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.
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 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.
At Stage 4, your first module will focus on either investigating health and social care or mental health. 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.
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 17 March 2021.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) 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
- face-to-face tutorials/day schools/workshops and/or online tutorials
- continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination
- using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
- engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree.
In addition to the above, there are entry requirements for this qualification which include medical criteria; the regulatory body for the BA (Honours) 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, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.
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; elearning 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
If you are an independent student, your existing degree means that you are automatically exempt from Stage 1 of the programme. Once you are registered on K113 at Stage 2, the Open University in Scotland will contact you to note your interest in the independent route. Following a successful interview and selection, you will then enter the degree at Stage 3 (or Stage 2 if you haven’t completed KE206). If you are still studying K113, your offer will be conditional on you passing it.
Applications close 30 July 2021 (sponsored route)
Applications close 12 November 2021 (sponsored route)
How much time do I need?
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Adult guidance worker
- Advice worker
- Careers adviser
- Charity officer
- Community development worker
- Equality and diversity officer
- Health promotion specialist
- Volunteer coordinator
- Youth worker.