BSW Honours Social Work (UCAS Code: L500)
For entrance requirements
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Because of the professional nature of the course, a satisfactory Access NI check and registration with the 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.
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 qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here
If you are an international student and you do not meet the English Language requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will develop the language skills you need to progress. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses. For a full list click hereBack to top
Social Work is a vocational subject. The purpose of the degree is to educate and train students to become qualified social workers. Social workers are in the frontline, and part of society's efforts to cope with many community and personal problems. They 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 degree is a mixture of academic study and assessed practice placements. The practice placements are in a variety of local social work agencies. On placement, students are supported by an agency practice teacher.Back to top
The main areas of study will be social work theory and practice skills, sociology, social policy, psychology and the law relating to social work.
The first year of the three-year 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.
Stages 2 and 3
Second and third years will include the exploration of the needs of different users of social services and different methods of intervention. This teaching is supported by practice placements that will allow a broad development of knowledge and experience.
Throughout the programme, 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.Back to top
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the Bachelor of Social Work degree we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
The main areas of study on the course are social work theory and practice skills, ethics and values, sociology, social policy, psychology and the law relating to social work. Level 1 concentrates on giving students a foundation in these areas. There is an emphasis on helping students develop practice skills in preparation for their practice learning opportunities (placements).
Level 2 will include the exploration of the needs of different groups of people who use social services and different methods of intervention. Level 3 focuses on the development of extensive knowledge and skills in relation to social work with adults, families and children as well as criminal justice and the courts. Much of the teaching, particularly of social work practice skills, will be in small groups and will feature the use of role-play, video and web technology. We have a committed group of service users and careers who contribute to the course planning, development and to teaching.
At Level 2 and Level 3 an extended semester is devoted to practice placements that allow a broad development of knowledge and experience. Practice learning opportunities are provided in a variety of social work agencies located throughout Northern Ireland, including social services offices, day centers, children's homes, family resource centers and voluntary organisations. Students are taught, supported and assessed on placement by an agency practice teacher. Their university tutor also provides support and linkage with the University-based programme. In these placements students have to work full agency hours and will be seen as trainee professional social workers. Demand for placements is high, and students must be prepared to accept any placement that meets their learning needs. At Level 2 the placement is for 85 days from August to December and at Level 3 it is for 100 days from January to June. The BSW degree is a professional qualification in Social Work accredited throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland. High achieving students in each year are awarded Brian Rankin prizes. The link below takes you to the School’s website: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofSociologySocialPolicySocialWork
Assessment (general): The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work. Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including:
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.Back to top
Studying for a social work degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including social work.
At the heart of the delivery of the degree in social work in Northern Ireland is the sense of partnership between academic institutions, practice learning providers, organisations employing social workers, NISCC, students, and service users and carers. At Queen’s University this is given expression through a standing committee, the Collaborative Partnership at Queen’s (CPAQ).
The role of CPAQ is to:
Placement Employers: We have excellent links with a large number of employers across the statutory, voluntary and community sectors including, for example, Health and Social Care Trusts, the Probation Board Northern Ireland and voluntary organisations such as NSPCC, Barnardos, Bryson House, Women’s Aid and Positive Futures.
Our past students have also gained work placement with a wide range of organisations such as:
Employers Forum: We also have an active and engaged Employers Forum - a panel comprising senior figures from some high ranking organisations in fields directly relevant to our degree programmes including Craigavon District Council and NI Community and Voluntary Association. The members of this panel, like CPAQ, advise staff in incorporating employability skills in the development of the social work degree programme. They also contribute to advisory sessions for students on careers and employability.
Graduate Careers and Achievements
Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in social work, some do develop careers in a wide range of other sectors.
Social workers are employed throughout the statutory and voluntary social services. There are many career development opportunities leading to specialist posts and to the highest levels of management within statutory and voluntary social services agencies.
Further study is also an option open to social work graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, see: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofSociologySocialPolicySocialWork/ProspectiveStudents/
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. As a Queen’s student, you will be advised and guided about career choice and through the Degree Plus initiative, you will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.
Our full employability statement can be viewed at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/filestore/Filetoupload,284878,en.pdf
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, promoting employability enhancements and other interests is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe and learning development supports as well as involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers. Further information is available at www.qub.ac.uk/degreeplusBack to top
Top-ranking: in the University league tables Social Work at Queen's is consistently in the top 10 out of the 74 universities in the UK which provide social work courses.
Prizes: high-achieving students are awarded Brian Rankin prizes annually.
Professional Qualification: graduates will be professionally-qualified social workers. The BSW degree, followed in Northern Ireland by an Assessed Year in Employment (AYE), is the professional qualification for social workers in the United Kingdom and is recognised in the Republic of Ireland and the European Union.
Funding: there is a non-means-tested financial support package for all students who live in Northern Ireland. Details are available from the DHSS&PS website: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.ukBack to top