Social Work

If your application to study BA (Hons) Social Work is successful, we'll invite you to an interview day in Cambridge, Chelmsford or Peterborough.

On this page, you'll find some handy tips about preparing for your interview.

Come prepared

You'll need to be prepared with knowledge and understanding of the role of a social worker. When you graduate, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. As you’ll be working with service users at a very vulnerable time in their lives from early on in your degree course, and throughout your career, you're expected to be aware of and uphold the HCPC's professional values and behaviours.

Format of the day

Your interview day will take the following format.

Welcome talk

For the first stage you'll be all together as a group and given a short presentation on studying social work at ARU.

Literacy assessment

You’ll be sent an article in advance of the interview day. It is wise to read this carefully and to research around the topic. On the day, you won’t have the article or notes with you. You’ll be asked to give a short, essay style responses (4-5 questions) to questions related to the article. You’ll have 25 minutes to write your answers, which is expected to be well constructed, legible and use correct grammar and punctuation. Make sure you give yourself enough time for each answer.

Group exercise

After a short break, you’ll move into the group exercise, which lasts for 25 minutes. You’ll watch a short video, to generate a discussion. Again, you'll be given a relevant question to discuss. This helps us to assess your communication, decision-making and team-working skills, as well as your ability to respect other people's opinions.

Individual interview

The individual interview is your chance to impress a panel with your understanding of the role of a social worker and why you would like to work in this field. We'll ask you what it is that attracted you to this course and what has inspired you to pursue a career in social work. This is your final chance to sell yourself, so it'is key to prepare for what you may be asked, perhaps drawing on your own personal, life and professional experience. Alongside your answers, you'll also be assessed on areas including professionalism, values and ethics, and knowledge.

Both the group exercises and individual interviews are evaluated by a panel of academics, service users and practitioners, so it's important that you do your research. Reading newspapers and magazines such as Community Care and the Society section in The Guardian will help with this.

Above all, you need to be certain that this is the profession you want to join. Consider visiting us at an Open Day if you haven't already, then commit yourself to learning as much as you can before your interview day.