Social Work Degree BA (Hons)

BA (Hons) Social Work

1. Overview

The role of the social worker is vital to the local community and society in general. Working with people of all ages who may be socially excluded, vulnerable or undergoing some level of crisis, your role will be to guide, support and enable the service user to eventually support themselves as much as possible.

This full-time degree will provide you with the underpinning knowledge, values and skills required by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) to practise as a qualified social worker. You will be prepared for practice in all areas of social work, including child care, child protection, criminal justice and community care, and in a range of settings, including community, residential and group care.

This long-established course has an enviable reputation for the high quality of its teaching and support, as well as the high level of employment achieved by its graduates.

2. What you will study

Year 1

  • Study and Research Skills
  • Individual Psychology and the Lifespan
  • Introductory Sociology
  • Social Work Values, Roles and Tasks
  • Cognitive and Social Psychology
  • Sociology of Identity, Difference and Deviance
  • An Introduction to Law and Politics in Social Work
  • Social Work in Society

Year 2

  • Law and Social Work
  • Human Growth and Behaviour
  • Social Policy and Social Work Practice
  • Social Work Methods
  • Social Work Practice 1
  • Disability and Mental Health: A Life Course Approach
  • Social Work with Older People
  • Social Work with People with Substance Problems
  • Group Care/Support and Protection - Practice Issues and Ethical Dilemmas

Year 3

  • Social Work Practice 2
  • Practice Learning 2/Contexts
  • Personal and Professional Development 1
  • Social Work with Children and Families
  • Social Work Practice and Research Methods
  • Social Work in Criminal Justice
  • Counselling within Social Work Practice

Year 4

  • Social Work Practice 3
  • Practice Learning - Risk Assessment/Risk Management
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Dissertation Study
  • Integrated Health and Social Care
  • Social Work in a Global Context OR Leadership and Management in Social Work Settings OR Therapeutic Practice with Children

The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our Course Disclaimer for more information.

3. How you will learn

The School of Applied Social Studies uses a variety of instructional methods including; small group teaching, seminars, lectures, role-plays, simulations, laboratory experiments, workshops and projects.

Student studies are supported by state-of-the-art facilities at Garthdee including an excellent library, over 2,500 desktop computers and full network facilities incorporating a virtual learning environment, the Virtual Campus.

The school believes that learning should be applied to practice so students are encouraged to become reflective, independent learners, identifying and working towards their own learning objectives.

All students are allocated a named personal tutor within the School of Applied Social Studies. The personal tutor provides students with advice and guidance on academic and non-academic matters. Initially they may need to help new students adjust to University life and later on personal tutors will check whether students are encountering difficulties that are preventing them from obtaining the full benefit of University studies.

How the tutor time is used is guided by the student and facilitated by the tutor. Many tutors will see their students at least twice a semester however this can be more frequent during the first semester of year one to facilitate the transition to university life. Personal tutors are accessible by appointment throughout the semester. In the case of an urgent request every effort is made to provide an appointment the same day.

4. Entry requirements

SQA Higher: BBCC. Applicants will be expected to have Mathematics, Numeracy or equivalent at National 5 level Grade C or above.

GCE A Level: CCC. Applicants will be expected to have Mathematics, Numeracy or equivalent at GCSE Grade C or above.

Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: B2B2C1C1. Applicants will be expected to have Mathematics, Numeracy or equivalent at Ordinary level Grade C or above.

IB Diploma: 26. Applicants will be expected to have Mathematics, Numeracy or equivalent at Standard Level Grade 4 or above.

Advanced Entry: Applicants who are interested in applying for advanced entry will be considered on an individual basis. If interested in this possibility please contact the Admissions Tutor to discuss further.

Interview: You will be required to attend an interview. Overseas applicants will be interviewed by Skype. Applicants who do not have an appropriate certificated level of Mathematics, Numeracy or equivalent will be expected to demonstrate an appropriate level of numeracy at interview.

English language requirementsfor those whose first language is not English.

* All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

5. Placements and accreditations


A major strength of the course is the practice placement opportunities which are an integral part of study. You will undertake three practice placements: one lasting two months, one lasting three months and one lasting four months. There is also the opportunity to undertake one placement in a European country other than the UK. The rewards from undertaking these placements are enormous, both in terms of initial professional development and in applying theoretical principles to real-life situations. Practice is assessed according to the competence requirements of Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

Professional Accreditation

Successful completion of the degree confers eligibility to practise as a social worker within the UK, and to register with the SSSC and the other Social Care Councils in the UK.

6. Student Funding

If you are a Scottish resident or EU national you are not liable to pay fees and should apply to SAAS for funding.

Students from other parts of the UK should visit the appropriate website:


7. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2016/2017

Scottish/EU Students

  • £1820 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

  • £6,750 per academic year

International Students

  • £11,600 per academic year

For Academic Year 2015/2016

Scottish/EU Students

  • £1820 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

  • £6,750 per academic year

International Students

  • £11,160 per academic year

For Academic Year 2014/2015

Scottish/EU Students

  • £1820 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

  • £6,750 per academic year

International Students

  • £10,800 per academic year

For Academic Year 2013/2014

Scottish/EU Students

  • £1820 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

  • £6,750 per academic year

International Students

  • £10,000 per academic year

For Academic Year 2012/2013

Scottish/EU Students


  • £1,820 per academic year

Rest of UK Students


  • £5,000 per academic year

International Students

  • £9,500 per academic year

For Academic Year 2011/2012

UK/EU Students

  • £1820 per academic year

International Students

  • £9,250 per academic year


All course fees are reviewed annually and subject to change. Published fees apply to the course's mode of delivery. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


8. How to apply

All applications should be made through UCAS. You must apply online at

Once you register and create your username and password, you are guided through the process of applying. After submission, log in to your UCAS Track account and you can see the progress of your application, and view and respond to your offers.

For application enquiries email or phone 01224 262728.

For course enquiries contact Stewart Brodie or phone 01224 263226.

9. Prospects

Following successful completion of the course, students find employment across the social work sector. In the past our students have been in great demand throughout the UK. The international focus of the course also provides employment possibilities in a range of European countries, the USA and Australia. Our graduates have also found employment in criminal justice, child care/child protection as well as working with people with mental health issues, substance misuse problems, physical disabilities or old age.

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BA (Hons)



Start date


Course length

4 years

Mode of Attendance


Academic school
School of Applied Social Studies
More information:
Undergraduate Admissions (01224) 262728
Complete University Guide - Top 10
CUG Social Work
First in Scotland for Social Work - Guardian University Guide


Shaun Miller - BA (Hons) Social Work

Shaun Miller

Shaun is a 3rd year student studying Social Work. He chose RGU because of its excellent graduate employment record. He enjoys the social life in Aberdeen and finds the city safe and friendly.

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781