BA (Hons) Social Work 2022/23

Southwark Campus

Mode: Full-time

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Building relationships

Social work is an exciting, rewarding career which trains you to support people and families through difficult times.  Our BA Social Work will aid you in developing the specialist skills needed to provide assistance and support to a variety of people in society. A combination of formal university teaching and practical real-world placements will provide you with the knowledge, experience and expertise you need to start a successful social work career. You’ll prepare for a vocation helping those on the margins of society and across the spectrum in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and, to some extent, class, with full integration with service users and practitioners from a variety of backgrounds and traditions. There is a strong emphasis on critical reflection and problem solving on this course, which will enable you to navigate the exciting and challenging career of a social worker. Success in this course can lead to registration with Social Work England.

Why Social Work at LSBU?

    Ranked 1st amongst London competitors for Overall Score in Social Work (Complete University Guide 2021).
    Ranked 1st for feedback satisfaction in Health Professions amongst London Modern Competitors (Guardian University Guide 2021).
    Practical experience on two placements, at suitable settings from a variety of social work sectors.
    The course is approved by Social Work England.
    Our industry relevance means we produce reflective social work practitioners ready to practice in the rapidly changing and developing world of social work.


Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
3 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus


Our Social Work programme is inter-professional, collaborative and participatory. We aim to produce reflective social work practitioners who are ready to practice in the rapidly changing and developing world of social work. The course covers communication skills, human growth and development, sociology, ethics, welfare, policy and law, advocacy and partnership, professional practice.

Some compulsory skills sessions may take place in the evening.

Year 1

  • Methods and theories for social work practice
    This first year module introduces key theoretical approaches used in social work to inform practice. A blended learning approach will allow you to develop skills in IT and information literacy.
  • Readiness for direct practice
    This module develops practice skills and awareness of the social work role and responsibilities. It will ensure you are ready for the initial period of direct practice and provide you with a foundation for skills development throughout the programme.  Service users, carers and practitioners will be involved in the development, delivery and assessments of the module. 
  • Human growth and development
    This module explores a range of human growth and development theories across the lifespan. It facilitates understanding of ordinary development and the impact of life events, disability, abuse, mental health problems, and drug/alcohol misuse on development throughout life. You will be assessed on your knowledge of psychological and sociological theories across the life course from infancy to later life. This will include key concepts, e.g. critical periods, transition; change and continuity; strengths, resources and resilience; adversity, vulnerability, risk and accumulation of risk (College of Social Work curriculum guide, 2012). 
  • Sociology for social work
    This module seeks to introduce themes and perspectives which constitute sociological thinking. You will be offered the opportunity of linking these themes to aspects of social work practice. This module examines the purpose of social work in society its role and function it also considers the nature of social problems that social workers may encounter. 
  • Value and ethics in social work
    Focusing on the most complex and contested areas of social work practice, the module introduces and addresses conflicting values by providing you with distinct ethical frameworks to consider these in the context of modern social work practice. 
  • Concepts of interprofessional and collaborative practice
    This module introduces students to the place and value of interprofessional and collaborative working in health and social care delivery. The module aims to support the development of the necessary communication, personal, partnership working and reflective practice skills required to meet the needs of clients/carers and diverse populations who are at the centre of interprofessional health and social care delivery. Students will work collaboratively on-line to explore and develop understanding of the purpose, scope and range of interprofessional and collaborative working.

Year 2

  • Social policy for social work
    This module brings together selected key areas of social policy relevant to social work. There will be a strong emphasis on the use of social policy to illuminate the challenges facing social work in contemporary British society. Using a critical analysis of the impact of neo-liberalism and globalisation the module will be a focus on the dimensions of decision making and practice delivery of policy.
  • Law for social work
    The module introduces students to the key legislative and regulative framework within which social work practice is conducted in England. Students will be familiarised with the basic principles of English law and the systems through which the legal process operates. They will be enabled to develop a sound understanding of the key legislation relevant to professional practice.
  • Communication and collaborative working
    This module explores the values, knowledge and skills required for effective communication, intervention and collaborative working and provides a theoretical context for further skills development in the second year via practice placement and skills days. It builds upon Readiness for Direct Practice in year one. The module enables students to engage with the values and concepts of collaborative working with service users, carers and other professionals and agencies.
  • Appraising evidence for research informed practice
    This module extends students’ understanding of the concept of evidence based practice and research in practice. The module equips students with the core skills and understanding to appraise evidence and assess its appropriateness to be implemented into practice.
  • Practice learning opportunity 1 
    70 days practice learning in practice placement. 

