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Social Work

BA (Hons)

Social Workers come to public attention when they play leading roles in contentious and often sensationalised criminal cases, working closely with the legal and medical professions and police forces. Their less visible day-to-day work is, however, fundamental to the operation of successful, just and participative societies.

Our programme offers a range of academic learning and practice placements to prepare you to enter your career with knowledge and confidence.

Why study Social Work at Dundee?

At the University of Dundee we approach social work from a social justice perspective, always aware of issues of human rights and of the disadvantages many people encounter in our society.

Social workers are often involved in complex and sometimes difficult situations. They are also involved in rewarding and meaningful work. At the University of Dundee you will learn the skills to equip you to successfully work with the wide range of social problems encountered in social work settings as well as the skills to engage far more widely with people in all sorts of circumstances.

Our programme draws heavily on the expertise of users of social work services and carers, as well as wider stakeholders such as local authority, voluntary agency and private agency staff. Users of social work inform many aspects of the programme such as assessment and also work alongside lecturers to deepen your understanding of their needs.

Alongside developing knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities, the programme will provide you with an underpinning knowledge about ethical theory and will stimulate discussion and reflection on your own ethics.

There is a strong commitment within the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education to provide you with experience of working with other caring professions. You will be offered a strong inter-professional thread throughout the four years of the degree, including practice learning opportunities within inter-professional settings. The worth of this approach has been formally recognised by the award of a university prize for innovation.

Number One in Scotland

"The Guardian University League table result is great news for the BA (Hons) Social Work programme team. We work extremely hard to provide students with a challenging and engaging curriculum, and to hear that our students are so satisfied with our programme is very rewarding indeed. Our External Examiners are also very positive about the quality of support and feedback given to students, and this is clearly borne out by student opinion. We will endeavour to keep our standards high and will continue to listen to our student body to review and improve the course for many years to come.".
Dr. Jane Fenton, Programme Director

What's so good about Social Work at Dundee?

Practical Experience

Our programme offers a range of Practice Learning Opportunities in various settings and with various service-user groups including children and families, offenders, older adults, people with physical and learning disabilities, people with mental ill health and people who misuse substances. Students often tell us that the learning and experience they gain from practice learning remains with them forever.

"There's a real sense of community between students and lecturers. Studying social work can be quite demanding but rewarding at the same time. The practice placements make it all worthwhile."
Liane McGovern, from Middlesbrough - BA Social Work graduate

Professional Accreditation

This programme is accredited by The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and is recognised by all the UK social work registering bodies.

What is the best thing about your course and why?

"The content is very interesting and it is easy to see how important social work is and how it can be applied in practice. The tutors are very supportive too."
Steve Anderson, BA Social Work graduate

Degree Combinations

  • BA Social Work

Teaching & Assessment

This degree course is based in the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education.

A variety of teaching methods is used throughout the programme and the emphasis is on experience and participation.

How you will be taught

A significant proportion of your learning on the programme will be gained from practice experience. During 'practice learning opportunities' you will work in real settings with real people and real problems. Students relish these opportunities and experience valuable and often transformative learning as a result.

In addition to lectures and seminars, you will be involved in 'Enquiry and Action Learning', role-play, video work and practical exercises on interpersonal and group skills training. The skills of working effectively with others in collaborative practice are also emphasised strongly throughout the degree.

Your learning will be enhanced using the latest techniques in simulated practice and information and communications technology.

What you will study

Honours Degree

An honours degree normally takes four years, full time, you study levels 1-4, as described below.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

Direct entry to Levels 2 and 3 of the programme may be considered where the applicant can provide evidence of the appropriate level of qualifications and experience. This would be discussed at the point of application.

Typical Degree Programme

Level 1

This year introduces you to the fundamentals of your social work training, embedding knowledge, skills and values in relation to reflective and professional practice. You will have an opportunity to learn alongside students from teacher education and community education within a joint module.

There will also be formative practice learning experiences which will give you the opportunity to learn about the community context of social work, the social work role and task and the experience of service users and carers.

  • Reflective Social Work Practice
  • Working Together
  • Formation of Social Work
  • Assessing Human Behaviour in the Social Environment 1
  • Relationship-based Social Work
  • Power, Politics and Practice
Level 2

This year consolidates learning and reflective skills and the theoretical components underpinning contemporary practice, including the legal context of social work and social policy. You will also learn more about the values base in which social work operates and some of the ethical issues facing us in today's society. The joint learning continues with your peers from teacher education and community learning and development and issues of a national and global level are explored.

You will undertake your first assessed period of practice learning in the second semester which will give you a valuable opportunity to link your academic learning to practice, and to develop your practice skills.

  • Reflective and Ethical Practice
  • Social Work Law and Practice
  • Practice Learning 2
  • The Foundations of Policy and Practice
  • Practice Learning 3
Level 3

The third year of the programme gives you an opportunity to develop your knowledge base to encompass more specialist areas of theory and research. This learning has a strong focus on practical application and you will develop a clear and critical understanding of models of social work intervention.

  • Working Together to Achieve Social Justice
  • Models and Methods of Intervention
  • Reading, Understanding and Applying Research
  • Assessing Human Behaviour in the Social Environment 2
Level 4

This year contains your final practice learning opportunity. You will be required to meet the standards required of a qualifying social worker, and will be given opportunities to consider ongoing professional development needs beyond the programme. The year represents the culmination of all your learning on the programme.

  • Reflective Practice 4
  • Professional Practice
  • Practice Learning 4

How you will be assessed

Assessment is predominantly concerned with assignments drawn from coursework which are designed to build your knowledge and skills base progressively and systematically. Social work practice is also assessed on Practice Learning Opportunities, as are the written assignments generated by the experience.

