Social Work BA Hons - 2020 Entry


Entry Year
2020 also available in 2021

A Level Requirements
BBB see all requirements

Full time 3 Year(s)

  • 2nd
    For Social Work The Complete University Guide (2021)
  • 3rd
    For Social Work The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2020)
  • 4th
    For Social Work The Guardian University Guide (2020)

Course Overview

Qualify in Social Work with one of the best departments in the UK.

We are recognised for:

  • the high quality of our teaching
  • the strength of our partnerships with public, private, voluntary and independent agencies
  • an outstanding track record for graduate employment
  • our world-class research

This course is accredited by Social Work England (SWE) and you will have the opportunity to gain the skills and experience you need to be effective and successful in your chosen career.

Social workers face complex and challenging situations and need to be committed to the principles of social justice. At Lancaster, you will learn with enthusiastic lecturers, practitioners, service users and carers. We emphasise research and knowledge to give you the opportunity to develop a critical but reflective approach to understanding social work in contemporary society.

Two practice placements form an important and integral part of this vocational degree. These are an excellent way of getting to know the role of a social worker and give you hands-on experience to back up your academic learning. This degree programme gives you the opportunity to prepare for work in the rapidly changing environments of social care.

You can read more about our programme and staff below.

World-class research

Whilst providing an exceptional student experience is our priority, we also have a very real involvement in influencing policy and practice. Our aim is to inspire a new generation of qualified professionals to engage with and steer future social policy and practice. Underpinning everything we do is our founding principle of valuing people, human rights and social justice.

Through our research we engage with research communities, public discussions and contribute to social change. Key areas include online child sexual abuse risk, family justice, and disability research.

Our Department was ranked 1st in the UK for research intensity in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) and 83% of our research was classed as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. From day one, you will be taught by experienced social workers and leading researchers.

Entry Requirements

Grade Requirements

Each year we accept a wide range of entry qualifications including BTECs, A levels, and Access to HE Diplomas. Applicants must also meet specific English and Mathematics requirements, and we accept a wide range of qualifications that meet these. We also want to ensure that you have some relevant understanding before studying with us, and so your personal statement must highlight either experience of voluntary or paid work in a social service or welfare setting, or personal experience with such support. There is further information below but please contact us if you have any questions.

A Level BBB

BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Merit

Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with 24 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 21 Level 3 credits at Merit

International Baccalaureate 30 points overall with 15 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects

English and Mathematics requirements

GCSE Mathematics grade C or 4, English Language grade C or 4

We will accept other qualifications in English and Mathematics including O level grade C, CSE grade1, Functional Skills Level 2 Pass.

English language requirements (if English is not your native language)

IELTS 7.0 overall with at least 7.0 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages. Please check with the admissions office for the higher grade equivalents required.


Candidates with appropriate qualifications will be invited to vist us on campus and undertake a group exercise, an individual interview and a written test.

Disclosure and Barring Service Check

All members of social work courses are required to apply for enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau, which will reveal details of any cautions or convictions. Whilst a caution or conviction may not be a barrier to accessing the programme, some agencies may refuse to provide placements to students with convictions. If they do this, we will be unable to register you on the course. You will also be required to declare if you have ever been subject to any disciplinary action, or if you have ever been subject to an allegation involving child protection issues and/or the abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults. Failure to declare is viewed very seriously and will normally result in students being asked to withdraw from the course.

We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.

Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via

Course Structure

Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster please visit our Teaching and Learning section.

The following courses do not offer modules outside of the subject area due to the structured nature of the programmes: Architecture, Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research.

Year 1


Year 2


Year 3




By graduating in social work you are eligible to register as a professional social worker in England, and many social work graduates go on to work as professional social workers in social services departments, the NHS, specialist agencies and the voluntary sector.

However, the skills, values and knowledge gained on this degree are highly valued in other careers that involve training, consultancy and research – and a large number of Lancaster graduates are now active in these areas or hold senior managerial posts.

The Social Work degree also provides a solid foundation for postgraduate study.

Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.

Fees and Funding


Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12-month session, starting in the October of your year of study.

Our Undergraduate Tuition Fees for 2020/21 are:

UK/EU Overseas
£9,250 £18,700

Undergraduate tuition fees

For students starting at the University for the 2020 session, subsequent year’s fees may be subject to increases. UK fees are set by the UK Government annually. For international applicants, any annual increase will be capped at 4% of the previous year’s fee. For more information about tuition fees, including fees for Study Abroad and Work Placements, please visit our undergraduate tuition fees page.

Applicants from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more information about this on our Island Fees page.


For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page. You can find additional information about funding for Social Work students by following the link further down this page. 

Additional information for BA Social Work students

For social work students ordinarily resident in England, there are bursaries available through the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Information, including eligibility criteria can be found on the NHSBSA website, in their regular Bursary Newsletters, and in their 'Ask Us' section. As there are a limited number of bursaries available, Lancaster University has agreed to allocate these according to certain criteria.

The criterion by which we nominate Undergraduate Part 1 students for bursaries will be as follows in this order:

1. Combined overall grades for the modules Social Work Practice 1 and Contemporary Social Problems. The marks used (unless there are any accepted mitigating circumstances) will be those from the first submission of your coursework and first sitting of your examinations. These will be confirmed after the re-sit boards.

2. Exam grade for the module Social Work Practice 1

This criterion results in a list of students in rank order. If there are two or more students with the same grade and there is only one bursary left then we will base our decision on criterion two. If this still results in a draw then we will apply criterion three and then, if required, criterion four.

3. Your attendance record for the module Social Work Practice 1

4. Conditions set out by the Department of Health, including passing ‘readiness to practice’ at the end of the first year 

The social work bursary scheme is currently being reviewed and you should regularly check the NHSBSA website to keep up to date with any changes that will be in place for your entry year.

Travel costs may be incurred in getting to Social Work placements. The amount will vary depending on the location of the placement but students may be able to claim a placement travel allowance from the NHS or a contribution from the agency offering the placement towards the cost of travel. All Social Work students will need to pay for an enhanced Criminal Record Bureau check. Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.



Course accreditations

This programme is accredited by Social Work England.

Further details about accreditations Learn More

Download the course booklet to find out more about Lancaster University, how we teach Social Work and what you'll study as a Social Work student.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2021/22 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication. The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses.

In the event of a course being withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date information before you submit your application. Further legal information.

The amount of time you spend in lectures, seminars and similar will differ from year to year. Taken as an average over all years of the course, you will spend an average of 5.7 hours per week in lectures, seminars and similar during term time.

A broad range of assessments methods will be used throughout the degree. As a guide, 78% of assessment is by coursework over the duration of the course.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.

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Clearing 2020

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Clearing 2020