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Social Work

BA (Hons)
BA (Hons) Social Work

At Robert Gordon University, this BA (Hons) Social Work course will provide you with the knowledge, values and skills to practise as a qualified Social Worker. We're the largest provider of social work education in Scotland and have a strong reputation for providing high-quality teaching resulting in highly employable graduates.

As a Social Worker you will work 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.

You will benefit from good staff-student contact time, with experienced, specialist lecturers, many of whom are still practicing. You will also have the opportunity to work with service users so you can develop your skills and confidence in a realistic environment.

We’re ranked 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the UK for course satisfaction in Social Work (Guardian University Guide 2021)

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date


Course Length

4 years

Year 1

You will study the foundations of social work and will engage in sociology and psychology modules to look at internal and external factors impacting on the lives of service users. You will be encouraged to start using research to support academic writing, and will also be introduced to law.

Year 2

You’ll build upon what you learn in year 1 before you commence your first placement. When you return for Term 2 the focus turns to service user specific modules and we explore the skills and knowledge base required for each area.

Year 3

You will commence your second practical placement which takes place in Term 1. Upon return in Term 2, the modules will again focus on service user specific areas and will also start to prepare you for writing your dissertation.   

Year 4

Term 1 will see you commence your final placement and in term 2 you can select an elective module to study, alongside interdisciplinary practice and your dissertation study.

Graduate Stories


We have on campus and virtual events to help you find out more about study, student experience and future career paths.



Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

Learning Methods

We use a variety of teaching and assessment methods including; small group teaching, seminars, lectures, role-plays, simulations, laboratory experiments, workshops and projects. In addition, a Tutor will be allocated to you, who will provide you with advice and guidance on academic and non-academic matters. We believe that learning should be applied to practice so you are encouraged to become reflective, independent learners, identifying and working towards your own learning objectives.

Activity Summary

  • Lectures - 60 students per group, 4 hours per week
  • Seminars - 20 students per group, 8 hours per week
  • Tutorial - group supervision and one-to-one support throughout terms
  • Placement / Work Based Learning - group supervision and one-to-one support weekly on placement

How long is a BA (Hons) Social Work course?

The duration of a Social Work degree is 4 years.

Independent Study

There is a strong emphasis on independent study where you are encouraged to research material in preparation for tutorials, prepare group work exercises, and conduct a research project.  All modules will direct you to indicative and recommended reading. On average, you are encouraged to engage in 20 hours of independent study per module.

Staff Delivering on This Course

All staff members delivering teaching on the course are qualified Social Workers and hold a variety of academic qualifications. We also have external experts who will provide teaching, as well as colleagues from across other RGU schools in the health professions who add valuable contribution and insight into the issues you will face as a Social Worker.


Typically students are assessed each year:

Year 1

  • 3 written exams, typically for 2 hours
  • 5 written assignments, including essays
  • 2 oral assessments

Year 2

  • 8 written assignments, including essays

Year 3

  • 6 written assignments, including essays
  • 1 oral assessment

Year 4

  • 4 written assignments, including essays
  • 1 dissertation
  • 1 oral assessment


We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.


Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.



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 (in years 2, 3 and 4). 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).

Job Prospects

Graduates find employment across the social work sector. Our students have been in great demand throughout the UK, and 95% are in work or study six months after finishing the course (Unistats, 2018). The international focus of the course also provides employment possibilities in a range of European countries, the USA and Australia.

Is Social Work a good career choice?

Previous BA Social Work graduates of Robert Gordon University have gone on to pursue the following careers:

  • Child and Family Social Worker
  • Team Leader
  • Care Manager
  • Criminal Justice Social Worker

What are the entry requirements for a BA (Hons) Social Work degree?

Standard Entry Requirements

  • SQA Higher: BBCC. Applicants will be expected to have Mathematics, Numeracy or equivalent and English at National 5 at grade C or above.
  • GCE A Level: CCC. Applicants will be expected to have Mathematics, Numeracy or equivalent and English at GCSE level at grade 5/C or above.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H3H3H3H3. Applicants will be expected to have Mathematics, Numeracy or equivalent and English at grade O3 or above.
  • IB Diploma: 26. Applicants will be expected to have Mathematics, Numeracy or equivalent and English at Standard Level grade 4 or above.

Minimum Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for widening access applicants are:

  • SQA Higher: BCC/CCCC to include Maths, Numeracy or equivalent and English at National 5 C or above.

Alternative Qualifications

We welcome applications from those with equivalent qualifications to those stated, including SVQs/NVQs, access programmes and overseas qualifications. Applications from students with non-standard qualifications or work experience will be considered on an individual basis. 

Applicants from Partner Colleges

A relevant HND will be considered for Year 2 entry. Applicants with an HNC from a formal partner college will also be considered for Year 2 entry.


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 Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 7.0 overall and 7.0 in each element, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


The BA (Hons) Social Work course has the following tuition fees:

For Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Scottish Students: £1820 per academic year
  • EU Students: £6,750 per academic year
  • Rest of UK Students: £6,750 per academic year
  • International Students: £15,040 per academic year

For Academic Year 2020/2021

  • Scottish/EU Students: £1820 per academic year
  • Rest of UK Students: £6,750 per academic year
  • International Students: £15,040 per academic year

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

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:

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:

Widening Access Accommodation and Welcome Pack Offer

If you are applying to RGU for September 2021 and meet widening access criteria, you may qualify for free accommodation in your first year of study, along with our welcome pack to support your transition to university. Find out if you are eligible:


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

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Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

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