BSocial Work (Hons) Social Work
Ruskin College is part of the University of West London group.
Why choose Ruskin College?
We put you first. Our teaching is designed for you: your ambitions and your needs. You will study in a challenging and supportive learning environment with a small learning group approach that really focuses on you.
Ruskin is different: the steps you take will have a knock-on effect. As you improve your life, your community will benefit too. Our mission is not just to educate you but to improve society.
Why study social work?
This exciting course has been developed collaboratively with social workers, educators, academics, practice professionals, experts by experience, and students, to make certain that it is innovative, dynamic, progressive, and contemporary; a course that meets the standards of our professional body, Social Work England.
Throughout your time with us, you will learn how to use your knowledge, skills, and behaviour to deliver effective, evidence-based, and person-centred social work interventions to children, young people, families, and adults. You will also develop academic, analytic, and intellectual skills, that will underpin your critical thinking on a wide spectrum of important issues in social work.
You will engage in activities that will support your exploration of your own strengths, help you build on them, and take responsibility for your own education and professional development as well as providing the scaffolding for you to develop into a robust colleague, scholar, and leader.
We recognise social work both as an art and a social science, requiring an understanding of political, legal, psychological, and social perspectives that are integrated within the course, alongside the development of communication and interpersonal skills, resilience, and emotional intelligence, and the need to facilitate the development of trusting relationships.
Please note that this course is currently subject to approval by Social Work England.
Award: BSocial Work (Hons) degree
Duration: 3 years full-time
Tuition fees: £9,250 per year (UK students)
Location: Ruskin College
The aim of the BSocial Work (Hons) degree is to prepare you to be a compassionate, safe, competent, and confident graduate social worker, who can positively contribute to the wellbeing and best interests of the people you work with. You will possess the knowledge, skills, and behaviours to meet the future challenges of a rapidly changing society and social care system.
Our curriculum reflects contemporary social work provision, influential political drivers, and current societal demands. We recognise social work both as an art and social science, requiring an understanding of political, legal, psychological, and social perspectives that are integrated within the course, alongside the development of communication and interpersonal skills, resilience, and emotional intelligence, and the need to facilitate the development of trusting relationships.
The following core ideologies relating to the role of the social worker underpin our course philosophy: those of service, social justice, community working, dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence.
The overall course content is based on the SWE Professional Standards (SWE 2019).
The course also benefits from:
- a wide variety of teaching strategies
- casework scenarios
- a blended learning approach
- interprofessional collaborative learning (nurses, midwives, paramedics, health promoters, early childhood professionals, police, and a range of other professionals)
- full engagement (and lectures from) service users, experts-by-experience, and carers
A wide variety of authentic assessments relevant to your course are used, including essays, court reports, presentations, group work, podcasts, and portfolios.
Social work placements
Social Work placements are an integral and interrelated part of your course. The theoretical learning undertaken in the taught modules will underpin and enhance your placement learning experience, and your placement learning experience will underpin and enhance your theoretical learning.
During the three-year social work degree, you will undertake a minimum of 170 days of practice placement plus preparatory days:
- in your first year, 30 days in your final module plus five days of residential experience (either via a three-day residential activity or by attending a residential care facility for five days)
- in your second year, you will be assigned a 70-day workplace placement alongside your academic studies
- in your third year, you will follow up with a 100-day placement alongside your academic studies.
Year 1 – Level 4
Developing Professionalism and Resilience for Social Work Practice
This module aims to develop the professional attributes and values required to be a social worker. The focus will be on developing your self-care, resilience, adaptability, and identifying your potential strengths and weaknesses that will impact your professional role.
Ethics and Human Rights for Social Work Practice
This module is broadly divided into two main sections and aims to overview and provide the theoretical, conceptual, and practical foundation to engage in continuous professional ethical behaviour and in a human rights-based approach to social work. The first section focuses on the foundations for ethical reasoning in practice and the second section provides an introduction to the field of human rights, focusing on the core international treaties, the ways in which human rights are applied in practice and advocated for, as well as legal and cultural traditions that underline the complexity of universalism in human rights.
Foundations of Social Work
This module aims to provide an introduction to the wide field of social work and is broadly divided into three sections. The first section offers an overview of the underpinning philosophy, history, and development of social work as a profession. The second section introduces the recent global definition of social work and correlates it with core conceptual frameworks whilst intersecting knowledge, skills and values. The third section provides an overview of traditional and emergent fields of practice and expand to the different professional roles.
Understanding Equality and Diversity for Social Work Practice
This module aims to introduce the concepts and realities of equality and diversity; and raises awareness of equal and diverse issues. Social work professional practice requires practitioners to work with some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised individuals, families, and communities, often at the most difficult points in their lives. This module will inform you of the importance of power and structural inequalities that exist in wider society.
Developing Skills for Effective Social Work Practice
This module aims to incorporate a range of important basic intervention models, interventions and techniques, which are necessary for modern social work practice and communication skills ranging from face-to-face, group work, community and online or electronic communication. You will develop your self-awareness and skills of reflection on your learning and experiences through individual activities and class discussions.
Preparing for Social Work Practice
This module aims to prepare you for the readiness of direct practice. Developing and maintaining your skills relevant to your role as a student social worker. This module also aims to build your self-confidence in demonstrating core communication skills and the ability to build compassionate, professional relationships.
Year 2 – Level 5
Social Work with Children and Young Families
This module aims to explore social work and multiagency practice interventions applicable to working with children and families. You will examine how these are informed by theory, research, and the voices of children and adults. Understanding thresholds and the application of professional judgment underpin best practice models.
