Course specification and structure
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UDSOCWOR - BSc Social Work

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Science
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Professions
Subject Area Social Work, Community and Youth
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The BSc (Hons) Social Work course at London Metropolitan University has 5 key themes which seek to reflect the current stakeholder demands and requirements for social work as follows:

 Encouraging service user and carer participation
 Valuing diversity, promoting equality and social justice
 Developing positive relationship–based social work practice
 Promoting research –minded and evidence-based social work practice
 Nurturing emotionally resilient, intelligent and confident practitioners

The course has been designed to meet the requirements of Social Work England Education and Training Standards. The BSc Social Work has been delivered continuously at London Metropolitan University since it was first validated in 2003. We are proud of this tradition and keen to build on this success and enhance our reputation with students, service users, social work practitioners, local and regional employers and other key stakeholders.
The course content is also informed by the Social Work Subject Benchmark Statement as defined by the QAA (2016), which informs essential practice for a Social Worker upon qualification. The overarching standards for Social Workers in England are currently defined within the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) which has been used to develop the curriculum. These nine standards or capabilities are as follows: 1. Professionalism; 2. Values and Ethics; 3. Diversity; 4. Rights and Justice; 5. Knowledge; 6. Critical Reflection 7. Intervention and Skills 8. Contexts and Organisations 9. Professional Leadership. These nine capabilities have been integrated across the BSc Social Work degree curriculum in terms of the content, learning outcomes, learning and teaching strategies and assessment and enhanced learning opportunities. Overall, the course content ensures students are prepared to become resilient, effective and reflective practitioners and who are fit to practise in Social Work. Additionally the course content and each module has been mapped with the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Child and Family Social Work, and the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Social Workers in Adult Services.

All students have access to the wide range of London Metropolitan university student support services which includes:
 Disability and dyslexia support services
 Counselling, Money advice and Accommodation services
 Library and Learning Resources services
 Careers and Employability services
 Student Journey and Student Hub
 Academic Tutors and Academic Mentors
 Student Union

The learning and teaching strategies applied on the course aim to develop and consolidate student’s values, skills and knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of social work. The teaching programme provides the underpinning theoretical and practical basis for learning in the area of social work. Students’ thinking and practical skills are developed through complementary activities including lectures, seminars, workshops, group work, on-line educational resources, tutorials, assignments, preparing for and undertaking practice- based learning to acquire the requisite professional capabilities.

Students undertake a series of taught modules in the key areas of social work. In addition, students undertake two placements of 70 days at level 5 and 100 days at Level 6. Placement modules are undertaken with qualified practice educators and onsite supervision.

Prior to placement students attend pre-placement workshops and during placement students undertake midway reviews and recall days at the university. The placements are designed to enable students to achieve the full range in the 9 domains in the Professional Capabilities framework for Social Work practice. Suitable placements are normally found within the London and south east area. Each placement provides contrasting experiences in terms of adults and children service user groups. At least one placement requires students to undertake statutory and legal interventions consistent with the role of a social work practitioner.

Students are normally placed in different organisational setting in the first and then final placement. Suitable placements are identified and approved by the University and Senior Lecturer and Placements Lead in conjunction with the Placement Co-ordinator and the Placements Office.

The academic teaching team comprises suitably qualified and experienced university staff that are all registered as social workers with the Health and Care Professions Council as set out in the professional requirements for social work education. Students are expected to complement formal teaching with guided VLE learning resources and independent self-directed learning and completion of specified assignments. Students are encouraged to use all the resources and facilities made available by London Metropolitan University and those available within the M25 area under the SCONUL exchange Scheme.

The course also seeks to promote student’s self-awareness and self-management as well as a reflective approach to their learning with a view to the enhancement of their personal and professional development (PDP). Students are encouraged to develop their C.V. and interview skills in preparation for placements and employment through reflecting on their learning from the taught and the placement modules. The portfolio components of the placement modules will support their PDP as they will provide opportunities to evidence fitness to practise and to record achievements.

Course aims

The aims of this course are to:
• Provide students with an integrated programme of study, which is both intellectually stimulating and which enables students to meet the requirements of Social Work England Education and Training Standards.
• Provide students with the underpinning knowledge, skills, values and abilities to work successfully within social work
• Engage students in range of teaching and learning opportunities across the portfolio of modules to develop a systematic and applied understanding of key aspects of social work theory and practice
• Prepare students to become resilient, effective, self-directed learners and reflective practitioners
• Equip students with practical and transferable skills necessary for employment and further research studies

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on systematic understanding of the key aspects of the knowledge base of Social Work, including a coherent and detailed knowledge of some specialist areas in depth.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within Social Work;

2. devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Social Work;

3. describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in Social Work, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;

4. manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to Social Work);

5. apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects;

6. critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem;

7. communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;

8. exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts;

9. undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Module Code



Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmark Statement:
Social Work

Assessment strategy

In line with the London Metropolitan University Assessment policy and regulations all modules have where appropriate both formative and summative elements of assessment. All module assessments are based on enabling the student to achieve the module learning outcomes and encourage student reflection and evaluation.

