• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

Social work is both rewarding and challenging. You will gain the knowledge and skills that will enable you to begin your career with confidence.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

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


in Scotland and 5th in the UK for Assessment and Feedback, Academic Support and Personal Development
National Student Survey 2016

At the University of Dundee we approach social work from a social justice perspective, within the context of human rights and the disadvantages many people encounter in societies.

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.

Our course draws on the expertise of users of social work services and carers, as well as stakeholders including local authority, voluntary agency and private agency staff. Users of social work inform many aspects of the course and also work alongside lecturers to deepen your understanding of their needs and role in co-producing social services.

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

Inter-professional study

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

Practice learning opportunities

Our course 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 opportunities remains with them forever.

Social work at the University of Dundee is an engaging and stimulating course that offers more than just an academic degree. The balance of practice opportunities and university based modules allows students to transfer the knowledge they have obtained at a gradual and rewarding pace. Ongoing support from all staff throughout this process provides the foundations to allow you to maximise your potential and become a practice ready newly-qualified social worker!

Lee Gallacher
Final Year BA (Hons) Social Work (2016)

Social Work at the University of Dundee was ranked 5th in the UK
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2018
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher BBB/BBCC - ABB/BBBC at Higher including a literate subject, plus mathematics (Standard Grade at 2 or Intermediate 2/National 5 at C) Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
GCE A-Level AB/CCC at A-Level, plus GCSE mathematics at grade B / 6 and GCSE in a literate subject at B / 6 Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) H2H3H3 OR H3H3H3H4>/strong> at Higher Level including a literate subject at H3, plus Ordinary Level mathematics at grade O2 Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 29 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 4 to include a literate subject, plus Standard Level mathematics at grade 5.
A combination of IB Certificate plus other qualifications, such as A-Levels, Advanced Placement Tests or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), will also be considered.
Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Graduate Entry
BTEC A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM plus GCSE mathematics at grade B / 6 Direct entry to Level 2 may be considered where the applicant can provide evidence of appropriate levels of qualifications and experience. This would be discussed at the point of application.
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) A relevant HNC with B in the Graded Unit plus Standard Grade at 2 or Intermediate2/National 5 at C Direct entry to Level 2 may be considered where the applicant can provide evidence of appropriate levels of qualifications and experience. This would be discussed at the point of application.
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. Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
SWAP Access Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Mathematics at Intermediate 2/National 5 grade C. Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Advanced Diploma Grade C with an ASL A-Level in a literate subject at C and Mathematics at GCSE grade B. Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with CC at A-Level including a literate subject. Mathematics at GCSE grade B. Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
European Baccalaureate
Other Qualifications Relevant Access courses are considered individually Direct entry to Level 2 may be considered where the applicant can provide evidence of appropriate levels of qualifications and experience. This would be discussed at the point of application.
Notes All applicants must meet the minimum mathematics requirement for the course

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall6.5
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

 English Language Requirements

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be taught

A significant proportion of your learning on the course 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.

How you will be assessed

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

What you will study

Honours Degree

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

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

Direct entry to Level 2 of the course 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 Course

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 and study one elective module.

There will 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.

  • Working Together
  • Values: Self, Society and the Professions
  • Elective Module
  • Formation of Social Work
  • Power, Politics and Practice
  • Skills for Relationship Building

Level 2

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

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.

  • Social Work Law and Practice
  • Reflective and Ethical Practice
  • Foundations of Policy and Practice
  • Introduction to Practice Learning
  • Practice Learning

Level 3

The third year of the course 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.

  • Reading, Understanding and Applying Research
  • Models and Methods of Intervention
  • Working Together to Achieve Social Justice
  • Assessing Human Behaviour in the Social Environment: A Life Course

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 course. The year represents the culmination of all your learning on the course.

  • Professional Practice
  • Reflective Practice
  • Practice Learning
  • 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.

The current need for qualified social workers means that the vast majority of graduates find employment 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 working both in Scotland, the rest of the UK  and Internationally.

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 course provides you with a generic qualification which will allow you to work across all social work contexts.

Professional Accreditation

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

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2018-19

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2017 entry). Fees for September 2018 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2018.
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £16,450 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code Unistats Data
Apply NowSocial Work BA (Hons)L500