Social Work with Adults
This module aims to provide a wide knowledge and comprehension of social work with adult service users and family carers. It incorporates the knowledge and skills statement for social work with adults and explore different dimensions and key concepts of social work with adults, including safeguarding, personalisation, working with learning disabilities, the toxic trio, working with older adults, vulnerability, mental health, and end of life. Strategically delivered alongside Social Policy and Law for Adult Social Care, emphasises the need for professional awareness, responsibility, and accountability in determining and applying key legislation in adult services.
Social Policy and Law for Children and Families
This module aims to offer an interrelated knowledge of law, policy, and social work with children whilst scrutinising and appraising the English legal system. It provides knowledge of the relationship between children and the law, particularly surrounding the issues of criminal law for children and juvenile offenders, and an exploration of the policies intended to support children through childhood in England. Specific policy areas to be discussed include children’s rights, fostering and adoption, criminal law, antisocial behaviour, and mental health, including within that, mental capacity and consent of children and other legal procedures.
Social Policy and Law for Adult Social Care
This module aims to offer an interrelated knowledge of law, policy, and social work with adults whilst scrutinising and appraising the English legal system. It provides knowledge of topics related with development, implementation and evaluation of law and social policy/welfare in the UK, focusing on the correlation with oppressed, underrepresented, and vulnerable groups in the UK. Specific policy areas to be discussed include mental health disabilities, healthcare, child welfare, criminal justice, and the elderly.
Evidence and Research in Social Work Practice
This module aims to provide an understanding and examination of the principles and theory underlying scientific enquiry and the practices of social work/science research. Ethical standards of scientific enquiry are discussed with a particular lens to protecting and promoting the wellbeing of vulnerable and oppressed groups. The module into two major sections. The first section focuses on the evidence-based practice (EBP) process and on the development of associated skills to conduct extensive evaluations of existing evidence to improve practice. In the second section, research from social work and related fields is critically examined and both qualitative and quantitative research designs are reviewed.
Social Work Practice Placement 1
This module will introduce you to Work Based-Supervisors (WBS) and Practice Educators (PE) and will support you during your first practical experience to apply the knowledge and theory gained in your modules as part of your development towards professional registration. You will extend and broaden the skills gained in level 4 (year 1) of your social work course. *This module includes your 70-day placement (70-days is a minimum requirement and can be extended if necessary)
Year 3 – Level 6
Leadership for Social Work Practice
This module aims to offer an overview of the leadership models and skills at the core of social work practice. It expands on leadership attributes and strengths, and infers on supervision, value-driven decisions, power in leadership, management challenges in the social work environment and institutions, the role of mentors and the communities of practice.
Contemporary Social Work Practice
This module aims to focus on examining and discussing contemporary theoretical frameworks to mezzo- and macro- social work practice within organisational, community and political contexts. It will critically analyse the dynamics of risk, oppression, advocacy, and social change locally and globally, within existent and emerging economic, digital, cultural, demographic, and environmental contexts of practice.
Advanced Communication Skills for Social Work Practice
This module aims to revisit the complex scope of communications skills in social work practice (level 4) whilst increasing: (a) the level of exigence in effective oral and formal written communication in working with diverse individuals, families, groups, organisations, communities and colleagues, and (b) stimulate the awareness of the impact when failing to communicate effectively. It invites you to consider wider questions about the place of communication in human affairs and to learn about more specialist practices of communication which will be of direct use to you in the workplace.
Effective Multiagency Working
This module aims to build upon your other modules and placement experiences and emphasises the importance of understanding and evaluating the legal, social, and political context for multiagency working in social work practice. Issues of professional and practical constraints to effectively develop interinstitutional work are considered and different models of partnership are discussed and explored.
Evaluating Quality Social Work Practice (Dissertation)
This module aims to build upon evidence and research in social work practice (level 5) and underpins the final year honours component of the BSocial Work (Hons). It offers support and guidance through scheduled seminars and structured tools/materials and the allocation of a designated supervisor. The supervisor will support you in the planning and execution of a secondary piece of research based on the research proposal developed in the Evidence and Research for Social Work Practice module.
Social Work Practice Placement 2
This module aims to develop your understanding of progression beyond this course into the world of social work. Your Work-Based Supervisors (WBS) and Practice Educators (PE) will support you on placement during this subsequent practical experience to apply knowledge and theory gained in modules as part of your development towards professional registration. You will extend and broaden the knowledge and skills gained in level 5 (year 2) to prepare you in readiness for practice. *This module includes your 100- day placement (100-days is a minimum requirement and can be extended if necessary)
112-120 UCAS points from Level 3 qualifications. These can include:
- A Levels at grade B, B and C, or above
- BTEC Extended Diploma with Distinction, Merit, Merit
- Access to HE Diploma
You also need GCSE English and Maths (grade 9 – 4 / A* – C) or Level 2 equivalents.
You need to attend a selection day, including a written assessment and an individual interview with a panel.
You will also need a satisfactory enhanced DBS and you will have to sign up to the online update system so that your details are regularly updated. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Tuition fees and funding
UK tuition fees: £9,250 per year
The fee above is the cost per year of your course.
If your course runs for two years or more, you will need to pay the fee for each academic year at the start of that year. If your course runs for less than two years, the cost above is for your full course and you will need to pay the full fee upfront.
Government regulation does affect tuition fees and the fees listed for courses starting in the 2023/24 academic year are subject to change.
Study and career progression
Once you graduate you could go on to work in:
- a local authority
- the health sector
- the education sector
- non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
- the private and charitable sectors.
As a newly qualified social worker you will need to undertake an assessed and supported year before being fully registered.
A qualified social worker can study postgraduate qualifications through post-registration study or training and learning. You will also have the option to specialise in wide and various career pathways, settings and roles.
Qualified social workers can train to become practice educators and take on a student in their agency.
How to apply