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Social work

Social workers across the length and breadth of Scotland have been trained by The Open University through the range of highly regarded social work qualifications we offer. 

David, social workerStudy in work

There are many ways that employers can support their staff to study social work: 


Our social work degree and postgraduate diploma are approved by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC):  

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Social Work (Scotland) - Leads to registration as a qualified social worker.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work - Students can be sponsored by employers in the statutory or third sectors, or submit an independent application to the programme. This route would potentially allow qualification as a social worker within 18 months. The next cohort will be recruited in 2021 to studying in January 2022.
  • Master of Arts in Social Work - Following successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma, students have the opportunity to do a further module to gain a Master of Arts in Social Work.

The Open University's social work education has been praised for its quality, flexibility and collaborative nature in the most recent Periodic Quality Review

What our social work students and employers say 

David Fenwick (pictured above) is a Social Worker thanks to his OU degree. You can read David's story to find out more about the OU social work student experience. 

Kamal Ibrahim is a postgraduate social work student at the OU in Scotland. He has been appointed as co-researcher on the project Developing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Student-Designed Inclusive Modules, in the OU’s School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care. You can read Kamal’s story to find out more about his OU social work student experience and the project. 

An integral part of the social work programme is undertaking practical learning in social work teams. This video highlights the benefits to teams of offering student placements: