Queen’s University Belfast Social Work

Queen’s University Belfast Logo

Queen’s University Belfast Social Work

Social Work is a vocational subject, and the purpose of these degrees is to educate and train students to become qualified social workers – people who are in the frontline, and part of society‘s efforts to cope with many community and personal problems.

Social workers play key roles in the delivery of services to care for people of all ages who are in need. They also exercise formal legal powers in response to many of society‘s problems such as child abuse, vulnerable adults, mental health problems, and working with offenders.

The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work is one of the leading centres of social work education in the UK, with The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015 ranking Queen‘sUniversity‘s Social Work in the UK Top 5.

Our degrees are a mixture of academic study and assessed practice placements, which are supported by practice teachers in a variety of local social work agencies.

In the delivery of our courses we are joined by a wide range of agency partners, who are an integral part of the development and delivery of these degrees.

Course Content (including module information)

The main areas of study will be social work theory and practice skills, sociology, social policy, psychology and the law relating to social work.

Levels 1 and 2

Levels 1 and 2 of the degree will concentrate on giving students a foundation in these areas. There will be an emphasis on helping students develop practice skills in preparation for their practice placements, including knowledge of different methods of intervention.

Level 3

At Level 3, students will explore the needs of different users of social services across child, family and adult services. This teaching is supported by practice placements that will allow further development of knowledge and practice experience.

Throughout the degree, there will be an emphasis on the application of knowledge, theory and values to the practice contexts of social work. Much of the teaching, particularly of social work practice skills, will be in small groups and will feature the use of role-play.

Entry Requirements

Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

Undergraduate Route (3 yrs)

A-level: ABB + GCSE Mathematics grade C or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University

Irish Leaving Certificate: H3H3H3H3H3H3 + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics is required. NB: applicants being considered for an offer will be interviewed.

Graduates: minimum standard 2.2, applicants must have a minimum of a grade C in GCSE Mathematics or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

Relevant Graduate Route (2 yrs)

Relevant Graduate Entry: students with a relevant Honours degree (minimum standard 2.2) will be considered for admission to a shortened two-year course leading to the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. Applicants must have a minimum of a grade C in GCSE Mathematics or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

Irish Leaving Certificate: A minimum of a Lower Second Class Honours degree in a cognate subject. Please refer to degree entry for further information on cognate subjects. All applicants must have a minimum of Higher Level grade H5 or Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics. NB: applicants being considered for an offer will be interviewed.

For ROI Graduates: students with a relevant Honours degree (minimum standard 2.2) will be considered for admission to a shortened two-year course leading to the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. Applicants must have a minimum of a grade O4 in Ordinary Level Leaving Certificate Mathematics or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

A relevant degree is deemed to be an Honours degree where at least one third of the course passed at Honours level comprises one or more of the following: Sociology, Psychology, Social Policy/Social Administration; and degrees in Law, Teaching, Nursing, Community Work, Youth Work, Early Childhood Studies or other cognate subjects.

All applicants

  • Because of the professional nature of the course, a satisfactory Access NI check and registration with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and Independent Safeguarding Authority are required.
  • Applicants are advised to have some experience in employment or voluntary work of a social work nature.
  • Applicants being considered for an offer will be interviewed to assess their suitability for Social Work training. The interview is organised on a regional basis enabling candidates to have a single interview for all Northern Ireland Social Work programmes.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen’s University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen’s is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen’s University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study – an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English – a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen’s University Belfast and who need to improve their English