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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • PBNI (Probation Board for Northern Ireland)
  • Women's Aid
  • 5 Health & Social Care Trusts
  • Action for Children
  • Extern
  • Praxis Care
  • Simon Community

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Criminal Justice Worker
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Children's Services Social Worker
  • Family Support Worker
  • Hospital Social Worker
  • Project Worker
  • Residential Social Worker

Overview

This Course provides relevant graduates with the knowledge, skills and values to practice as a professional Social Worker across a range of settings.

Summary

The BSc Honours Degree in Social Work is a professional qualification that meets the requirements of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council. Training to become a social worker involves a mixture of academic study and professional practice learning opportunities for a total of 185 days during the Degree. During Practice Placements (two episodes of 85 days and 100 days) students will work full time alongside social work practitioners and supported and assessed by a Practice Teacher. A range of placement opportunities are provided by a wide range of agency partners from Health and Social Care Trusts and other voluntary and statutory agencies and these providers are integral to the development and delivery of the programme.

The design and delivery of this ‘fast track’ degree programme is premised on the relevant graduate qualities of the applicant in meeting the demands of this accelerated learning programme.

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About this course

In this section

About

The programme is for those who intend to work as professional social workers, and includes a substantial element of practice learning. You will undertake two contrasting practice placements - one of 85 days duration in Year 1, and one of 100 days duration in Year 2. The programme is recognised by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council for purposes of registration as a social worker. It is also recognised internationally, for example, by the Australian Association of Social Workers via their International Qualifications Assessment process.

Although the programme includes underpinning learning in the social sciences, such as social policy, psychology, sociology and law, the focus of the programme is on the development of skills, values and knowledge required for practice. You must successfully complete a preparation for practice learning module (Year 1, Semester I) prior to undertaking supervised practice learning on placement.

Associate awards

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

The Course lasts 2 years with full time attendance on campus for 2 semesters. In the second semester of each year students will normally be on placement with a Social Work Agency.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The 2 year accelerated Social Work course is not open to school leavers. Applicants must be graduates, Second class honours degree in a cognate area.

A relevant degree (second class lower division or higher) is deemed to be an Honours degree, where at least 33% of the programme passed at Honours level comprises one or more of the following: Sociology, Psychology, Social Policy/Social Administration, Law, Teaching, Nursing, Community Work, Youth Work, Early Childhood Studies and other cognate subjects at the discretion of the programme provider.

Applicants who do not have a cognate degree should apply to the three year course.

GCSE

You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent). Please note that we do not accept Essential Skills Application of Number as equivalent to GCSE Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

Our Learning and Teaching Strategy is based on Ulster University’s Corporate Plan, ‘5&50’ which is a Five Year Strategic Plan, Fiftieth Year Strategic Vision (2016-2034) to offer the highest quality learning and student experience. Its overarching aim is to provide students with high quality, challenging and rewarding learning experience that equips students with the knowledge, skills, values and the confidence necessary to demonstrate critical intellectual inquiry, to progress in their career, to adapt to change, and to become responsible global citizens who make meaningful contributions to the Social Work profession. This is achieved through evidence based and research informed curriculum design, continuous quality improvement, student voice and feedback and through meaningful engagement with service users, who actively contribute to teaching and learning on the program.

Exemptions and transferability

As this is a professional course, all modules are compulsory.

Students who do not pass the Preparation for Practice Learning module may transfer to a related academic subject within the Faculty e.g. BSc Hons Health and Social Care Policy, BSc Sociology with Options.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • PBNI (Probation Board for Northern Ireland)
  • Women's Aid
  • 5 Health & Social Care Trusts
  • Action for Children
  • Extern
  • Praxis Care
  • Simon Community

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Criminal Justice Worker
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Children's Services Social Worker
  • Family Support Worker
  • Hospital Social Worker
  • Project Worker
  • Residential Social Worker

Career options

A social work career can lead to employment in a range of diverse settings, such as;

  • Family and childcare
  • Physical disability and learning disability
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Mental health
  • Homelessness
  • Older people
  • Some social workers follow careers in the criminal justice system, education welfare or in adoption and fostering.
  • Within Northern Ireland a wide range of Post Qualifying opportunities at Masters level are available in social work and related disciplines.

