Study Social Work abroad

About this subject

  • About this subject
  • Is this the course for me?
  • Careers prospects
  • Studying Social Work
  • Where to study?
Social work

In 1946, the National Assistance Act established the National Assistance Board who were responsible for producing residential accommodation for old and disabled people, as well as ensuring that young children were adequately provided for. Since then there has been a significant progression within the social sector, with parliamentary acts being passed to deal with social care and supporting the more vulnerable members of society; the old, the weak and the less physically and mentally able.

These days, there are a number of services within the social care spectrum available for individuals and families who need extra support. As part of any social work course, students will gain a comprehension of how the social care system works and the impacts it has upon the people it intends to help.

Is this the course for me?

Are you passionate about pursuing a career that allows you to make a contribution to society? Do you want to make a difference in the world around you? If so, then perhaps a social work course would be perfect for you!

Of course, while it is imperative for any potential social work student to have a caring nature, it is also important that students have an interest in sociology, law and history as understanding the legal structure behind the current social care system, and where this fits into the UK’s social structure as a whole will be a key part of the course.

Most assessments will take place in written format and will include both essays and reports. As such it is vital for students to be self-motivated and have strong analytical skills in order to do well on the course.

Careers prospects

The majority of social work courses are targeted towards individuals looking to pursue a career within the social care sector either within the ‘field social work’ sector dealing with child welfare, mental welfare and securing foster homes, or within residential social work as the carer of a group of people within a residential school or home.

Many social work graduates also opt to study further courses upon graduation in order to take on roles such as counsellors within the NHS, family or community liaison officers within the police force or even taking the Graduate diploma in Law to pursue a career in family law.

However, the skills you will learn throughout your time studying Social Work also make you incredibly employable within other industries in which you are expected to interact with people. From retail positions, to the tourism and leisure industry, the people skills you learn during your course are highly transferable to a wide range of sectors. Some social work graduates also go on to pursue careers as bid writers and copy writers for large companies and organisations with a social focus.

If you’ve a strong social work qualification, then there is an array of careers options available to you and the £24,630 average starting salary per year in the UK reflects this.

Studying Social Work

The majority of undergraduate courses expect applicants to have a minimum of 3 A-levels(or equivalent), and if you’re looking to study for a Masters course, then you should have a strong degree. Provided that meet the requirements and you can sit the IELTS test scoring a minimum of 6.0, then there’s nothing to stop non-native English speakers from applying for a position on any course.

There are a wide range of s subject options available to those wanting to social work, from specialising in child protection to the caring of the physical and mentally vulnerable. The length of your course will very much depend on the University and the level at which you study. While most undergraduate degrees last for a minimum of 3 or 4 years, a post-graduate qualification such as an MA may only last for one.

It is important for any potential student to demonstrate their passion for the subject matter alongside their academic potential and analytical abilities. Previous experience studying subjects such as, history, psychology or even law will help strengthen your application.

Where to study?

Of course it is also important when choosing your place of study that you opt for a location that will make you happy for the duration of your course; particularly if you’re away from home. It is important that you make the most out of your time as a student, especially when you consider how much your time studying will cost, so you should live somewhere that has a community that appeals to your social side If you’re struggling to secure funding, there are a number of scholarships and grants available in order to help with course fees.

Many establishments will cultivate relationships local authorities that will not only provide students with employment opportunities post-graduation, but will also allow potential students to gain hands on work experience within a social care environment. When you are applying to study on a social work course, it is important not only to look at the module options available to you, but also the practical hands-on experience that your University will allow you to gain during your studies. Are you able to undertake any extracurricular course-related work placements? Will this contribute towards your final mark?

Most Universities have very specific requirements for potential students and will specify that applicants have specific A-level grades for undergraduate courses, or a 2:1 degree for any post-graduate qualification. Make sure that you meet the entry requirements before deciding where you want to study.

What Social Work courses are there?


Social Policy / Administration


Social / Family / Community Work

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