Year 3

  • Social work with children, young people and families
    This module and the module Social Work with Adults are designed to complement one another and enable students to gain a holistic understanding of contemporary social work practice as well as develop their expertise and identity as social workers in working with a range of service users and their families within and across organisational and professional boundaries. The module aims to develop students understanding of and ability to work with the complex issues experienced by children, young people and families using social work services. It will have a particular focus on report writing as a core social work skill.
  • Social work with adults
    This module and the module Social Work with Children are designed to complement one another and enable students to gain an holistic understanding of contemporary social work practice as well as develop their expertise and identity as social workers in working with a range of service users and their families within and across organisational and professional boundaries. The module aims to develop students understanding of and ability to work with the complex issues experienced by adults using social work services. It will have a particular focus on report writing as a core social work skill.
  • Risk, resilience and decision making in social work
    Social workers must make difficult decisions in real life circumstances that often involve limited knowledge, uncertainty, conflicting values, time pressures and powerful emotions. These circumstances can pose a significant challenge to reasoning skills, especially when the cost of errors and poor judgment can be unacceptably high. This module aims to equip students with the intellectual tools and practical skills to understand and assess risk, to make high quality decisions and to remain resilient in challenging practice settings. It will integrate current research findings from the LSBU Risk, Resilience and Expert Decision making (RRED) research group.
  • Social work literature review
    This final year module will enable students to develop a critical understanding and appreciation of research and its relationship to social work. The module provides skills to develop the capacity for autonomous learning and to provide an opportunity to develop applied research skills. Students will develop an understanding of research methodology and be able to evaluate research and disseminate research findings to their practice. Studying this will enable students to develop as research literate social work practitioners and be able to gain the skills and confidence to locate and critically appraise relevant research findings to underpin social work interventions.
  • Practice learning opportunity 2
    100 days practice learning in practice placement.


Social Work LSBU - phase 1b

If you’re interested in social work as a career, you would normally specialise in a certain group of society, such as children. Much of the work is around helping decide the level of support or protection required, responding to requests for help and working with other agencies and professionals for the best outcomes. Most opportunities are with local authorities. However, there are also opportunities available at private care homes, charities and NHS Trusts.

Students who have graduated from this course recently have gone on to work in a variety of settings, including local authority children and adult services departments, as well as in the voluntary sector.

You’ll need a patient, non-judgemental mind-set, and be able to communicate effectively with a host of different people and gain their trust. The work demands a level of resilience and a genuine desire to help people, as some cases may be disturbing, and some people won't want your help. As a graduate from this course you’ll also be able to apply for further study at postgraduate level. You can find out more about our professional development portfolio through our online CPPD prospectus.

Employability Service

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

We work in partnership with several London boroughs, other organisations in both the public and private sector, along with many service users and carers. This is both an academic and a professional qualification.

The course is approved by Social Work England.

​Social Work England is a specialist body taking a new approach to regulating social workers in their vital roles.​ ​


We work in partnership with several London boroughs, other organisations in both the public and private sector, along with many service users and carers. This is both an academic and a professional qualification. The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), a statutory regulator of 308,000 health and care professionals from 16 professions in the United Kingdom.

When it comes to placements, you’ll spend some of your time involved in academic study and the rest in practice within a broad variety of primary and social care settings. A practice placement allows you to put theory into practice by working with a range of primary and social care professionals to develop the skills, knowledge and experience required to become a competent social work practitioner. Although sometimes initially challenging, practice learning is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of learning to be a social worker. You’ll complete two placements throughout the course: the first placement is 70 days and the second is 100 days.

At LSBU we work closely with a number of primary and social care organisations to provide a wide range of suitable placements. These placements take place across a variety of settings from all sectors including local authorities, private, voluntary and independent sectors. The providers offer placements across the required service user communities; children and families, adults, learning disabilities and mental health.