• Each module within the BSc social work curriculum has specified assessment strategies
• All modules utilise formative assessments throughout their duration to enable students to gauge their progress and obtain early feedback before the summative assessment is required to be submitted.
• The course includes a variety of types of assessments over the duration such as essays, case studies, group presentations, in-class tests, child observation, examinations and a research project. we have experimented with podcasts, blogs and video.
• We have also sought to make use of technology and online resources and integrated this into formative and summative assessment a requirement which means that all students submit essays online using the Turnitin system.
• We recognise that the use of examinations and the Turnitin system enables the team to facilitate the authenticity and reliability of students submissions.
• The inclusion of 30 skills development days across the three years provides additional opportunities for creative formative and summative assessment.
• The team also acknowledge that the overall assessment load on social work courses can be high due to the complexity of practice that needs to be assessed against a range of professional capabilities.
• The course assessment table sets out the volume timing and nature of summative assessments across the three years.
• Each module guide includes the module assessment and marking criteria and all staff seek to work within the university assessment timetable which includes three weeks marking and moderation processes.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course includes two compulsory placement modules. The University makes arrangements for placement interviews for students with suitable local agencies. Placements are currently sourced and approved by the University and Senior Lecturer and Placement Lead in conjunction with the placement Co-ordinator and the Placement Office. Each placement is designed to meet the required 9 domains of the Professional Capability Framework and the KSS for Adults and KSS for Children and Families. The first placement (level 5) currently consists of 70 days with pre-placement workshops and review workshops. The final Placement 2 (level 6) currently consists of 100 days with pre-placement works and review workshops. Students will experience placements in different organisational settings. All placements will be subject to supervision normally by a qualified social work practice educator or equivalent. Students must pass the required modules including the first placement before proceeding to the next year of study.

Course specific regulations

Course Regulatory schedule for Social Work Programmes

This schedule forms a part of the Regulations for all Social Work programmes and should be read alongside the University’s Regulations, which govern courses and the responsibilities of students.


1 All University students are bound from the commencement of their course or from the point of enrolment, by all relevant Regulations, Procedures and policies.

2 Students enrolled on all social work programmes are governed by:

2.1 The University’s Academic Regulations which govern the standards of the University’s awards, the responsibilities of students and the formal roles played by staff in relation to admission to courses and programmes of study, assessment of student’s work and conferment of awards;

2.2 Regulations and Procedures, which govern the conduct of students, in particular, the Regulations applicable to all students in cases of Misconduct – incorporating a Code of Discipline; Fitness to Study; Fitness to Practise Social Work; and,

2.3 Responsibilities placed upon students regarding not only their conduct but also their professional suitability and Fitness to Practise, as set out in the Social Work England Professional Standards. Social Work students are expected to understand and work towards these professional standards in preparation for when they apply for registration. Students should ensure that during the course, including whilst on placement, they do not do anything that contravenes the Professional Standards or the policies and procedures of their placement provider.

2.4 All breaches of the professional standards/codes will be progressed in accordance with the Fitness to Practise Social Work Procedures or other University Regulations or Procedures as appropriate (see 2.2 above).

3 In addition, social work students on the qualifying programmes have specific regulations governing professional practice placements that are also outlined below in paragraphs 9 to 26.

4 It is the responsibility of all students to read the Social Work England Standards and the relevant University Regulations (accessed via the University’s online Student Handbook) to familiarise themselves with all responsibilities and requirements

Issues that may affect a student’s suitability to commence or continue training as a social worker

5 Students must familiarise themselves with the Fitness to Practise Social Work Procedures, which set down the suitability requirements and the process for reporting and investigating any breaches.

6 It is the responsibility of each student to bring to the attention of the Principal Lecturer for Social Work or nominated staff member, in a timely manner any matter including ill health of any kind that could be considered to have a bearing on their continued suitability for social work training. Likewise, students are required to bring to the attention of the Principal Lecturer for Social Work any matter as indicated above that could be considered to have a bearing on the suitability of another social work student

7 Failure to disclose any circumstance or information affecting a student’s suitability occurring prior to entry to the course or subsequent to enrolment shall be deemed a breach of the University’s Code of Discipline and shall be progressed in accordance with the Student Disciplinary procedures (see 5 and 6 above).

