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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. 

Two people clasping handsStudy in work

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

Qualifications 

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 

Derek Archibald

Derek Archibald  

Derek Archibald from Glasgow had never studied at university before, but the OU allowed him to balance work, supporting his family and developing a new pathway to becoming a social worker when his career options felt limited.

 

David Fenwick

David Fenwick  

David Fenwick is a Team Leader in Social Work at a Scottish Local Authority. He used the OU graduate degree in Social Work to prepare him for a challenging role.

 

Kamal D. Ibrahim

Kamal D. Ibrahim  

Balancing a young family with part-time study enabled Kamal D. Ibrahim from Ghana to study for his social work qualification, and to contribute to the OU’s work on removing barriers to access for students from BAME backgrounds.

 

Laura McHarrie

Laura McHarrie  

A partnership between Dumfries and Galloway Council and the OU helped Laura McHarrie develop her career as a social worker while still working, overcoming her doubts to become a prize-winning graduate and a mentor for new students.

 

Grant Milne

Grant Milne  

Highland piper Grant Milne has been able to successfully balance playing music and studying to become a social worker, and is now involved in an exciting project that allows him to combine both passions. 

 

Megan Whyte

Megan Whyte   

From working for a supermarket for nearly a decade, Megan Whyte from Peterhead completed two degrees with the OU and is now in her dream job helping some of the most disadvantaged people in the criminal justice system.

 

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: 

 

More info about social work education at The Open University:

Podcast: In our podcast ‘Solving social work skills challenges in Scotland’, a social worker from Fort William and a Practice Support Officer from Highland Council explore how the OU in Scotland is helping employers address challenges facing the social work profession.

Video: