Social Work BSc (Hons)


Social workers change lives for the better and help protect some of society’s most vulnerable people.

On this BSc (Hons) Social Work degree, which is approved by Social Work England, you’ll develop the skills you need to graduate and apply to register as a social worker.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Practise your social work skills in our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care, a safe and supportive environment where we use innovative technologies to simulate real-life scenarios
  • Work closely with the University of Portsmouth Social Work Inclusion Group (SWIG), to help you understand service user experiences
  • Build your professional experience by spending 200 days on placement working with vulnerable people, service users and carers in the community

Work experience and career planning

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability Service as you advance in your career.

Placements and work experience

You'll do at least 2 work placements on this course, giving you more than 200 days of practical experience. You'll also take part in skills days at our simulation centre, learning from people with lived experience of social work.

You can do placements in various areas to develop your social work skills and knowledge, including:

Potential social work settings

  • social care settings for children and families
  • social care settings for adults
  • residential care for people with disabilities
  • community mental health teams
  • hospital social work departments

Potential community work settings

  • voluntary organisations working with both children and adults
  • advocacy agencies
  • drug and alcohol treatment centres
  • homelessness projects
  • schools

We can also help you find further relevant work experience during your course to boost your career prospects further. We help you identify placements, internships, and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.

Module Details

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Programme Assessment

You’ll be assessed through:

  • tests (academic or practical/skills based)
  • compilation of filmed and recorded artefacts
  • online assessment
  • academic written work/portfolios
  • presentations
  • dissertation/project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 25% by practical exams and 75% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 17% by practical exams and 83% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical workshops
  • simulation (in our simulated court room, for example)
  • report writing

You'll learn from expert teaching staff, researchers, practitioners from the field and people with experience of social work today.

Student Destinations

Social workers provide essential care and support to adults and children who need it most. They work directly with people in need, as well as their families and other carers, and offer care that includes counselling, independent life skills, and mental and/or physical health support. 

There's an urgent need for more social workers in the UK, in fact adult social worker vacancy rates have risen back up to pre-pandemic levels. 

This BSc (Hons) Social Work degree will train you for a rewarding and challenging career as a social worker. You'll study topics including safeguarding, law and social policy, and social work practice with children and adults, and learn through simulation, group work and skills workshops.

When you successfully complete the course, you'll be eligible to apply to be a registered social worker and to work in settings such as social care, drug and alcohol services, domestic abuse services and schools. You could also continue your studies to postgraduate level with an MSc Social Work.

You could work in areas such as:

  • social care settings
  • rehabilitation services
  • criminal justice
  • voluntary organisations
  • advocacy agencies
  • housing advice
  • education settings such as schools and colleges

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • social worker
  • care manager
  • missing children and child exploitation coordinator 
  • family support worker
  • housing adviser
  • independent domestic violence adviser
  • adult wellbeing manager
  • primary mental health worker
  • learning disability practitioner

They've gone to work for organisations including:

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Mind
  • Hampshire County Council
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • Essex County Council
  • Spectrum Centre for Independent Living
  • Southern Advocacy Services
BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels or equivalent, one of which must be in a relevant subject (Anthropology, Criminology, Critical Thinking, English, Health & Social Care, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, R.E, Sociology, Social Policy, Theology). Access courses in Health and Social Care are also acceptable. All shortlisted applicants are subject to a holistic and multidimensional assessment process which has been designed in accordance with Social Work England's standards, and includes an application, group discussion, individual presentation and an interview. International applicants must provide a satisfactory police check/certificate of good conduct from their home country (with a certified English translation if necessary), before admission to the programme can be confirmed. Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

University of Portsmouth in Pictures

Latest Updates from University of Portsmouth

Location of University of Portsmouth