Social Work

BA (Hons)

Key features

  • Industry placement
  • Professional accreditation
  • No exams
  • 60% into employment in Social Work


3 years | October 2017 – June 2020


4 years | October 2017 – June 2021

Placements can extend beyond the stated course end date.

Course validation

Open University

Professional accreditation

HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council)

Delivered at Ruskin College
Dunstan Road
Old Headington
Oxford, OX3 9BZ



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 course 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 are committed to ensuring that you will become a reflective practitioner who will deliver high quality and effective services in a professional and compassionate way.

The course is taught in partnership with other local social work programmes and local authority partners, in particular Oxfordshire County Council, principally via our Oxford Practice Learning Centre. Support for students is provided throughout the programme, including supervision while on placement and our Learning Development.

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%)

Contact: 56

Independent: 144



Law for Social Workers

(PT year 1)


3x formative exercises

2x Case studies, 1500w (50% each)

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

Contact: 25

Independent: 175


Applied Psychology, Human Growth, and Development

(PT year 2)


2x formative essays, 2-3000w

Essay, 3-3500w (100%)

Contact: 51

Independent: 149


Social Policy

(PT year 2)


2x formative essays,


Essay, 3-3500w (100%)

Contact: 48.5

Independent: 151.5


Welfare Rights


Formative assessment

Case study, 1000w (100%)

Contact: 10

Independent: 90


Principles and Practice of Social Work

(PT year 1 & 2)


Presentation (Pass/Fail)

Observation report, 2000w (50%)

Contact: 189

Independent: 11

Observation placement: 5 days


Level 5 – FT Year 2, PT Year 3







Placement 1


Portfolio (100%)


Placement: 70 days

FT – 5 days per week

PT – 3 days per week


Research and Social Work


Written assignment (100%)

Contact: 40

Independent: 160


Principles and Practice of Social Work and Law


Presentation (25%)

Placement analysis, 5000w (75%)

Contact: 90

Independent: 310


Level 6 – FT Year 3, PT Year 4







Placement 2


Portfolio (100%)


Placement: 100 days

FT – 5 days per week

PT – 3 days per week




Essay, 10-12000w (100%)

Contact (supervisions): 5

Independent: 400

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.  

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.


We have a Learning Development office that offers free one-to-one tutorials for support with the following:

  • Individual study support, e.g. essay-writing, reading and note taking, or study confidence
  • English as a foreign language
  • Specific cognitive or physical learning needs, e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, ASC, Paraplegia.

Learning Development tutorials can be face-to-face, over the phone, or via Skype, and run in addition to your subject tutorials. Library and computing staff are also available for support in their specific areas.

Questions to do with the Library are best addressed to the library staff.  Questions to do with Computing are best addressed to the Computing Staff, who are available at different times. 


We offer a free and confidential counselling service to students.

Ruskin College supports counselling as part of this mission. We regard emotional intelligence as an integral aspect of learning, towards which counselling has much to offer. In order to transform society, individuals must first learn to transform themselves. Counselling at Ruskin extends beyond the traditional notion of support for mental health issues, into the realm of personal and professional development.

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 £6,750 per year.

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.


Subject to eligibility, full time students may be eligible to apply for help with their living costs with a Maintenance Grant/Loan. Part time students are not eligible for any financial help with maintenance.


Funding is available from Student Finance England if you live in England (, 0845 300 5090). If you live in other parts of the UK please contact Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland or the Student Award Agency for Scotland. International students will be responsible for the payment of their own tuition fees. Further information on funding can be found here.

The NHS has a limited number of Placement Travel Allowance bursaries for undergraduate Social Work students in their second and third years. See the NHS Social Work Bursaries page 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) £103/week; Study Bedroom (en-suite) £124.50/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. 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 equivalent in Maths and English, at the time of applying. 
  • Undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check prior to commencing their programme in order to fulfil the external work placement modules.
  • 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.


The majority of our graduates gain social work positions after completing the programme. Students often find that employment opportunities arise out of their final placement. We also encourage our graduates to pursue postgraduate studies, such as the Graduate Certificate Practice Educator Professional Standards, offered here at Ruskin College.

After completing their studies in 2016, 13 students (60%) had secured jobs as Social Workers in local authority departments, as Family Support Workers and some working as Support Workers in schools. A number of them had secured jobs upon completion of their final placement.