Work placement / study abroad

There is an opportunity to participate in Erasmus+ which offers the exciting opportunity of studying in Germany during your course. There are also opportunities to complete a 3-week Summer School in Oslo during the course.

The Diploma in International Academic Studies (module code SWK302). This is a separate and additional award to the degree. Students will be provided with opportunities to reflect upon and assimilate their knowledge learned in the earlier parts of the programme through their work with service users in a foreign country.

Professional recognition

Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)

Accredited by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC).

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Ulster University Public Facing Information 2019-2020 for Applicants

How to Apply for Social Work at Ulster University Relevant Graduate Route, Two Year (L501)

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions Office at Ulster rather than by individual University Faculties. All the information on your application is important and you should ensure that full details are given about qualifications completed or still to be completed. Applicants are advised that having some experience in employment or voluntary work of a social work nature is beneficial but not essential.

Applicants who meet the initial selection criteria are asked to provide a further 600 word personal statement regarding their reasons for wishing to pursue a career in social work and this is assessed. Applicants who are reapplying are encouraged to build upon and update their personal statement. Those who meet the required standard will then be called for interview to assess their suitability for Social Work training. This is a requirement of the professional body i.e. The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC), as set out in its ‘Rules for Approval of Degree in Social Work courses’. The interview is organised on a regional basis enabling applicants to have a single interview for all Northern Ireland Social Work programmes.

Decisions on applicants who have been unsuccessful following academic assessment, in the personal statement or interview will be made on an ongoing basis and notified to the applicant via UCAS. Offers are not made until all applicants who are eligible have been interviewed, normally late April/early May. This is an extremely high demand degree programme and therefore not all applicants deemed suitable for Social Work training will receive an offer. Thresholds vary from year to year. Further details on the ‘Application and Selection Process Timeline’ are outlined in Appendix 1.

Deadline for Applications

All applications submitted by the normal closing date of 15 January (18:00 hours) are given equal consideration. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

All Applicants

In addition to the factors outlined above, applicants for the BSc Hons degree, two-year graduate route must have or be able to achieve a minimum of a Lower Second Class Honours degree in a cognate subject. A relevant degree is deemed to be an Honours degree where at least 33% of the course passed at Honours level comprises one or more of the following: Sociology, Psychology, Social Policy, Social Administration, Law, Teaching, Nursing, Community Work, Youth Work, Early Childhood Studies or other cognate disciplines.

Please Note: Applicants with a Third Class Honours degree will not be considered.

All applicants require GCSE Mathematics minimum Grade C or an equivalent recognised by the University. Essential Skills, Level 2 in Application of Number is not acceptable in lieu of this requirement.

Personal Statement and Academic Reference

The information provided in the personal statement should demonstrate a commitment to social work. The academic reference together with predicted classification are noted but, in the case of BSW degree, are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made.

Applicants in Receipt of an Offer

Applicants who are made an offer are normally invited to an information evening, which is usually held in the May following the publication of offers. The event will be held on the 9 May 2018 for entry in September 2018. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Ulster.

Deferred Entry

Due to the demand for places and the lengthy selection process candidates applying for deferred entry are not considered.

NB: All applications submitted by the normal closing date of 15 January (1800 hours) are given equal consideration. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Finally

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service, giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

APPENDIX 1

BACHELOR OF SOCIAL WORK - APPLICATION TIMELINE

STAGE 1

Following receipt of your UCAS application the admissions team will assess your academic qualifications. If you meet/can meet the academic entry requirements for social work your application will progress to Stage 2.

STAGE 2

A Consent & Declaration letter and pro forma will be sent to you. If you receive a Consent & Declaration letter and pro forma from both Ulster and Queens you must complete each pro forma (tick box) and return to the relevant institution, to the email/ address indicated.

