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Your placements and career

The social work regulator, Social Work England, has approved all of our programmes, which means that graduates are eligible to apply to join the professional social work register. 

Before being registered as a social worker, you will need to demonstrate that you have achieved appropriate standards of practice and expertise in an accredited or ‘qualifying’ programme.

Our degree prepares you for this through a curriculum carefully aligned with the Professional Capabilities Framework, which outlines key skills and paths of development for social workers. In order to build up your experience, as well as knowledge, you will have two placements – 70 days in your second year of study, and 100 days in your third year of study. By experiencing what it is like to work in contrasting settings, you will come out with a better understanding of social care in diverse sectors, and where you would like to work in the future.

Often students’ first placement is in the private, voluntary or independent sector with an organisation such as Barnardo’s, My Positive Future, or Age Concern. We give you plenty of support in preparing for your placement and visit you whilst you are there in order to see how things are going. In addition, you will be supported by qualified social work practitioners who have undertaken additional training to become practice educators. During your placement, you also have a chance to return to campus for skill development sessions where you can share experiences with tutors and other students.

Then in your second placement, you may have the opportunity to work in a statutory setting, where you can learn more about the legal context of social work. As placements are across a large geographical area, and may require job-related travel, you may have to travel relatively long distances or find accommodation nearby in order to complete them. Some support is available for travel costs. Where possible, we try to match your placement to your interests – whether they are in youth offending, children and families intervention, mental health and safeguarding adults, or another area of social work. Other factors such as transportation and location are also taken into consideration. Again on this placement, you will have ample support from our placements team.

In the past, we have had close dialogues between university staff and social care employers and received feedback that our degree is well-matched with employers’ priorities and is seen as being of high quality. This is among the reasons that our students have excellent employment rates – with 100% employed or in further study 15 months after graduating (, Jan 2022).

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Our placement partners

Positive Futures North West is an organisation set up to help adults of all ages and abilities improve their mental health and wellbeing. We have Social Work Students on initial 70 day placements with us and we follow their journeys throughout their careers. I can tell you every one of them are in fantastic positions making a real difference to people. One recently told me that no matter how difficult the week is, there is always something to remind him he chose the right career (children and family services). I am always inspired by the number of people who want to be part of this important and life-changing work.

Jan Gomez, Director of Positive Futures North West

Most of our graduates go on to positions as social workers within local councils, the NHS, the private sector, charities and voluntary agencies. Some continue with their studies and complete a postgraduate degree.

Your degree will open doors across a whole range of areas:

  • Children and their families
  • Disability
  • Older adults
  • Mental health
  • Offending and substance misuse
Alison Hetherington

Alison Hetherington

Wow. My first placement in a children’s setting was a massive learning opportunity and leap into the unknown. This placement was a profound experience, which I will never forget. My practice tutor was an absolute blessing. He took time to visit me, was a great support, easy to contact and kept in touch. My placement allowed me to see some of the lectures and theories in action. I knew well before the end of the placement that I wanted to be a children’s social worker and it was great to get the feedback and hear that the team manager would be happy to have me on her team in the future.

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