Birmingham City University Social Work

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Birmingham City University Social Work

This course offers high quality social work training, paving the way for you to work with vulnerable children, families and adults. Birmingham City University’s social work degree will help you become a social worker who can make a difference to society.

Birmingham City University is among the largest providers of social workers in the UK. Our Social Work BSc (Hons) Degree is approved by the Health and Care Professionals Council (the independent regulator for England) and endorsed by the College of Social Work and is well known for producing excellent practitioners capable of operating in local authority, voluntary or private settings.

What’s covered in the course?

Our specially-designed degree will give you the skills and knowledge you need to make a difference to people’s lives as a professional and registered social worker.

You will learn about the social work profession and the needs of the people social workers support. We link theory and practice through a combination of academic learning and on the job placement opportunities.

You will gain first hand insight into a wide range of issues you will face in social work practice, such as the care needs of vulnerable practice, homelessness, domestic violence, substance misuse, mental health problems, and the abuse of vulnerable people.

Through expert teaching and quality placements relevant to the social work profession you’ll learn to understand different service user group needs and the skills needed to safeguard the wellbeing of vulnerable people.

This social work degree course is among the most innovative of its kind, placing you where you will benefit the most – among the people and communities you will go on to support.

“Some of my colleagues envy the teaching we received at Birmingham City University when they hear what we covered.”
Taiwona Kanjanda

Why Choose Us?

  • Our social work degree has been endorsed by the College of Social Work after meeting their high standards for social work education providers. The accolade underlines how closely the course follows the values and standards of the profession at it’s best.
  • Our students come from all cultures and backgrounds and are one of the most diverse student groups in the UK with more than 50 per cent from ethnic minority groups.
  • This course is designed to produce skilled, evidence-informed, resilient, empowering leaders making sure you’ll be fit for social work in the 21st century when you graduate.
  • You’ll be supported throughout your time on the course, with access to a personal tutor. If you’ve been away from education for a while, we also have a range of excellent resources to help you with study skills such as essay writing and research.
  • The course covers all aspects of social work, enabling you to aim for careers in specialist social work agencies as well as roles in education and health. Our graduates have found jobs in children’s and adult services, as well as third sector and private roles.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 112 UCAS tariff points.

Level 2 qualifications which must be achieved PRIOR to application:
GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics (formerly Grade C).

Equivalent qualifications such as Key Skills Level 2, Adult Numeracy Level 2, Adult Literacy Level 2, Functional Skills English and Maths Level 2 or CSE Grade 1 will be accepted.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Minimum of five passes – including Mathematics and English – at Grade B3 or above.

Scottish qualifications

A minimum of five passes including Mathematics and English at Intermediate Standard 2 or above.

Plus one of the following Level 3 qualifications which you may be working towards:
GCE A/A2 level
112 UCAS tariff points from minimum of three A/A2 level passes. General Studies not accepted. Health and Social Sciences preferred.
GCE AS/A1 level
Two subjects accepted with two GCE A/A2 levels. Must achieve a minimum of 112 UCAS tariff points. General Studies not accepted.
GCE/AVCE Double Award in Health and Social Care
GCE/AVCE Double Award at grade CC with remaining UCAS tariff points from a maximum of one GCE A/A2 level. General Studies not accepted.
BTEC National Certificate in Children’s Care, Learning and Devt (Theory) (2007 onwards)
Accepted on its own and combined with other qualifications.
BTEC National Diploma (18 units – not including Early Years)
Minimum Grade DMM required (112 UCAS tariff points).
BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Devt (Theory) (2007 onwards)
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications.
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Minimum Grade 28
CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education
Minimum Grade C required (112 UCAS tariff points).
Access to HE Diploma in a Health, Social Care or Social Science related subject.
Full award (60 credits) of which a minimum of 45 must be at Level 3 including 24 at Merit or Distinction in a Science or Health related subject and 15 at Level 2, must include Mathematics and English Language GCSE equivalent if not already achieved.
The Open University K101 – An Introduction to Health and Social Care
Completion of full year (transcripts will be required).
Irish Leaving Certificate
Maximum of 5 Highers at Grade C3 or above to achieve 112 UCAS tariff points.
Scottish Qualifications
Maximum of 5 Advanced Highers at Grade C or above to achieve 112 UCAS tariff points.
BTEC/Scottish Higher National Certificate (HNC)
Required in a Health and Social Sciences subject.
BTEC/Scottish National Higher Diploma (HND)
Preferably in a Health and Social Sciences subject.
European Baccalaureate
Required in a Social Care subject.
14 –19 Progression Diploma in Society, Health and Development
Minimum Grade B to achieve 112 UCAS tariff points.
14-19 Advanced Diploma in Society, Health and Development
Full award to achieve 112 UCAS tariff points.

Successful applicants must meet the International English Language Test (IELTS) at Level 7, and confirm prior to interview decision/offer that they have the ability to use basic IT facilities.

Portfolio route

A Portfolio route has been devised for those applicants who have significant relevant experience of working with vulnerable people but do not meet the formal entry requirements. To follow this route you are still expected to possess GCSE Mathematics and English or equivalent.


  • You will need to have three or more years’ relevant experience in a role which involves experience of undertaking work with vulnerable people, and which can be transferable into social work practice. This involves work such as assessment, care/support planning, co-ordination of services with other professionals, and reviewing.
  • You are required to have GCSE Mathematics and English or equivalent.

The portfolio is made up of the following:

  • A reflective account reviewing your own role, skills and areas for development in relation to your practice – 1,000 words
  • An analysis of a case that you have worked on – 1,000 words
  • A reflection on your performance during the direct observation and the feedback given by the social worker – 500 words
  • A report by a social worker on the direct observation of your current practice
  • Two references/testimonials – one from your line manager and one from a qualified social worker (again, preferably a senior social worker or above).

To apply via the portfolio route, you will need to put the items above together in a folder (portfolio) and send it to the admissions tutor with an application form. The portfolio is then looked at by academic staff at the university, who will evaluate the work and make a judgement about the applicant’s suitability for the Social Work programme. Successful applicants will be invited to attend an admissions day where they will undertake a written test, group exercise and individual interview.

In addition:

  • Applicants must have evidence of study within the last five years and/or current relevant practice experience in a social care setting.
  • Applicants are required to complete a written exercise on attendance at the selection day.
  • Applicants will be required to participate in a group work exercise.
  • Applicants are required to complete a face-to-face engagement, normally in the format of an interview.
  • A second reference for Access/BTEC students from the original referee is to be provided to the institution by 30 April of the enrolment year.

Places are subject to a satisfactory Occupational Heath Check, and a Disclosure and Barring Service report .

Applicants should be aware that qualifications, personal statement, references, interview, group and written exercise all form part of the selection criteria for this course.

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you’re considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it’s important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.