BSc (Hons) in Social Work


Program Description

Social work is a rewarding but challenging career, allowing you to work with people from all backgrounds, and covering everyone from children to older adults. It's all about supporting those individuals in society who need help underpinned by a commitment to social justice.

What does being a social worker in the 21st century involve? A recent report called for social work professionals to become more autonomous and critically reflective - these elements are at the heart of this programme.

The BA (Hons) Social Work Programme offers a research-informed, challenging and comprehensive curriculum that enables students to develop as critically aware and effective social workers across all areas of practice. We use a wide range of innovative teaching methods that allow students to build the requisite knowledge, skills, and values for social work; this includes extensive contributions to teaching and learning from our partners in the local authority, voluntary and third sector agencies.

We also place particular emphasis on hearing directly from people who use social work services and have an active services user and carer network. These approaches ensure that our programme remains current, relevant and intellectually stimulating, which is reflected in the excellent evaluations and satisfaction ratings received year on year from final year students.

We are looking for candidates who have the values, motivation, personal qualities and commitment to meet the demands of the profession. Candidates must have experience in social care/social work, for example, voluntary work such as befriending or paid employment.

This programme allows you to qualify as a social worker, eligible for professional registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and other UK Care Councils.

Your career

To date, graduates have found employment with local authorities in areas such as children and families teams, criminal justice, mental health and community care as well as the voluntary and third sectors.

What you will study

Year 1

A Critical Introduction to Social Work.

Year 2

Signature Skills and Knowledge for Social Work.

Year 3

Integrating Theory and Practice.

Year 4

Developing Critical Practice.

Entry requirements

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Year 1

SQA Higher

BBBC including English plus Nat 5 Maths at C.

A Level

CCC plus GCSE English and Maths at C/4.

ILC Higher

H2 H3 H3 H3 including English at Higher and Ordinary level Maths at O2.

IB Diploma

24 points.

English language

Academic IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent) with no element below 5.5.

Additional information

Selected applicants will be invited to attend interview as part of the admissions process

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognized professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

International pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for the English for University Study programme.

Year 2

HNC Social Care with A in the Graded Unit (including completion of agreed curriculum materials in college, completion of the reflective practice materials and minimum 90% attendance at college and on placement).

All applicants from college must hold a maths/numeracy qualification at the minimum of SCQF Level 5. Selected candidates will be invited to interview.

Fees and funding

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Tuition fees 2018/19

  • Home: £1820
  • RUK: £9250*
  • EU: £1820
  • International: £11,500

*Total tuition fees for RUK students completing a three or four-year degree are capped at £27,750. Specific fees are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Government and may change once confirmed.

If you commence your studies in September 2018 or January 2019, these are the annual or module fees that apply to the duration of your course; however, fees are subject to change. For full details on how fees may change read our fees and refund policy.

Additional costs

In addition to course tuition fees, you may encounter additional costs during your time at University.


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2.5 million per year.

If you have any questions or inquiries regarding scholarships available for 2018/19, please feel free to contact the student inquiries team.

International student start dates

For new international students, orientation events start on 14 September 2018. This extra time is specifically designed to assist new international students in settling into the UK and GCU prior to the start of general student induction and teaching.

There will be a whole host of fun and informative activities taking place during this period, including campus and city tours, as well as welcome events where you can meet other international students.

Professional accreditation

This programme allows you to qualify as a social worker, eligible for professional registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and other UK Care Councils.

Assessment methods

We use a wide range of learning and teaching methods to ensure that you have both the necessary knowledge and understanding of business and management and a portfolio of intellectual and personal skills.

Each module on the programme uses its own learning, teaching and assessment strategy to achieve learning objectives. Assessment methods vary between modules and may include unseen examinations, class tests, essays, management reports, case studies, presentations, and group work.

Teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods we use to ensure that our programme is both vocationally relevant and academically challenging. Our approach is student-centered, practical, participative and relevant to the needs of employers.

We've moved away from the traditional teacher-centric learning to a more independent learning approach, where you are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills.

Last updated July 2018

About the School

The School of Health and Life Sciences, one of three academic schools in GCU, brings together the departments of Life Sciences, Psychology, Social Work and Allied Health Sciences and Nursing and Commu ... Read More

The School of Health and Life Sciences, one of three academic schools in GCU, brings together the departments of Life Sciences, Psychology, Social Work and Allied Health Sciences and Nursing and Community Health. Working in partnership with our staff, students and external stakeholders, the School of Health and Life Sciences has created a unifying vision designed to meet the 2020 University Strategy, embedding excellence, engagement and energy into every aspect of school life. Read less