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Social Work

BA (Hons)

Key features

  • Combined college and placement learning
  • Professional accreditation: HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council)
  • No exams
  • 95% student satisfaction


3 years | September 2019 – June 2022


4 years | September 2019 – June 2023

Placements can extend beyond the stated course end date.

Course validation

Open University

Ruskin College Oxford is approved by The Open University as an appropriate organisation to offer higher education programmes leading to Open University validated awards.

Professional accreditation

HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council)

Delivered at Ruskin College

Dunstan Road
Old Headington
Oxford, OX3 9BZ




This programme is designed to develop your professional skills and knowledge so  that you may achieve a recognised HCPC professional social work qualification. The programme is grounded in practice so that you experience first-hand the contemporary challenges and rapidly changing patterns of social work provision.

Programme detail

People study social work because they want to make a difference. They care for people in need and are determined to try to give a better life to those experiencing abuse, neglect, ill health, poverty or disability. If you have a strong commitment to the empowerment of individuals and communities, and the contribution that social work can make to this through anti-discriminatory practice then this is the programme for you. Listening to and respecting the voices of the users of social work services and implementing the values of social work is central to what you will be taught.

We offer a challenging but supportive learning environment, the programme is taught using a wide range of teaching and learning methods, and all tutors have experience with a range of service users and community groups. The programme is enhanced with small group tutorials and integrated with two placements in the work place. We benefit from a strong partnership with local social work programmes and Oxfordshire County Council, principally via our Oxford Practice Learning Centre. These well-established links enable us to provide high quality student placements. We ensure we actively involve service users and carers  in many aspects of the programme.

Students receive all course information on enrolment, and timetables are available on the first day of the course.

All modules on this course are compulsory.

Level 4 – Full-Time (FT) Year 1, Part-Time (PT) Years 1&2



Assessment, length (percent of credit)


(PT year 1)


2x formative essays, 2-3000w

Essay, 3-3500w (100%)

Law for Social Workers

(PT year 1)


2x workshops for x2 assignments

3x Case studies, 1500w

MODULE HANDBOOK (P8) ALSO HAS: Welfare advice report, 1000w

Applied Psychology, Human Growth, and Development

(PT year 2)


2x formative essays, 2-3000w

Essay, 3-3500w (100%)

Social Policy

(PT year 2)


2x formative essays, 2-3000w

Essay, 3-3500w (100%)

Welfare Rights


Workshop on assignment

Case study, 1000w (100%)

Principles and Practice of Social Work (including Skills Development and Assessed Readiness for Direct Practice)

(PT year 1 & 2)


Presentation (Pass/Fail)

Observation report, 2000w (100%)


Level 5 – FT Year 2, PT Year 3




Placement 1


Portfolio (Pass/Fail)


Research and Social Work


Written assignment (100%)

Principles and Practice of Social Work and Law


Presentation (Pass/Fail)

Project assignment, 5000w (100%)


Level 6 – FT Year 3, PT Year 4




Placement 2


Portfolio (Pass/Fail)




Essay, 10-12000w (100%)

This course uses a range of teaching and learning methods such as working in small groups, presentations, role play and case studies. Full-time students will typically be expected to attend four days a week from 10am to 4pm. If you are a part time student you will be expected to attend College one or two days per week from 10am–4pm. Class sizes are small, with 25 to 30 students in each year group.

You will be required to submit a range of coursework each semester involving essays, presentations and case studies. There are no exams associated with this course. Assessment is through coursework, essays, presentations and case studies. Marked work is returned with feedback within three weeks of submission.

A key component of this course are the block placements in years two and three, in which students are required to adhere to the agency practice times for the duration of 70 days and 100 days respectively.  

Tutors on this course have a wide range of experience drawn from their years of practice in different social work settings and have worked in the areas of Children and Families, Mental Health (Adults and Children), Older People, Disability, Law, Welfare Rights and coordinating student placements.  

On successful completion of the course, students can apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) to be able to practice as social workers.

Student support
We understand that life isn’t always a straight road. Sometimes, financial, personal or social obstacles make it difficult for individuals to take advantage of educational opportunities early on in life. We help those people overcome barriers to learning and provide quality educational experiences to those looking to step onto to a better path.                       

Find out more on our student support.

Please visit our staff webpage to learn about our course tutors.

Students are able to meet with our Student Money Adviser before enrolling on the course to discuss any fees or funding issues. For more information, contact


Home/EU tuition fees are £9,000 per year for full time students. The International fee is £9,000 per year. Part time student fees are £4,500 per year for two year courses and £6,750 per year for four year courses.

Fees are payable to Ruskin College on enrolment. Please note that these fees may be subject to change. Subject to eligibility, most full and part time students will be eligible to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Student Loans Company.

Vist the Fees for Higher Education webpage for more information.


Once offered a place, full-time students can apply for a single study bedroom for the entire academic year. Accommodation for students on site is of a high standard, recently-refurbished and offering study/bedrooms in small blocks on the peaceful, semi-rural campus.

Students who are not resident in college need to budget for transport to the college, and for placement – although we try to ensure placements are as close to residency as possible. Student accommodation costs are: Study Bedroom (standard) £105/week; Study Bedroom (en-suite) £125/week.

All students will need to consider the additional costs of books and stationery items – although much of the reading material that you need will be available in the college library.

Students who take up the optional Work Placement module will be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check prior to commencing their programme. This currently costs £59.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply MORE INFORMATION

Ruskin College is committed to widening participation and has no specific Level 3 academic entry requirements for students to study on its higher education programmes. However, for those applying for this course, it is preferrable that students demonstrate a motivation to return to education by, for example, successfully completing an Access to Higher Education Diploma. Students must demonstrate that they have the ability to benefit from studying the programme and fulfil the learning outcomes of the programme. Students must demonstrate an interest in the field of study they wish to undertake.

  • You must demonstrate commitment to the ethos and vocation of Ruskin College
  • You must demonstrate an interest in the field of study you wish to undertake
  • Selection interviews are conducted as a two-way process in which you can make an informed decision about the suitability of the programme for you.
  • You must attend a selection interview for the course
  • We must receive a satisfactory reference
  • A satisfactory health check
  • You must participate in an induction week, which includes sessions on all aspects of the college.

In addition to these, BA Social Work students must also satisfy the selection criteria specific to the course. These will be assessed on application or at interview:

  • Grade ‘C’ or above at GCSE or Grade 4 and above from 2017 in English, at the time of applying. 
  • Undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.
  • Possess appropriate personal qualities and aptitude to be a social worker.
  • Have work, voluntary, trade union or personal experience relevant to social work.
  • Demonstrate a motivation to return to study, for example, evidence of recent successful completion of an Access to Higher Education Diploma.
  • Non UK Applicants need to undertake the International English Language Testing Systems and  achieve an average of Level 7 over the four components (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking)

Suitability for students taking up study will be assessed on a case by case basis, through a range of exercises including group-work, individual interviews, and individual written tasks.  

All students will be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check prior to commencing their programme in order to fulfil the external work placement modules on the programme.


To make an application, complete our online application form.

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After successful completion of the programme you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Social Work, awarded by the Open University. The majority of our graduates gain social work positions after completing the programme. We also encourage our graduates to pursue postgraduate studies, such as the Graduate Certificate in Practice Educator Professional Standards.

Successful completion of this programme provides eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It is a legal requirement that anyone who wishes to practice using a title protected by the Health and Social Work Profressions Order 2001 is on the HCPC register. For more information, please see the HCPC website at