Examples of placements include:

· Traditional local authority services
· Hestia Supported housing services including mental health and domestic violence
· St Mungos
· Victim Support
· Schools
· Mind
· Age UK
· Carers organisations
· Prison placements through PACT and Surgeons

70 day placement

During the first practice placement, you will be expected to practice as trainee professionals being responsible of cases under close supervision and undertaking social work interventions in less complex situations and operating as a member of the inter-professional team. You will demonstrate knowledge, skills and commitment to core values of social work as well as capacity to work with people and situations where decisions are not always clear-cut. You will be encouraged to develop oral and written communication skills, negotiating skills, IT skills and presentation skills. You are actively encouraged to use this opportunity to test out your new knowledge base and to try different social work methods and approaches.

The 70 day placement will usually be within the private, voluntary and independent sectors or occasionally within a local authority setting. You will be placed with a Practice Educator who will be responsible for you whilst on placement and will act as a mentor throughout your time on placement as well as offer guidance and feedback.

100 day placement

The final practice placement will prepare you for the statutory aspects of social work. You'll demonstrate engagement with formal assessment processes (observation, gathering information, analysis, reporting, use of evidence base, development of clear recommendations). These include considering risk and/or safeguarding for child protection, for mental health or with vulnerable adults. You'll have the opportunity to reflect on, discuss and analyse appropriate use of authority and formal agency recording for assessment/risk.

You will also apply and understand legal frameworks relevant for social work, practice and organisational policies and decisions, as well as their impact on service delivery. You will present outcomes for formal assessment processes, including analysis of risk/recommendations in line with organisational policy/procedure at e.g. panels/meetings/courts, as well as meet the demands of a high pressured environment where time and competing interests have to be managed effectively.

Teaching and learning

We have a practice-based learning approach that’s complemented by teaching and learning by our teaching staff, all of whom are registered Social Workers. The teaching includes lectures, seminars and e-learning, debates, group work, group discussion, research projects, problem-based learning, reports and presentations, videos and computer simulations and workshops.

The programme features a range of assessment methods, including essays, presentations, case studies and exams. As part of the course you’ll also undertake: a five-hour child observation at the start of the course, and two placements in Years 2 and 3.

Percentage of time spent in different learning activities

Lectures and seminars Self-directed study Work-based placements
Year 1 28% 72% 0%
Year 2 18% 52% 30%
Year 3 8% 54% 38%

Entry requirements

  • A Level BBB or;
  • BTEC National Diploma DDM or;
  • Access to HE Diploma in Nursing or similar with 24 Distinctions and 21 Merits or;
  • Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 122 UCAS points
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).

All offers are conditional and subject to satisfactory completion of a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check and references. You will be expected to have gained some direct experience of working in social care, either in a paid capacity or as a volunteer.

We welcome qualifications from around the world. Those whom English is not their first language must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 overall or equivalent with not less than 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and not less than 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections for the International English Language Test Score (IELTS) at the time of application.

Foundation Year

If you have been out of study for a considerable amount of time or have slightly missed the entry requirements this course, you can take your first steps to becoming a registered practitioner with our Health and Social Care Foundation year. Boost your qualifications and confidence for further study with this one-year introductory course and on completion of this course you will be guaranteed entry on to one of our 13 health BSc pre-registration health and social care degrees.

Advanced entry

If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.

Course status

  • Accreditations and course subject to validation

    This course is validated by London South Bank University. Applications are being accepted.

How to apply

Home/EU applicants

Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
3 years
Start date
Application code
Application method

This course is not open to international students.


Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.

Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.

Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.


You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.

Personal Statements

Remember the personal statement on your application is extremely important. This is essentially a selling tool on why you are right for the course. The personal statement is taken into consideration when shortlisting applicants for interview. Download our personal statements guidance (PDF File 91 KB) to help you write your personal statement.


If you have been successful in your application, you will be invited to an interview where we will discuss your ambitions to work in social care.

There is no parking available at the University, please use public transport to make your journey to the campus.

Home/EU postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system.

Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.

International applicants should use our international application system. Full details can be found on our How to apply section for international students.

See our admissions policy (PDF File 1,043 KB) and complaints policy (PDF File 127 KB).

Considering your application

Your application will be circulated to a number of potential supervisors who will look at your academic qualifications, experience and the research proposal to decide whether your research interest is something that could be supervised at LSBU.

There will also be an interview either by telephone or at the University. If you are successful you will be offered a place on a course and informed of the next enrolment date. The whole process normally takes between six to eight weeks, from receipt of your application to a decision being made about your application at the School.

