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    An undergraduate qualification in Health and Social Care.

BA (Honours) Social Work (England)

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Description

Social workers support and protect some of society’s most deprived and vulnerable people. It’s immensely challenging and rewarding work, requiring a high level of motivation and commitment. You also need a qualifying degree.

The Open University’s BA (Hons) Social Work (England) is approved by the regulatory body and successful completion of the programme provides eligibility to apply for registration as a social worker. To take this degree course, you need to be working in a social care agency and be sponsored by your employer regardless of whether they or you pay the tuition fees. Your employer will work in partnership with us to support your learning. You’ll continue with your employment while you study, earning while you learn.

Studying through work-based and distance learning, you’ll develop the knowledge and practical skills that underpin effective practice, and the ability to deal with difficult and sensitive issues while working within a complex professional system. Towards the end of your studies, specialist options will enable you to focus on particular client groups and practice areas.

Fees and facts

Where will you be resident whilst you study?

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Fee: Choose country above to see fee and ways to pay.
Study method: Flexible, part-time study through distance learning.
Type of qualification: Degree
Degree
undergraduate.qualification.Q32,qualification,,degree,1

Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.

For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.

With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.

You can use a degree to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.
Code: Q32

Entry requirements

Although some modules in this degree are available to all students, the full degree programme is at present restricted to students who are being sponsored and supported in their practice by their employing agency. Entry to the degree has to be made through the employing agency; you cannot apply direct to the OU. Agencies and individuals who are interested in taking part in the degree course are invited initially to contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service. If you are offered a place on our programme you can pay your own fees or be funded by your employer.

All candidates for the degree must:

  • have GCSE at grades A-C in English and Mathematics or certified equivalent  
  • meet the UCAS tariff threshold of 240 points or equivalent
  • show that they can communicate clearly in spoken and written English
  • demonstrate that they have the appropriate personal and intellectual qualities to be social workers
  • obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) with barred lists (children and adults) check
  • undertake a written test
  • take part in an interview.

Career relevance and employability

The degree will prepare you for practice as you begin your career as a qualified social worker. You’ll have gained the skills needed to work with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and other professionals, and be able to demonstrate to employers your professional competence in social work practice. Employers sponsoring staff on this degree have commented that:

  • OU graduates are enthusiastic social workers who are well equipped to provide high quality interventions with service users
  • a very high percentage of their OU qualified staff remain within their organisation and progress to more senior roles.

There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Accreditation

Once you’ve successfully completed this degree course, you’ll be entitled to apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a social worker.

Register your interest

For academic year 2014/15, registration opens on 30/04/2014. If you would like to be kept updated, you can register your interest now.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.  

If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Classification of your degree

On successful completion of the necessary modules, you will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Social Work (England) degree. You will be entitled to use the letters BA (Hons) after your name, and to apply to the regulatory body in England for formal registration as a social worker. 

Your honours degree will be classified either as first-class, upper second-class, lower second-class or third-class. The class of degree is determined by the grades you achieve in 240 credits from graded OU modules above Level 1, of which at least 120 credits must be from modules at Level 3. 

You will have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

If you have a disability

Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:

  • the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
  • how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
  • any work-based competency requirements.

Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007), Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.

Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Your questions

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