BSc Social Work
UCAS code: L500
Duration: 4 years
School: Social and Political Science
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
The BSc (Hons) Social Work is accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).
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.
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.
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.
You will study: Working with Risk, Trust and Complexity, and Professional Practice in Social Work 2 (including a 95-day placement). You will also undertake an 8,000-word dissertation.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
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 within 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.
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.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Social work graduates are eligible to work in statutory or voluntary settings within adult services, children and families, or criminal justice sectors. While many of our graduates stay working in Scotland, your professional qualification will allow you to work elsewhere in the UK and in many countries internationally.
Graduates 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, including in major organisations in the third sector, and international aid and humanitarian organisations.
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.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'AAAA - AABB'.)
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: English at grade C and Mathematics at grade C. (Revised 17/5/2019 to reduce the Mathematics grade to C and remove the need for a top-up Mathematics course.)
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at grade C or 4 and Mathematics at grade C or 4. (Revised 17/5/2019 to reduce the Mathematics grade to C or 4 and remove the need for a top-up Mathematics course.)
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at grade 5 and Mathematics at grade 4 or Mathematical Studies at grade 5. (Revised 17/5/2019 to reduce the Mathematics grade to 4/Mathematical Studies to 5 and remove the need for a top-up Mathematics course. Revised 5/6/2019 to include SL English at grade 5).
Fitness to practice
Please consult the HEOPS website for additional fitness to practice guidelines for this programme:
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
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.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB 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 or 4
Level 2 Certificate Grade C
IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
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 or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
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.
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.
All successful applicants must join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme, which will currently cost you £18-£59.
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.