STAGE 3

You will receive an email asking you to provide (type) a 600 word Personal Statement based on three set questions. You will be given two weeks to complete the Personal Statement and to return it to the email address provided. Failure to provide the Personal Statement within the agreed timescale may result in your application being withdrawn.

STAGE 4

If you achieve the required benchmark score in the 600 word Personal Statement you will receive an email inviting you to attend for interview. Interviews run from late February right through to early April.

The interview is a two-part process:

Part One – Case Scenario On attending for interview, applicants will be issued with a short Case Scenario and will be allocated 10 minutes, under supervision, in preparation for their formal interview.

Part Two – Formal Interview The first 2 questions at interview will focus on the Case Scenario.The remaining questions will concentrate on your ability to demonstrate your knowledge of social work, your ability to use your life experience and work experience to make links with social work, and your ability to reflect on yourself and your learning about social work practice.

STAGE 5

Social Work Offers: Following completion of the interview process applicants who pass the ‘suitability interview’ are ranked by interview score. Offers are processed in early May however, not all applicants who are deemed suitable for ‘social work training’ will receive an offer at this stage. This is due to the government quota for social work at both Ulster (including Belfast Met and South West College) and Queen’s. You should note that, if you have applied to both Queen’s and Ulster, it is possible to receive an offer from one institution and not the other.

After the initial round of offers Ulster and Queen’s will email/write to eligible applicants asking if they wish to be retained on a ‘reserve list’ if additional places become available. This may not be until August following receipt of all examination results. You should note that there is no guarantee that additional places will become available. Please note if you are unsuccessful at any of the above stages we will notify you as soon as possible, via UCAS, normally within 10 working days.

Criminal Records Checks and Occupational Health Screening Costs

This course is subject to Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (2003) legislation.Applicants with a firm offer require an Enhanced Access Northern Ireland Criminal Records check due to the nature of social work.This will cost approximately 33 GBP.This Criminal Records check happens in advance of becoming a student and may be repeated prior to two practice learning placements the during the 3-year training cycle.

Occupational Health Screening is required in advance of becoming a student (those with firm offers). Costs associated with this are subject to change but currently are 35 GBP for initial health screening with an additional 50 GBP charge if vaccinations are required.A further Hepatitis B vaccination may be required if a student is allocated a placement in a clinical or hospital setting at an additional cost of 90 GBP.

Registration with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council

Social work students in Northern Ireland are required to register with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC). You will be asked to sign a declaration that you will comply with the NISCC Standards of Conduct for Social work students available at the following link https://niscc.info/storage/resources/new_proof_00000_niscc_social_work_students_border.pdf

As part of the registration process you will be asked to provide information so that NISCC can assess your suitability to train as a social worker. This is known as, ‘fitness to practice’. The purpose of fitness to practise is not to punish potential registrants but to protect the public. Each case is considered separately and on its own merit further information can be accessed at the following link.

https://niscc.info/fitness-to-practise-and-hearings.

Incentive Scheme, Department of Health

Social work students currently receive an incentive scheme. This is a bursary valued at 4000 GBP per year with an additional fund of 500 GBP to assist students with the cost of studying. This scheme remains under review. Please see full details, following the link below.

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/203976/2013sep_dhssps_student_incentive_scheme.pdf

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
£4,160.00

England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:

£9,250.00  Discounts available

International:
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Additional mandatory costs

Criminal Records Checks and Occupational Health Screening Costs

This course is subject to Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (2003) legislation.Applicants with a firm offer require an Enhanced Access Northern Ireland Criminal Records check due to the nature of social work.This will cost approximately 33 GBP.This Criminal Records check happens in advance of becoming a student and may be repeated prior to two practice learning placements the during the 3-year training cycle.

Occupational Health Screening is required in advance of becoming a student (those with firm offers). Costs associated with this are subject to change but currently are 35 GBP for initial health screening with an additional 50 GBP charge if vaccinations are required.A further Hepatitis B vaccination may be required if a student is allocated a placement in a clinical or hospital setting at an additional cost of 90 GBP.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.