BA (Hons) Social Work


Program Description

This is a three-year fulltime, or four-year part time undergraduate course.

The BA (Hons) in Social Work is recognised as a professional qualification in Social Work by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), endorsed by the College of Social Work (TCSW) and validated by the Open University.

It consists of academic study and practice learning in a social work agency, the latter in two periods, 70 and 100 days, in a variety of social work settings. Ruskin has a sound tradition of providing social work education and training for mature, non-traditional students. It operates in partnership with other local social work programmes and local authority partners, in particular Oxfordshire County Council, principally via our Practice Learning Centre. Support for students is provided throughout the programme, including supervision while on placement.

National Student Survey

Our small class sizes mean our results often do not register officially on the National Student Survey. However, in 2011, when compared with the 88 other institutions that offer a degree in Social Work, Ruskin was extremely pleased to be placed 1st nationally for ‘Teaching on the Programme’, with 99% of students agreeing it was good or very good.


All applicants for the Social Work course are asked to disclose any previous criminal convictions (including cautions, warnings and reprimands) however long ago they may have occurred and whether as a juvenile or an adult. In addition, students will be required to undergo an enhanced criminal records check and will need to receive clearance before undertaking social work placements. Where a student has a previous conviction, caution, warning or reprimand this may not be an automatic bar to entry on the programme, but it will be given full consideration and may be subject to a risk assessment.

Students selected for this programme will be subject to the BA Social Work Suitability Procedure. Although it is not a requirement for students to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the registering body for social work, they are expected to abide by the ‘Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for Students’. Once the degree has been successfully completed, students can apply to be registered with the HCPC. Registration is needed to work as a ‘Social Worker’, as this is a protected title


Ruskin has traditionally encouraged prospective social workers to consider issues of social justice and equality and the implications of these for social work practice. The programme has also had a strong commitment to community development approaches to social work and to voluntary organisations that provide social work services. Embedded in our social work programmes is a strong commitment to social justice and the empowerment of individuals and communities and the contribution that social work can make to this through anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice, listening to and respecting the voices of the users of social work services and active implementation of the values of social work. We are committed to ensuring that social workers who successfully complete Ruskin programmes are reflective practitioners who will deliver high quality, effective services in a professional and compassionate manner.



Applicants for the BA (Hons) Social Work should:

  • demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a career in social work or possess the appropriate personal qualities and aptitude to be a social worker
  • have work, voluntary, trade union or personal experience relevant to social work
  • demonstrate clearly a motivation to ‘return to study’ and the potential for handling the academic and intellectual demands of the programme and for meeting the required academic standard by the end of the programme. Evidence of undertaking return to study programmes is one way of demonstrating this. One way to achieve this is by undertaking an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Social Science, available at Ruskin College.
  • have GCSE Grade C or above in both Maths and English on application
  • have an IELTS score of Level 6.5 for nonUK students


This course starts in September. Applications close 15th August. Please note: This course fills its places quickly so early application is advised.


We expect the majority of our graduates to gain social work positions relatively soon after completing the programme. Out of the cohort who graduated in 2013, 83% had found jobs by February 2014. Students often find that employment opportunities arise out of their final placement. All of the above students were successful in finding jobs local to their home area.

Tuition Fees 2015/16

Access to HE Programmes, Level 3, Full Time: £3,358

Certificate of Higher Education Level Full Time Part Time
Business and Social Enterprise Level 4 £6,000 £3,000
English Studies: Creative Writing and Critical Practice Level 4 £9,000 £4,500
History Level 4 £9,000 £4,500
International Labour and Trade Union Studies Level 4 £9,000 £6,750
Law Level 4 £9,000 £4,500
Social and Political Studies Level 4 £9,000 £4,500
Writing for Performance Level 4 £9,000 £4,500
B.A. Degree Level Full Time Part Time
Social Work Level 4 £9,000 £6,750
Youth and Community Level 4 £9,000 £6,750
MA Programmes Level Full Time Part Time
Public History Level 7 £5,100 £2,550
Resident Study Bedroom Rates 2014/15 40wks per wk
Study Bedroom standard Y£4,000 £100
Study Bedroom en-suite £4,840 £121
Last updated Jan 2018

About the School

As a Further Education College based in Oxford, Ruskin offers educational opportunities, to adults with few or no formal qualifications in an informal setting. Our curriculum starts with the students, ... Read More

As a Further Education College based in Oxford, Ruskin offers educational opportunities, to adults with few or no formal qualifications in an informal setting. Our curriculum starts with the students, their enthusiasm, needs, ambitions and skills and we offer our applicants potential progression routes from foundation courses, through to Access to Higher Education, Degree Programmes up to Masters level. Read less