Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: Social Work

Why choose Social Work at the University of Edinburgh?

  • You will complete full-time practice placements with local agencies and organisations during Years 3 and 4.

  • Our programme is fully accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

  • The qualification you receive is recognised across the UK and internationally, opening up your employment opportunities.

My highlight so far has been meeting the variety of people, not only those studying social work but also those on other degree courses.

Norma Jo Currie Fourth year BSc (Hons) Social Work
Norma Jo Currie Fourth year BSc (Hons) Social Work

Introducing Social Work

The study of social work allows you to develop the knowledge, skills and experience needed to work with vulnerable people:

  • who are encountering difficulties in their personal or family lives
  • whose actions have led to the involvement of statutory services

Social workers carry out sophisticated assessments in relation to issues of care and control, in order to protect the individual and safeguard society. They often work with other services including health, education, housing and the police, and they have a strong interest in human relationships and a commitment to social justice.

Social workers represent society's response to the challenges of:

  • families under stress
  • offending
  • long-term illness
  • mental illness
  • other serious problems

Who is social work for?

Good social work combines an interest in people with a rigorous intellectual attitude and the constant search for better methods of helping, supported by research and development.

It is a profession suited to creative, practical and resourceful individuals who enjoy working with people. You will combine ingenuity and optimism with honesty and realism in the face of the demanding situations which some service users experience.

You should have a stable, well-integrated personality and you must be able to see beyond the immediate issues presented by service users, the general public and policy-makers. You will also require well-developed social and communication skills, and a high degree of empathy.

The work of a social worker is challenging, demanding and rewarding. A high level of personal resilience is required in order to manage the various challenges of this career.

Why Edinburgh?

The University started providing training for social workers in 1918. We are well recognised as a leading institution in social work training.

We seek to meet the demands of a changing profession and contribute to an understanding of, and improvements in, public policy and professional practice.

We have previously played a major role in advising on the future shape of social work services in Scotland, and contributed to reports that led to the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, which remains a core legislative basis for Scottish social work today.

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