparation for Practice module to be considered for a bursary.
Additional costs and optional extras
There is a growing demand for qualified social workers who can excel in a variety of fields, so this course opens doors to an exciting and diverse range of career opportunities.
Your role could involve addressing issues such as child protection, mental health, disability and youth justice or working with vulnerable or older adults. You could work in settings such as hospitals, day centres, social services, residential centres, schools and the voluntary sector.
Once you are a qualified social worker, you'll be expected to continue your professional development so you can keep up to date with current trends in the sector. You could also choose to specialise in particular areas of practice once you have qualified.
Our Skills Days include sessions where we invite our partner agencies to talk about issues such as effective job applications and interview skills. Former students who have secured employment will also share insights and advice with you.
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with help, guidance and support from day one of your course – and for up to three years after you’ve completed your studies.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Included in your fees
- DBS check
- Hepatitis B vaccination
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Students pay the first £5 of your travel to placements, further costs can be claimed back through the University.
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.