BA (Hons) Social Work

To liberate. To protect. To support. To work with some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply


How do you tell a seven-year-old she’s going to live with another family? How do you build trust with a teenage boy who keeps running away from home? How do you support a 40-year-old woman with schizophrenia?

As a social worker, you’ll often be in complex and challenging situations but you’ll help to improve lives and bring about social change through working in partnership with individuals, families and communities.

Working within health and social care teams, and with partner agencies, from police to housing services, you will help to promote human rights and social justice. It can be difficult to appreciate the difference social workers make until you’ve experienced social work practice in action – and that’s why you’ll complete placements in your second and third years.

Some of the topics you’ll explore include how to communicate with service users and carers, theories to inform practice and the factors that influence our journeys from pre-birth through to death.

Social work can be difficult and challenging at times and, as well as developing your academic knowledge, we aim to develop your resilience and help you learn ways to manage the situations you’re faced with.

Features and Benefits

  • Approved course- Our course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and, when you graduate, you are eligible to apply for professional registration with the HCPC.

  • Employability- As you graduate, you’ll have the skills you need to practice as a newly qualified social worker across all ages and service user groups.

  • Placement experience- You’ll go on a 70-day placement in year two and a 100-day placement in year three.

  • Specialise your studies- You can focus on a chosen pathway of social work practice in your final year.

“I came to Manchester as a mature student and have really enjoyed doing my social work degree. My experience on both of my placements was excellent and led to me getting a full-time position with the trust I did my second placement with.” Claire Warrender, BA (Hons) Social Work

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

“The training we put on is different to what the students are used to. It is not your average lecture. By the end of the training days, students will really value the importance of being trained by someone with ‘lived experience’ and what they get out of that is a sense of realism of the profession.”

Richard Hawkins, a person with lived experience and someone who has previously accessed support services around mental health and disability.

Career Prospects

From working with homeless teenagers to women experiencing domestic violence to adults with learning disabilities, your career as a social worker could develop in a number of different areas.

You might work in a social services department within a local authority or for an organisation such as the NHS. Or, perhaps you’ll work for a private company, such as in a residential care home, or for a charity. You could also specialise in an area you’re particularly interested in, such as child protection or mental health.

As a graduate, you can apply for professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council, and this allows you to practice as a social worker.

Learn more about graduate careers


of Social Work students said that the course provided them with opportunities to apply what they learnt.

*NSS 2019

Entry requirements

We will interview you as part of your application.

UCAS tariff points/grades required


112-120 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BBC-BBB) or acceptable alternatives e.g. BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma, Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades DMM)

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (e.g. Functional Skills Level 2 in English & Mathematics and Key Skills) may be considered. 

We do not accept Adult Numeracy or Literacy.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject – with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points.

International Baccalaureate points

29 IB Diploma Points

IELTS score required for international students

7.0 with no component below 6.5 taken within two years prior to course start date

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Additional Requirements

Applications which meet our academic entry requirements will be assessed by the following criteria on the Personal Statement:

- The ability to demonstrate a coherent statement of relevant experience.

- Awareness of discrimination as a factor that influences experiences.

- The ability to demonstrate an understanding of what Social Workers do.

An interview is part of the application process.

Further information

Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and Occupational Health assessment will be required prior to enrolment. 

Social Work student wins national award

One of our recent graduates, Louise Watson, won Student Social Worker of the Year at the 2017 awards, thanks to her sensitivity and commitment to helping others. Louise impressed her tutors at Manchester Met from the start of her course and won the award thanks to her ability to build relationships and inspire the confidence of young people in distressing circumstances.

Victoria Stephenson named a finalist at the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2018.

Find out more

Course details

BA (Hons) Social Work focuses on addressing social justice through a combination of research, theory, and practice so that when you graduate you’re a skilled, knowledgeable and capable social work practitioner.

At university, you’ll have days with a mix of lectures, tutorials, and collaborative project work such as group presentations. We focus on problem solving and sample cases throughout the course, and one of the ways we help you to develop analytical skills is through group tasks, where you’ll often work with a person who has experience of using social services.

You’ll explore topics such as how welfare is delivered across society, the psychological factors that impact on communication, how the law protects vulnerable people in society, and the ethical responsibilities of social workers.

In your first year, you’ll normally have a skills day where you’ll be introduced to a range of practitioners (including fostering and mental health), spending 15 minutes with each to explore what a day in their job is really like.

You’ll also have practical skills sessions and workshops, such as how to conduct a pre-birth assessment to determine the risks for an unborn baby, and how to interview families and communicate with children.

You’ll have 30 skills development days, which are spread across all three years of this course. These days prepare you for direct social work practice and are a combination of theoretical and practice-based skill development work, such as case recording and communicating with children.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Social Work, Social Justice and Lived Experiences

An introduction to social work within the context of our understanding of contemporary society and social justice. The unit will also focus on the lived experiences of those who have contact with social workers. 