Prepare to start

Important statement for new and continuing students studying Health and Social Care courses

An exciting part of many of our Health and Social Care courses is the opportunity to learn off-campus and work with patients, clients and/or service users. Before you start, we need to make sure that you have the correct levels of immunisations.

Please be aware that from 1 April 2022, all NHS and Social Care personnel (including students) will be required to have evidence of double vaccination against Covid. This measure has been taken to protect the public, patients and staff.

If you are unable, or unwilling, to be vaccinated, we will not be able to provide you with the practice placements necessary to complete your health care degree.  If this is the case, you may wish to look at an alternative career.

See the government's press release statement.

Disclosure Barring Service (DBS)

All pre-registration students need to be DBS cleared before going on placement. You’ll need to have an enhanced DBS check even if you have had one before and will not be able to go on placement until this is complete.

The DBS process is not difficult but can take some time so it's best to get started as soon as you receive your email. You will receive the email during Summer 2021.

DBS update service

If you're part of the DBS update service, your subscription is up to date and you already have a DBS certificate, please bring in your original green DBS certificate for the document check. To take advantage of the update service, your certificate needs to be classified as 'Enhanced' and workforce must be listed as 'Adult and Child'. If you have any queries, please email us at

How to complete your DBS

Our DBS supplier, Verifile, will send you an email with all the details you need to complete your DBS.

Verifile will give you instructions to log into their system and complete your personal details and information. To complete the process, you'll need your passport or driving licence and 5-year address history including dates when you moved in/out.

You can use your application number to track the progress of your DBS.

When you've finished, your Disclosure Statement will be mailed to the most recent address in your submission, so please make sure it's correct. We don't automatically receive a copy of this Statement, which is why we need you to bring it in as part of the next step.

Frequently asked questions

My Social Work friends said they need to pay. Do I need to pay?

What do I need to declare on my DBS?

I’ve applied for/had a DBS in past. Do I need to do it again?

Why do I need an enhanced DBS check?

Who reviews my DBS?

When will I hear back from the panel about my DBS?

Which address do I use?

I’ve lost my statement. What do I do?

I’ve had my application rejected due to my DBS declaration/disclosure. Can I appeal the decision?

Document check

Once you have completed the online part of the DBS process, you will need to produce three accepted documents from this list to be verified.

Providing documents whilst campus is closed due to COVID-19

Document check on campus

Document check at the Post Office

Enrolment and Welcome Week

Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our new students pages.


Your holiday periods will not follow the normal University timetable because of placements. You’ll receive more details once you start your course.

Practice placements

Most health and social care courses’ practice placements will operate outside normal working hours e.g. evenings, nights, weekends and bank holidays.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.


Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.


BA (Hons) Social Work - Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT

The fee shown is for entry 2021/22
UK fee: £9250International fee: £17000
AOS/LSBU code: 4355Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK £27750
International £51000

The international fee for this course shows as "£0" because this course is not open to international students.

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 201 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

Possible fee changes

The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.


We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.

Social Work Bursary Scheme

If you are applying to a Social Work course you may be eligible to receive a non-income assessed basic bursary awarded by the NHS Business Services Authority .This is dependent on where you study and whether you study full-time or part-time. The amount of the basic bursary for undergraduate students is dependent on whether you are subject to variable tuition fees.

In April 2013 the Department of Health announced new arrangements for the Social Work Bursary Scheme.

In summary the new arrangements are:

  • There will be a cap of numbers of bursaries at undergraduate level, which means there is no guarantee of a bursary for those applying for a Social Work course at university
  • The undergraduate bursary will be retained in years two and three. This means no new undergraduates in 2013 will receive a bursary in their first year of study. The bursary in years two and three will include the basic bursary and indicative travel expenses for placements. LSBU will make decisions on who is awarded the bursaries at the end of year one
  • Undergraduate students can apply for tuition fee loans and maintenance loans from Student Finance England (subject to eligibility criteria) to help cover the costs of the course during their studies
  • Practice placements travel expenses will continue to be paid to those who do not  receive a bursary but would have under the previous scheme

For further information on the Social Work Bursary Scheme and Bursary changes to Social Work courses please refer to the NHS Business Services Authority website.

The individual fee for this course is shown above. For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 201 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

We have a range of PhD Scholarships available in partnership with businesses and organisations; read notices of PhD studentships.

Register your interest in BA (Hons) Social Work

Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

Order a prospectus

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