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Social Work at Lancaster

Our dedicated team are approachable, accessible, and proud of creating a friendly atmosphere where students can study

Whether you are looking to become a social worker, or want to be engaged in continuing professional development after working in the field, we support you in developing and using your professional judgment in the complex situations that social workers face.

We offer two qualifying Social Work courses at Lancaster, which have been accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Before applying to register with the HCPC on graduation, you must be able to demonstrate that you have reached the Standards of Proficiency it has developed for social work. Our degrees are designed to ensure that graduating students will meet these standards. They are informed by our internationally-leading research, including work on online child sexual abuse risk, leadership in setting up the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and activities around the Centre for Disability Research. Professor Corinne May-Chahal recently led research into online sexual abuse risk and warns about the need for resources to detect abuse and trace victims. They also respond to the Knowledge and Skills Statements for Social Work, as specified by the Department of Education and the Department of Health.

One of the unique things about Lancaster is that we have two Teaching Partnerships – with Lancashire County Council; as well as with Cumbria County Council and four allied organisations from the private, voluntary and independent sector in Cumbria - Barnardo’s, South Lakeland District Carers, Howgill Family Centre and East Cumbria Family Support. These partnerships, funded by the Department for Education, aim to improve the match between the skills and knowledge that social work students are developing and those desired by key employers.

There are a number of clear benefits from these partnerships. Close dialogues between university staff and social care employers means that you can be confident that your education here is well-matched with employers’ priorities, and that many employers are aware that our programmes are very highly ranked. The quality of placements and their role in the transition from study to work also benefits from this partnership. When the Cumbria-Lancaster Teaching Partnership was launched in February 2017, John Macilwraith, Director of Children’s Services at Cumbria County Council noted: “The teaching partnership will enable us to work closely with Lancaster University and our partners to have clear practice focussed, professional career development pathways so that students are better prepared for the transition from University, into our social work academy.” By promoting evidence-based practice and the embedding of research in practice, these partnerships also contribute to the improvement of social work practice in the region.

For more information about our social work degrees and research, please browse our UG and MA pages, or get in touch socialwork@lancaster.ac.uk.