Strengthening Relationships and Wellbeing

This unit will introduce you to the knowledge and skills required in social work to build and sustain effective relationships and interventions with service users, carers and interdisciplinary professionals. It will also build on and test understanding of human development, behaviour and interaction; and the principles of holistic wellbeing and resilience.  

Society, Welfare and Global Inequalities

This unit will develop and test for a solid understanding of the historical and contemporary context of social work in relation to Global and British models of welfare, theories of power and society, and social and health inequalities. 

Ethical Practice for Professional Social Work

This split delivery unit will support you to develop knowledge and application of values and ethics relating to defined standards of practice, including knowledge of key philosophies, development of professional skills, awareness of inter-disciplinary contexts and readiness for practice.

You’ll complete one practice placement (70 days) in your second year of study.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Law, Rights and Safeguarding

Introduction to Law, policy, rights and interdisciplinary practice required to safeguard adults and children.

ASPIRE 1: Knowledge and Skills in Practice

Placement based unit, including development of practice skills in assessment, analysis, planning, intervention, review and evaluation.

Journeys Through the Life-Course: Social Work Practice and Policy

Exploration of key contemporary issues faced by service users and carers across the child and adult 'journey' through the life course.

Critical Theory for Social Work Practice

A critical introduction to a range of social and psychological theories that underpin and support social work analysis and decision-making.

Applied Skills and Methods for Social Work Practice

This unit will focus on the critical application of skills and methods required by social workers based upon the requirements of employers and reflects the contemporary evidence base for practice. Links will be made to the application of knowledge on the practice placement.

In your third year of study, you’ll have the opportunity to select specialist areas of social work, these might include social work with adults, social work with mental health or social work with children.

You will also have another practice placement (100 days) in your third year.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Applied Social Research and Evaluation for Practice

Understanding and application of principles and methods of social research and evaluation, linking this to direct social work practice and organisational delivery.

Critical and International Perspectives in Social Work

An advanced critical exploration of perspectives; theories, research and contemporary debates within chosen practice pathways.

Applying Law, Safeguarding and Interdisciplinary Practice

The critical application of advanced law and safeguarding in an inter-disciplinary context, recognising the role of social workers as lead professionals for safeguarding. Assessment linked to chosen practice pathway (Adults, Children, mental health).

ASPIRE 2: Knowledge and Skills in Practice

Placement based unit, including advanced practice skills in assessment, analysis, planning, intervention, review and evaluation and professional leadership. 

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A three year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year).

Here is an example of how your study time could be divided:

Year 1: 35% lectures, seminars or similar; 65% independent study
Year 2: 35% lectures, seminars or similar; 25% placement ; 40% independent study
Year 3: 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 35% placement ; 45% independent study

Additional information about this course

Health checks - You will be required to complete an Occupational Health Assessment to ensure that your health does not constitute a barrier to the achievement of the programme learning outcomes or eligibility to apply for registration with the professional body. This will require the completion of a health questionnaire before or during the first few weeks of your course, followed by an occupational health screening appointment if required. Travel costs to appointments (which will be within the Greater Manchester area) will not be covered by the University.

Professional Suitability - You will be required to adhere to professional standards and codes of practice during your studies. Failure to do so may lead to exclusion from the programme on the grounds of professional unsuitability. You will be briefed about the requirements at the start of your studies.

Course specific regulations - Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies require you to achieve results that demonstrate your ability to practise safely. There are therefore some exceptions to the standard University Assessment Regulations, for example limitations on resits and on compensation of failed marks.

Placement options

Placements are available in a diverse range of social work areas.

Department of Social Care and Social Work

Our Department of Social Care and Social Work covers a variety of professional disciplines, working closely with industry employers and experts to deliver courses and placements.

The department involves service users, carers and the wider community in its curriculum, to ensure its students gain a thorough understanding of issues like social exclusion, social justice and how to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, you may choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. You may also need to print your assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop and up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Placement Costs

2 to £12 a day whilst on placement (costs will vary considerably)

You will need to budget for travel costs to your placement which could be up to 80 kilometres from the University. Travel costs to placement will vary considerably depending on where you live, the location of your placement and how you choose to travel. Information on public transport costs within Greater Manchester can be found at You should also budget for car parking whilst on placement.

Professional Costs

0 to £135 depending on your status

DBS Checks - before starting on your course, you must undergo a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check (Enhanced Disclosure). At the time of going to press, you do not have to pay for your first DBS check. If you cannot attend a DBS session at the University before the start of the course, you can use the UK Post Office Document Certification Service, which costs approximately £10.

If you are not a UK citizen, or if you have lived in one country outside the UK for six or more months in the last five years, you must where this is possible obtain a police clearance certificate from the country in which you resided, in addition to the Disclosure and Barring Service check. You must supply a certified translation if the certificate does not automatically include this.

Costs vary and can include fingerprint and translation fees where required. Returning students, who have already had a DBS certificate from Manchester Met and who need a second DBS certificate, for example, due to a suspension of study, are required to pay the DBS fee. Please go to our DBS webpage for more details. At the time of going to press there are no costs related to professional membership. This may change pending a review of the social work regulatory body.

Other Costs



Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

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UCAS code(s)


Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.