Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

Social Work BA

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Single Honours





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (3 Years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Year 1

In the first year you will study five modules introducing you to the social and organisational content of social work. This introduction to social work will provide you with the opportunity to develop your skills to prepare you for working with service users and carers:

  • Psychology and Human Development for Social Work
  • Research for Evidence Based Learning
  • Social Issues and Social Policy for Social Work
  • Social Contexts for Social Work
  • Social Work Skills, Values and Approaches

The social work regulatory body, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) requires that before students go out into their practice placements, they have the basic skills needed to work with a variety of people and to communicate with service users with understanding and respect. As part of the assessment of your ‘readiness for practice learning’, you will carry out an assessed role play interview with a service user or carer and also spend time in a local social care organisation.

Students’ readiness for practice will be assessed through observed simulations. These simulations do not carry academic credits but a pass mark is required to proceed to year 2.  Those failing the readiness for practice assessment but passing their academic assessments in year 1 would receive 120 credits and continue with the academic components of year 2 and 3 and would transfer to the existing Level H programme BA Applied Social Sciences. Students who fail the readiness for practice assessment cannot continue on the BA Social Work programme as they cannot undertake placements.


Year 2

You will complete 70 days professional practice learning, in addition to five academic modules designed to help you develop and apply the knowledge, values and skills required in social work practice. 

  • Enhancing Skills for Social Work Practice
  • Placement 1
  • Law for Professional Practice
  • Theory, Methods and Practice
  • Research for Evidence Informed Practice
  • Social Identity, Citizenship and Social Work Practice 

We currently run an International Exchange Project in second year, where students have the opportunity to go abroad to work with the social work department and social work students from a University in another country. This may be offered for new students, further details to follow.

Students who pass the academic but fail the practice component of Placement 1 will be switched to Reflection on Practice 1.

The University of Newcastle has joined one of the government’s Teaching Partnerships. This is the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership and involves the University of Newcastle working collaboratively with 11 Local Authorities. The overall aim of the Partnership is to enhance practice leadership across the region via a ‘University at Work’ model.

The Teaching Partnership will strengthen the existing relationships between service users, carers, practitioners and academics at the University of Newcastle . The relationship between the University and these 11 Local Authorities will be enhanced in many ways including in terms of placement opportunities.

We will continue to work in collaboration to shape evidence based curriculum that aims to raise the standards of social work education and ensure that it is fit for purpose for local employers.

At present the majority of our Practice Learning Placements are provided by Newcastle City Council.  We also have some placements in a range of voluntary and private sector organisations. We also have a few placements with some neighbouring local authorities. However at present we cannot guarantee any placements outside of Newcastle itself and so students who live outside of Newcastle will be required to travel. It is anticipated however that over time, due to the West Midlands Teaching Partnership, placements may become available across a wider range of local authorities within the Teaching partnership.

The placements on offer are challenging and also very rewarding. Some of the areas of social work covered on placement are:

  • Family support and prevention
  • Domestic violence/Women’s Aid
  • Refugee and asylum
  • Special educational needs
  • Fostering
  • Child protection
  • Disabilities
  • Substance misuse
  • Mental Health
  • Older adults

You will need to be aware that placements in particular areas of interest are not guaranteed. However all placements are quality assured, meet required HCPC standards and provide a wide range of learning which is transferable to any setting.


Year 3

In your final year you will complete a further 100-day professional practice placement and the following modules: 

  • Advanced Practice: Individuals, Families and Communities
  • Dissertation A
  • Placement 2
  • Dissertation B

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a US university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements,. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. 


USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Your Newcastle Social Work degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Newcastle students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.


Career opportunities

On successful completion of our BA Social Work degree, we will equip you to work in a wide range of areas. We make sure you have experience of working with two different service user groups in two different social care settings whilst on placement. The Advanced Practice, Specialist Teaching and Dissertation modules in the final year of the BA Social Work degree allow you to build on both specialist and generic knowledge and skills, and apply for a wide range of jobs in the voluntary, private and statutory sectors.

Indeed, 85% of Social Work graduates from Newcastle are in professional or managerial careers six months after graduating and enjoy average starting salaries of £26,000 (UNISTATS, 2016-17).

This Social Work degree offers professional training, which on successful completion, will give you eligibility to apply to register with the HCPC as a professional Social Worker.

The HCPC will require you to complete an application for professional registration form upon graduating our Social Work degree, and it is this professional body who will determine your professional status. As such, the offer of a place on the Social Work degree programme is not a guarantee that you will be able to register with the HCPC.


Careers network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Newcastle degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline, all of which can be transferred into your studies.