Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Top marks for social work programme at Bath

Mon Oct 06 16:35:00 BST 2014

Given the bad press that social work sometimes receives it is encouraging that people are still willing to consider a career as a social worker. Indeed, the undergraduate social work programme at the University is thriving.

Our social work qualifying programme currently sits at the top of two of the most influential national subject league tables: the Sunday Times University Guide 2015 and the Complete University Guide 2015.

Every year the course at Bath supplies 42 trained social workers who go on to find work in the local area, or further afield in the UK.

Dr Louise Brown, Head of the Social Work Group explains: "Whatever we think about league tables we know that they play a big part in helping students decide which University to apply to. These recent results mean that the calibre of our applicants and subsequent graduates is very high, so tackling the concerns nationally that the standard of graduates entering the profession is not good enough.

"We have a responsibility to the profession to make sure that the newly qualified social workers we train have the right skills and values to take on such difficult work and are professional and competent going into practice. The recent league tables will only increase the level of interest in our programme and, in turn, we shall continue to supply the South West and further afield with a steady stream of highly professional social workers and managers."

Dr Brown attributes the success of social work at Bath to a number of factors: first a small team of dedicated staff work who also work very closely with partner agencies in the region to provide first-class practice learning opportunities for the students; and, secondly, students benefit from the investment made in the world-class facilities at the Claverton campus.

Together the academics and practitioners pride themselves on ensuring that the quality of the graduates is exceptionally high. This is reflected in the number of Bath social work graduates going straight into employment.

Recent graduate of the course, Emma Wells, commented: "The quality of the teaching and placements offered by Bath was excellent. I decided early in the course that I wanted a career in substance misuse and the University supported this ambition by searching for and providing me with the placements that would help me to achieve this. I think that what makes Bath really special is the commitment of the teaching staff to producing confident and competent Social Workers.

"I am now working as a Drug and Alcohol Social Worker for the NHS in London. Social work has given me a purpose that has changed my life for the better."

Professor Ian Butler, Dean of our Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences added: “Our students are creative and compassionate. They work hard and they are hugely committed – just like our staff. We know the challenges that face every social worker every day and we do our best to prepare our students for the fantastic job that they have chosen to do.”

Dr Cath Holstrom, External Examiner of the University’s course, said: "The degree structure and content contains exciting elements that cover national requirements but in a way that seems to enable the flavour of the Bath degree to come through – this doesn’t feel like ‘just another standard social work degree’."

Find out more about the Social Work and Applied Social Studies courses at Bath »