Skip to navigation Skip to content

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

  • Action Mental Health New Horizons
  • Barnardos
  • Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
  • Bryson Charitable Group
  • Extern
  • Firsh Housing
  • Family Intervention Team
  • Western Health & Social Care Trust

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Childrens Service Social Worker
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Family Support Worker
  • Hospital Social Worker
  • Intensive Family Support Worker
  • Project Worker
  • Residential Support Worker

Overview

To provide students with a high quality learning experience to acquire the knowledge, skills and values to obtain gainful employment in social work.

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.

Sign up for course updates

Sign up to receive regular updates, news and information on courses, events and developments at Ulster University.

We’ll not share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Magee campus

Our vision is aligned to the strategic growth plan for the city and region

Watch the video

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 2, and one of 100 days duration in Year 3. 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 II) prior to undertaking supervised practice learning on placement.

Associate awards

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

Three years full-time at Magee campus.

Belfast Metropolitan College / South West College also provide the first two years of the degree, with students transferring to the Magee campus to complete their final year.

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 A Level requirement for this course is BBB.

You may satisfy the requirement for one A Level B grade by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

QCF: Overall BTEC award profile DDM (to include a minimum of 9 distinctions)

RQF: Overall BTEC award profile DDM

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile H3, H3, H3, H3, H3

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points (13 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile 65% in level 3 modules

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.

Additional Entry Requirements

HNC: overall distinction with distinctions in 90 level 4 credits

HND: Overall merit with distinctions in 60 level 5 credits

Ulster Foundation degree: 55% overall average in level 5 modules

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.

Exit Awards are available at the end of year one (Certificate in Applied Social Studies) and year two (Associate Bachelor in Applied Social Studies).

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

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

  • Action Mental Health New Horizons
  • Barnardos
  • Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
  • Bryson Charitable Group
  • Extern
  • Firsh Housing
  • Family Intervention Team
  • Western Health & Social Care Trust

Job roles

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

  • Childrens Service Social Worker
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Family Support Worker
  • Hospital Social Worker
  • Intensive Family Support Worker
  • Project Worker
  • Residential Support 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 voluntary sector, criminal justice system, education welfare or in adoption and fostering.

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 BSc Hons Social Work at Ulster University (L500, L505, L506),

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions Office 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 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.

A-levels

Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels i.e. BBB. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels and is the same standard as for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Combination of A-level plus BTEC Level 3 Qualifications

Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.

NB: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Other Qualifications

Applicants offering other qualifications, such as Edexcel BTEC Extended Diploma and Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, Irish Leaving Certificate, Access Course or an Foundation Degree will also be considered.

Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those applicants taking an Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma qualification. Offers are made on the basis of ‘Successful completion of the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with 120 credits at Distinction and 60 credits at Merits.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Offers are normally based on 5 Highers in the Irish Leaving Certificate i.e. grades H3, H3, H3, H3, H3. If not offered at Higher Level, English and Mathematics are required at Ordinary Level minimum grade 04.

Access Courses

Applications from those offering Access Diploma/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses are welcomed and each is considered individually on its merits. Access Courses are designed for adults who left formal education without the qualifications needed for entry to higher education, who did not progress beyond Level 3 qualifications, e.g. A-levels, and who are returning to study after a significant break (normally a minimum of two years). Where offers are made, these are based on completion of the full qualification, which is normally available on a one-year, full-time or two-years, part-time basis. For last year's entry, the standard set was ‘Successful completion of the Access Course with an average of 70% (Level 3 Units)

Applicants who have progressed beyond A-level (or equivalent Level 3 qualification)

Higher National Certificate (HNC)/Higher National Diploma (HND)

HNC (total of 120 credits) with an overall DISTINCTION to include 90 level 4 credits at Distinction. HND (total of 120 credits) for entry to Year 1 with overall MERIT to include 60 Level 5 credits at Distinction.

Foundation Degree

Applications from those offering a Foundation Degree are welcomed and each is considered individually on its merits. Successful completion of Foundation Degree with an overall mark of 55% in Level 5 modules

Graduates

This course is open to graduates with a minimum of a Lower Second Class Honours degree. Applicants with a Third Class Honours degree will not be considered.

NB: ALL APPLICANTS

All applicants require GCSE Mathematics minimum Grade C or an equivalent qualification acceptable to 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 grades are noted but, in the case of the BSc Hons Social Work degree, are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

Applicants in Receipt of an Offer

Applicants who are made an offer are invited to an information evening, which is usually held in the May following the publication of offers. The date of this event will be communicated in due course. This opportunity will allow you to visit Ulster University at the Magee Campus, to meet staff and to find out more about the degree programme and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Ulster University.

Deferred Entry

Due to the demand for places and the lengthy selection process applicants applying for deferred entry are not considered unless there is evidence of extenuating medical circumstances.

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

Transfers

Because of the intense competition for places to study Social Work and the nature of the course structure, transfers are not considered. However, candidates who commence another course of study may submit a fresh application via UCAS for consideration. All applicants must have the same entry requirements as those applying direct from A-level (or other acceptable qualification) and must have passed any exams taken at University.

Finally

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the Admissions Office at Magee Campus, giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

admissionsmg@ulster.ac.uk

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 via UCAS.

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 mid/late February right through to late 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

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The Eamon McFadden Memorial Prize: First year prize for preparation for practice learning module.

The Excellence in Social Work Practice Award: Awarded in final year to the student who has achieved the highest total score in the all practice based components (placements/practice learning opportunities) within the programme of study.

The Huw Griffiths Working with Service Users Award: Awarded to the student who has achieved the highest mark in the working with service users module.

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.