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BA (Honours) Social Work (Scotland) (graduate entry)

This social work qualification is for students who already have a degree in any subject from a UK university. A shorter version of our BA (Honours) Social Work (Scotland) (Q41), it enables you to join the programme at a later stage, provided that you meet the entry requirements.

This degree is approved by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), and successful completion entitles you to apply for registration as a qualified social worker, working in either children’s or adult services. To take this course, you need to be working in a social care agency in Scotland, whether or not you’re sponsored by your employer.

Key features of the course

  • Continue in your employment while you study, earning while you learn
  • Study through work-based and distance learning
  • Develop the knowledge and practical skills that underpin effective practice
  • Learn to deal professionally with complex, difficult and sensitive issues
  • Improve your career progression opportunities within social work

Course Summary

Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
Q50
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 10 years
Study method
Distance learning
& Practice-based learning
Practice-based learning is learning delivered in partnership with employers to support their staff development aims.

We’ve blended our unique distance learning approach with learning undertaken in your workplace:
  • A flexible model with the potential to earn as you learn.
  • Develop highly relevant skills and knowledge to advance your career.
  • Allows employers to support employees to develop within the organisation.
  • Recognises both academic achievement and attainment of work competencies.
  • Provides a setting for the assessment of professional competencies, where this is a requirement for your qualification.

Course details

This version of the BA (Honours) Social Work (Scotland) (Q41) allows you to enter the qualification directly at Stage 2, provided that you meet the entry requirements.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

At Stage 2, you’ll continue on a learning journey through the foundations of good social work practice – picking up crucial skills and knowledge along the way. Key concepts around communication will open up your thinking about how theory informs and underpins professional ‘practice’, and you’ll develop your understanding of child care and protection.

Stage 3 (120 credits)

Stage 3 covers a range of legal issues related to social care and social work practice, including children and family services, youth justice, community care and mental health. Our practice-based module will help you understand the key roles that social workers undertake and the relevant knowledge, values and skills of the social work process.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Social work law (K271)60
Applied social work practice (K216)60

Stage 4 (120 credits)

At Stage 4 your first module will focus on adulthood and our ageing society. Then, to complete your degree, you’ll study a practice module and undertake your second 100-day placement. You’ll become an increasingly confident, critical, analytical and reflective practitioner, and an independent learner.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Adulthood, ageing and the life course (K319)60
Critical social work practice (K315)60

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 16 July 2018.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Hons) Social Work (Scotland) (graduate entry) uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and producing diagrams and screenshots
  • undertaking practical work
  • finding external/third party material online
  • in addition to the above, there are entry requirements for this qualification which include medical criteria; the regulatory body for the BA (Hons) in Social Work Scotland (the SSSC) has guidance on health and disability relating to fitness for professional practice.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

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

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BA (Honours) Social Work (Scotland) (graduate entry) degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony and to apply to the Scottish Social Services Council for formal registration as a social worker.

The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on the grades you achieve in 240 credits from graded OU modules above SCQF Level 7, of which at least 120 credits must be from modules at SCQF Level 10.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


Entry requirements

This degree course is restricted to students working in social care in Scotland, who already have a degree in any subject from a UK university.

For sponsored students entry has to be made through the employing agency: you cannot apply direct to the OU. A limited number of places are available to independent students – for more information contact The Open University in Scotland.

Employing agencies and individuals who are interested in this degree should contact the Social Work Co-ordinator at The Open University in Scotland on 0131 226 3851 or email scotland@open.ac.uk.

All candidates for the degree must:
  • have a qualification in maths at the level of Standard Grade Two (as a graduate, the English requirement is met by your degree)
  • show that you can communicate clearly in spoken and written English
  • demonstrate that you have the appropriate personal and intellectual qualities to be a social worker
  • take part in an interview
  • register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) as a social work student – this includes a Disclosure Scotland check.

Start dates

February 2019

Apply by 30 April 2018 (independent route) and 01 November 2018 (sponsored route).

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification, if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

Find out more about credit transfer

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. 

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £17,568*.

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

This degree will develop the skills needed to work with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and other professionals, and you’ll 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.

Career relevance

An honours degree in social work is now the professional qualification required for all social workers in the UK. Once you’ve successfully completed the degree course, you’ll be entitled to apply for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) as a social worker.

Accreditation

Once you’ve successfully completed this degree course, you’ll be entitled to apply to register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) as a social worker.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • Social worker
  • Care home manager
  • Probation officer
  • Prison officer
  • Lecturer
  • Adult guidance worker
  • Advice worker
  • Careers adviser
  • Charity officer
  • Community development worker
  • Equality and diversity officer
  • Counsellor
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Youth worker.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.


Register for this course

Please see Entry requirements to register for this course as online registration is not available.

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