BSc (Hons) Social Work

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • 2nd in the East of England for Social Work (2023 Complete University Guide)
  • no. 6 in the UK for Social Work (2023 Guardian League Table)
  • You may be eligible for an NHS bursary (we are an approved course)
  • Social work is a regulated profession. The BSc Social Work degree leads to eligibility to apply to the Social Work England Register and practice as a social worker in England;
  • An emphasis on small group practice prepares you for practice in a modern multi-professional workforce;
  • Interactive learning in and out of the classroom will help you to understand concepts fully;
  • Academic teaching is supported by social work practitioners from the newly constituted Teaching Partnership with Hertfordshire County Council and the Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust, service users, and carers enabling you to link theory to practice throughout the programme.
  • 100% of our Social Work graduates are in employment or further study 15 months after graduating from their 1st degree (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018-19)

What's the course about?

Social workers help people find solutions to their problems and live more successfully in their communities. Sometimes this includes helping them confront and manage behaviours that put themselves and others at risk. To succeed, social workers must work not only with service users, but also with their service user’s families and friends, as well as other organisations including the police, NHS and schools. This course covers subjects such as law, partnership working, assessment and interventions, social science, mental health, disabilities, and families and children.

During the three-year BSc programme, you will learn the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the social worker role.  In your first year of study you will undertake modules which provide core knowledge and skills, including human development across the lifespan, working with diverse communities and service users, key methods and interventions and the policy and legislation which underpins practice. The second year and third years of teaching builds on this to explore ideas in depth including issues of risk and need which social workers manage. The programme concludes in the writing of a research proposal on a topic area of interest to you. Your learning will be supported by a total of 170 placement days and 30 skills development days.

Your main campus is College Lane  

This is where the creative arts, science and health-related subjects are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in our on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.  

What will I study?

The programme is taught through face to face classroom-based learning and practice-based learning where students have the support of a practice assessor. This is complemented by virtue learning environment (Canvas on StudyNet) and small group tutorial support. You will be taught by lecturers who constantly develop their own knowledge through research, publications, and other scholarly activities, and crucially by experienced social work practitioners, service users and carers.

Social work is a regulated profession. As a social work student you will be expected to register with Social Work England, the social work profession's regulator, and adhere to the standards set out in the Code of Practice for Social Workers.

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Alumni Stories

Ramatu Nguru

Meet Ramutu Nguru who has excelled as a Registered Nutritionist since graduating in 2016. She currently works as a School Food Nutritionist for Herts Catering Limited (HCL).

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Current job roleSchool Food Nutritionist
Year of graduation2016
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Nutrition
Ramutu Nguru headshot

Essential skills for the future

Ramatu graduated having studied Nutrition and has now entered her chosen career as a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition (AfN). She currently works as a School Food Nutritionist for Herts Catering Limited (HCL). Her course enabled Ramatu to achieve her career aspirations, providing invaluable experience which included work shadowing, volunteering and practical work placement opportunities alongside various registered nutritionists and dieticians.

Ramatu says, 'Many employers advertise for nutritionists who are already registered with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN). In order to register, you would need to be able to demonstrate that you meet the underpinning knowledge and professional skills required.' Studying a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition or related bioscience degree provides students with an abundance of practicable and transferable experience which will enable you to make crucial inroads into the profession.'

Experience is crucial

Experience is crucial and Ramatu attests that it is even more beneficial than good grades. She advises students to seek out as much opportunity as possible to gain professional experience and says, 'My priority is to continually develop professionally as a Registered Nutritionist as there is always room to improve my own practice and service delivery.' The University provides fantastic opportunities for students through work placements, study abroad schemes as well as the fantastic industry led practical elements embedded into the courses themselves.

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Khan Asghar Iqbal

Meet Khan Asghar Iqbal who is saving lives everyday as a Newly Qualified Paramedic (NQP). He is currently working for the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleNewly Qualified Paramedic
Year of graduation2018
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Paramedic Science

A unique degree and experience

Khan says his ambition to work in London and move out of his hometown in Cardiff was a key factor in choosing to study at the University of Hertfordshire. However, his course also provided a unique combination of theoretical and practical study which Khan says, 'prepared me to put my knowledge into practice while out on placement each term. The course also gave me a glimpse of future opportunities for paramedics such as teaching, management and advanced practice.'

The vocational nature of the degree enabled him to transition smoothly into his chosen career providing him with the essential professional skills and hands on experience he required to excel as a paramedic. He says, 'The course gives you the knowledge to make lifesaving decisions but also gives you more advanced knowledge regarding complicated conditions and the various medicines that come with each patient.'

Khan speaks fondly of his time at the University and says, 'I truly miss everyone I became friends with on my degree. Some of the nights out in the Forum were the best I've ever had and they will be everlasting memories, with friends both on and off of my course. I really came out of my shell and comfort zone and it has made me into the confident and outgoing person I am today.'

Get your dream job

Khan says that being a paramedic is the 'best job in the World' and, although he has just started his career, he hopes to go onto postgraduate study and experience new cultures by travelling.