Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)
You can choose to study this course over four years, with a foundation year. If you choose this option, the first year of your study will be delivered by our partner, Cambridge Ruskin International College (CRIC) on our Cambridge campus. In years 2 to 4 you have the option to study with us in Chelmsford or Cambridge.
Thrive on a challenge and passionate about making a difference? Our full-time Social Work degree could be for you. Study in Cambridge and Chelmsford and develop your skills through a variety of placements. Our three year degree is approved by Social Work England (SWE) so, when you graduate, you’ll be able to register as a social worker. Unlock the door to a rewarding career where you empower adults and children to be at their best.
Social work is about empowering people and supporting them towards being independent. Social workers help people to function, participate and develop in society.
Our course provides the knowledge, values and skills you will need to qualify as a social worker. But social work isn’t just about what you learn: it’s also about who you are. You will need qualities such as patience, honesty, sensitivity, tolerance, persistence and sound judgement.
As a student, you will train to assess people’s circumstances and needs. Working alongside other professionals, you will plan, provide, review and evaluate services. You will become skilled in problem-solving, and understand how to set up supportive activities with individuals, families, groups and communities. Learning to assess the risks facing vulnerable children or adults, and how to set up and measure protection plans for them will be key. You will also gain a thorough understanding of your legal powers and duties.
Our course is full-time, and features presentations and role play as well as more traditional lectures and seminars. We work closely with our SUCI (Service User and Carers Involvement) group. This gives you a chance to discuss with people who have experience and opinions about social care and use their feedback to improve your practice.
All of our students do two practice placements – 70 days in Year 2, and 100 days in Year 3. One of these placement will involve statutory tasks, including legal interventions. Both placements are an invaluable opportunity to learn in the workplace and you will cover a range of topics such as engagement, assessment, interpersonal skills, interventions, safeguarding and the appropriate use of authority.
If you study in Chelmsford, your placements will be anywhere in Essex, including Thurrock and Southend authorities. If you are a Cambridge student, your placements could be anywhere in Cambridgeshire and possibly in Peterborough. We have limited access to statutory placements outside these areas. You cannot choose your placement but rather it is assigned by the university. We will make sure that you get a range of settings to best support your training. It’s likely that you’ll have to travel as part of your placement, so you’ll need your own transport to visit service users in the community, where public transport may not be available.
Our course is approved by SWE, which makes it a professional qualification in social work. When you graduate, you’ll be able to apply to register with SWE as a social worker.
As a social worker, you’ll be at the forefront of helping the people most in need. You could work with a range of people, who are facing a range of issues, in a public, private or charitable organisation. You could even work independently. Increasingly, social workers work closely in teams with professionals from other disciplines. Your placements will have given you experience of working both with adults and children, by the end of the course you will have a better idea of the area you are most interested in.
Our course will prepare you for working in a variety of settings, many of which can be as rewarding as they are challenging. You’ll learn to work safely and within the law, and develop a wide range of transferable skills, including case management and communication skills. Examples of settings our graduates work in include the YMCA, learning disability charities, family centres and county or city councils. Different services our graduates are involved in are adult safeguarding, youth offender, adult in needs, children protection, fostering and adoption. Read our graduates' employability case studies for more details.
Assessments are your opportunity to show the skills and knowledge that you are gaining in your journey to become a social worker. We use a variety of assessment methods which include assignments, presentations, learning journals, portfolios, patchwork texts (short pieces of writing, or ‘patches’, built up week-by-week), poster design and placements.
The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.
We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.
We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.
For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages
Up to £500 for travel.
You can pay your fees in the following ways.
UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.
We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.
Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.
We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email email@example.com for further information.
We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.
This course is not currently available to international students.
Do you want to know more about this course, or student life at ARU more generally? Send a message to our Student Ambassador - they'll be happy to answer any questions you have.
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