Undergraduate study - 2017 entry

BSc Social Work

UCAS code: L500

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Social and Political Science

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences



The BSc (Hons) Social Work is accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

Year 1

You will study the roots of social work and the milestones in the field's development. You will also study social policy and will be able to choose a range of option courses.

Year 2

You will study the policy and legal frameworks of social work and take the course Working and Relating: Developing Your People Skills, plus two option courses of your choice.

You will be required to undertake either paid or voluntary relevant work experience as part of the Working and Relating: Developing Your People Skills course. This experience also acts to inform discussions regarding your progression into honours years, which is based on academic achievement, professional registration and confirmation of your continued interest in social work.

Year 3

You will study courses: Social Work in Communities; Social Work with Individuals and Families; Working with Self and Others: Skills, Theories and Methods; Understanding Care and Control; and Professional Practice in Social Work 1 (including a 70-day placement). A 10-day observational placement takes place towards the end of semester 1.

Year 4

You will study: Working with Risk, Trust and Complexity, and Professional Practice in Social Work 2 (including a 95-day placement) and undertake an 8,000 word dissertation.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme structure (2016/17)

Our facilities

The majority of teaching takes place at facilities located within the University's Central Area. You will also have access to the University's libraries and computer facilities.


Practice placements in years 3 and 4 are full time and are organised by the University. Placements are generally in agencies in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Scottish Borders and Fife.

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and group activities.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by exams, coursework and, in your honours years, by a combination of coursework, groupwork and your performance on your practice placements.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme details (2017/18)

Social work graduates are eligible to work in statutory or voluntary settings within the adult services, children and families, or criminal justice sectors.

They might work in a range of locations such as community-based agencies, prisons or hospitals. Career pathways exist from early practitioner stage through to senior management.

The strong communication and interpersonal skills that you will develop during your programme prepare you for a range of other careers involving working with people.

Some social work graduates also choose to continue with their studies or enter research.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AABB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 37 points (grades 666 at HL).

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6. National 5: English at Grade B and Mathematics at Grade B.
  • A Levels: ABB. GCSEs: English at Grade B and Mathematics at Grade B.
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics at 5 or Mathematical Studies at 6.

Find out more about entry requirements

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 4

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

Scottish Social Services Council

All students must register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) as students of social work.

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KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.

Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Social Work

Additional Costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

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