Careers

The Times Good University Guide 2012 rated our social work programme as first out of the seven social work programmes in Scotland for graduates finding graduate level employment and/or further study.

  • We have very strong links to local agency partners who provide us with Practice Learning Opportunities for students.
  • We have a clear focus on looking ahead to finding employment in the final year.
  • We have a reputation for producing good quality graduates.
  • We collaborate closely with our Service Users and Carers group. Service users and carers are involved in the selection of students, in teaching and in many other aspects of the programme.

The current need for qualified social workers means that the vast majority of graduates find attractive posts within a short time of leaving university. You may find that you can secure employment within one of your placement agencies in advance of finishing your studies. Dundee graduates in recent years have risen to the highest professional levels in social work and related agencies.

Since social workers are employed in a wide range of community and group care settings, providing services for most social groups, there is scope to pursue a career in line with your particular interests. The programme provides you with a generic qualification which will allow you to work across all social work contexts.

Postgraduate Study

Some graduates have continued their studies with us at postgraduate level, studying one of a range of social work programmes on offer.

Entry Requirements

The following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Selection Notes

  1. All successful applicants may be interviewed.
  2. A PVG Scheme Disclosure Scotland Criminal Records check will be conducted along with registration with SSSC prior to final acceptance.
  3. Experience of voluntary or paid work in social care or a related field is very desirable.

Courses starting September 2014

Level 1 entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
SQA Higher BBB/BBCC ABB/BBBC
GCE A-Level   AB/CCC
ILC Higher BBBC
IB Diploma 29 points (including 5, 5, 4 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects A literate subject (SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher Level) and
Plus Mathematics at Standard Grade (grade 2), Intermediate 2 (grade C), GCSE (grade B), ILC Ordinary (grade A), IB Subsidiary Level (grade 5)
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country

Other Qualifications

Qualification Grade
SQA A relevant HNC plus a relevant Mathematics qualification
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher with a literate subject at Higher C or above and Mathematics at Standard Grade 2 or Intermediate 2 at B.
SWAP Access Programmes Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Mathematics at Intermediate 2 grade C.
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM
Advanced Diploma Grade C with an ASL A-Level in a literate subject at C and Mathematics at GCSE grade B.
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with CC at A-Level including a literate subject. Mathematics at GCSE grade B.
Relevant Access courses considered individually
All Applicants must meet the minimum Mathematics requirement for the course.
Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.

Advanced Entry (to Levels 2 and 3)

Direct entry to Levels 2 and 3 of the programme may be considered where the applicant can provide evidence of the appropriate level of qualifications and experience. This would be discussed at the point of application.

Courses starting September 2015

Level 1 entry

Qualification Typical Grade
SQA Higher ABB/BBBC
GCE A-Level AB/CCC
ILC Higher BBBC
IB Diploma 29 points (including 5, 5, 4 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects A literate subject (SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher Level) and
Mathematics at Standard Grade (grade 2), Intermediate 2 (grade C), GCSE (grade B), ILC Ordinary (grade A), IB Subsidiary Level (grade 5)
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country

Other Qualifications

Qualification Grade
SQA A relevant HNC
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher with a literate subject at Higher C or above and Mathematics at Standard Grade 2 or Intermediate 2 at B.
SWAP Access Programmes Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Mathematics at Intermediate 2 grade C.
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM
Advanced Diploma Grade C with an ASL A-Level in a literate subject at C and Mathematics at GCSE grade B.
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with CC at A-Level including a literate subject. Mathematics at GCSE grade B.
Relevant Access courses considered individually
All applicants must meet the minimum Mathematics requirement for the course.
Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.

Advanced Entry (to Levels 2 and 3)

Direct entry to Levels 2 and 3 of the programme may be considered where the applicant can provide evidence of the appropriate level of qualifications and experience. This would be discussed at the point of application.

Disability

Further information on literacy/disability

Before taking forward your application for either of the social work courses at the University of Dundee, prospective students should consider the following information:

We are preparing graduate social workers to practise in any social work setting and, as such, there are some competence standards which all graduates must meet. These competence standards are required by the Scottish Social Services Council in relation to the Standards in Social Work Education and students can be supported to achieve them by a range of University services such as Disability Services, Counselling Service, Academic Achievement Teaching Unit, tutor support etc. The final work produced, however, must meet the required competence standards for the course and will be assessed as such.

All reasonable adjustments will be made to enable disabled students to have the same opportunity as their non-disabled peers to meet the required standards.

Examples of key skills/competence standards:

  1. Clear and correct written expression
  2. Ability to cope with a level of stress commensurate with social work practice
  3. Ability to communicate clearly, accurately and precisely

If you have any questions about the level of support you can receive, please contact the following University Services:

English Language Requirement: IELTS minimum overall score of 6.0, with a minimum of 6.0 in the writing component and a minimum of 5.5 in the other 3 components.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

Fees and Funding

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee category Fees for students starting September 2014
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Students from the rest of the UK £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree.
You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.
EU students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Overseas students (non-EU) £10,700 per year of study.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Fee category Scholarships & Bursaries applicable
Scottish students
Students from the rest of the UK
EU students
Overseas students (non-EU)

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

All applications must be made through UCAS

UCAS Codes

Institution Code: D65

Degree UCAS Codes KIS data
BA Social Work
L500
View KIS data for this course

UCAS Application Process


International Applicants

We have information specifically for international applicants on our International website:

Any questions?

If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact:

Home / EU applicants

Undergraduate Admissions
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 384697/ 384029/ 388547 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384697/ 384029/ 388547 (from outside the UK)

Contact Us

International applicants

International Office
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 388 111 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 388 111 (from outside the UK)

Contact Us