Exemptions and credit transfer

8 Students will not normally be exempted from any part of the social work programme, including the transfer of credits acquired by prior certificated learning and experiential learning due the extensive professional standards that must be met and the capabilities embedded across the whole course. For this reason, it is not normally possible to offer credit for prior learning or transfer onto a social work programme from any other programme including social work at another institution.

Please check the latest course handbook for the full course specific regulations

Modules required for interim awards

In order to gain a BSc [Hons] Social Work, the University’s standard progression and award rules apply as outlined in the Academic Regulations except that, in addition to the standard rules, a student must pass the modules below:
- SW5W02 Social Work Practice Learning 1
- SW6W00 Social Work Practice Learning 2

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Reflective learning and developing skills in reflective practice are essential to help students prepare for the Social Work profession.
Students develop reflective learning within each of the taught modules and across the different levels of the course. At Level 4 students, module will be introduced to a range of learning models of reflective learning particularly through the Communications, Skills and Values in Social Work module and they will be encouraged to develop their personal development portfolio to review critically their learning experiences, set their future personal, professional and academic goals and evaluate their progress towards these goals.

During Level 5 studies students will be encouraged to reflect more analytically on their understanding of modules through critical engagement with the module content and through the assessment and feedback process. Students will also continue to address their professional capabilities and build their PDP within their placement portfolios. During Level 6 studies students will consolidate their reflective learning particularly through the research-based module.

The supervisor will initially assist with the clarifying the terms of the research project, establishing a timetable for the research and subsequent meetings, directed background reading as well as report format and writing and statistical analysis.

In preparation for the first placement module students will be introduced to principles and models of reflective practice in terms of professional capabilities required for practice and this approach will run across the placements modules. Students will review their practice, through regular supervision and recordings of practice in the construction of a portfolio. The portfolio will contain examples of work and reflective pieces will demonstrate the students’ professional development.

There will be workshops at each placement module at each level where personal and professional development and employability (negotiating a placement, CV and personal statement building, job application, careers and interview techniques) are specifically developed for all students.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

Full Time (3 Years)

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

This course is accredited by the HCPC.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

The BSc (Hons) Social Work is a professional and academic qualification that equips students to work generically with a variety of people in a range of settings following registration. The course offers excellent opportunities for gaining key skills and understandings in the social work profession. The programme is also excellent preparation for further research or study.

Career opportunities

On completion of your course, you will be eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a social worker. Social work is a protected title and only those registered can work in social work roles.

As the course leads to a generic social work qualification, you will not be limited to any particular field of social work. Our graduates take up posts in a variety of settings and care groups including children and families, adult social care, mental health and working with older people and those with learning disabilities.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg Extended Diploma)
  • GCSE Mathematics and English grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent qualification, eg Functional Skills Maths Level 2 and English Level 2)
  • two references that demonstrate a minimum of 12 weeks previous experience (at the point of application) either in a paid or voluntary capacity of working directly with vulnerable people normally within a social care or health context

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Social Work Extended degree.

You will also be required to have a minimum of 12 weeks previous experience (at the point of application) either in a paid or voluntary capacity of working directly with vulnerable people, normally within a social care or health context. Employer reference/s are required to verify your work experience.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview day where you will present your original qualification certificates, your passport and a completed self-declaration health check. In the interview you will undertake a written test, participate in a group exercise and attend an individual interview.

All offers of places are subject to satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Tier 4 visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. Overseas nationals who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely and EU nationals may be considered for admission but please note that an additional international enhanced DBS check will be required.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
JACS codes L500 (Social Work): 100%
Route code SOCWOR

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SW4002 Human Growth and Development: A Life Course Per... Core 30        
SW4006 Communication, Skills and Values in Social Work Core 30        
SW4007 Assessing, Planning and Professional Ethics Core 30        
SW4008 Social Context for Social Work Core 30        

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SW5050 Law for Social Work Practice Core 15        
SW5052 Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work Core 15 NORTH AUT WED PM
SW5053 Safeguarding Children and Adults Core 15        
SW5056 Inter-Professional Practice Core 15        
SW5W02 Social Work Practice Learning 1 Core 60        

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SW6053 Effective Social Work Practice with Children an... Core 15        
SW6P02 Research Project Core 30        
SW6W00 Social Work Practice Learning 2 Core 75