Social Work (Relevant Graduate Entry) (BSW)

Queen's University Belfast the United Kingdom

For more information about Social Work (Relevant Graduate Entry) at Queen's University Belfast, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
2 Years

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Social Work (Relevant Graduate Entry) at Queen's University Belfast

The BSW degree is a professional qualification in Social Work accredited throughout the UK and recognised in the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere. The programme is a mixture of academic study and assessed practice learning opportunities . Practice learning opportunities involve full-time work in a social work agency (85 days at Level 2 and 100 days at Level 3) supported and assessed by a Practice Teacher. A wide range of social work agency partners are an integral part of the development and delivery of the programme.

Social Work (Relevant Graduate Entry) Degree highlights

Social Work at Queen's is ranked 9th in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2018.

Global Opportunities

  • There are opportunities whilst on the Social Work degree to participate in summer visits to other countries to explore social work education and practise in an international context, including Germany and the United States.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in international student exchange visits and gain experience of social work practice in Europe and North America. In 2015/16, for example, students participated in organised exchanges to Muenster, Germany and Portland, USA.

Professional Accreditations

  • The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) accredits the BSW degree, followed by the Assessed Year in Employment (in Northern Ireland only). All students must register with NISCC and this registration must be maintained for the duration of the programme. NISCC is solely empowered to admit and retain students on its register

Professional Exemptions

  • Following an Assessed Year in Employment (AYE), graduates will be professionally-qualified social workers.

Industry Links

  • For information on the Assessed Year in Employment see employment opportunities in the statutory sector in Northern Ireland see registration as a Social Worker in the Republic of Ireland see

Student Experience

  • Social Work at Queen's is consistently in the top 10 out of the 74 universities in the UK which provide social work courses.
  • There is a non-means-tested financial support package for all Northern Ireland-domiciled students studying in Northern Ireland; for further details and to check your eligibility, please visit the DHSSPS website: ( Please note that all Health and Social Services bursaries are currently under review and may be subject to change.


Career Prospects

Studying for a social work degree at Queen's will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including social work.

Employment after the Course
The majority of BSW graduates gain graduate level employment in a social work agency and complete the Assessed Year in Employment (AYE) to complete their full registration with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC).

For information on the Assessed Year in Employment see

For employment opportunities in the statutory sector in Northern Ireland see

For registration as a Social Worker in the Republic of Ireland see

Employment Links
Close links with employers
At the heart of the delivery of the degree in social work in Northern Ireland is the sense of partnership between academic institutions, practice learning providers, organisations employing social workers, the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC), students, and service users and carers. At Queen's University this is given expression through a standing committee, the Collaborative Partnership at Queen's (CPAQ).

The role of CPAQ is to:
- Assist in supporting regional partnership arrangements for the delivery of qualifying social work education
- Monitor the profile of applicants to the degree in social work at Queen's University
- Provide advice on the content of the undergraduate social work curriculum
- Monitor the provision and quality of practice learning opportunities for students
- Support the involvement as required of service users and carers, and professional staff in the delivery of the social work programmes
- Keep the University appraised of developments in social care in Northern Ireland and elsewhere that may have implications for the content of the curriculum
- Review the outcomes of the social work programmes quality assurance mechanisms to ensure compliance with NISCC standards and requirements
- Keep NISCC informed of all significant matters related to the social work programmes at undergraduate level

We have excellent links with a large number of employers across the statutory, voluntary and community sectors including, for example, Health and Social Care Trusts, the Probation Board Northern Ireland and voluntary organisations such as NSPCC, Barnardos, Bryson House, Women's Aid and Positive Futures all of whom provide practice learning opportunities to our students.

Our past students have also gained employment with a wide range of organisations such as:
Health and Social Care Trusts
Positive Futures
Probation Board for Northern Ireland

Alumni Success
Graduate Careers and Achievements
Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in social work, some do develop careers in a wide range of other sectors.

Social workers are employed throughout the statutory and voluntary social services. There are many career development opportunities leading to specialist posts and to the highest levels of management within statutory and voluntary social services agencies.

You should also take a look at and for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract social work graduates.

Further study is also an option open to social work graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Master's programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics.

The typical starting salary of graduates six months after graduation is between £21,000 and £22,000 with 90% of graduates finding employment (source: Unistats).

Additional Awards Gained

The BSW is the recognised professional qualification in Social Work.

Prizes and Awards

The highest achieving students in Social Work are awarded the annual Brian Rankin Prize with the highest achieving student receiving the Brian Rankin medal.

Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBSWHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2019-20 will be based on 2018-19 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.

Northern Ireland (NI)£4,160England, Scotland or Wales (GB)£9,250Other (non-UK) EU£4,160International£15,550

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student's tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Social Work (Relevant Graduate Entry) costs

Students are responsible for funding travel costs to and from placements in years 1 & 2 and in undertaking module SWK1005/2017 (Introduction to Social Sciences for Social Work) in year 1. These are offset by a £500 contribution from the Department of Health Incentive Scheme (which is under review and subject to change). Work placement travel expenses may be reclaimed from the Practice Learning provider (dependant on the organisation you are on placement with). A registration fee of £20 is payable annually to NISCC for student Social Workers.

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at


Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

Students with a relevant Honours degree (minimum standard 2.2) will be considered for admission to a shortened two-year course leading to the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree.

A relevant degree is deemed to be an Honours degree where at least one third of the course passed at Honours level comprises one or more of the following: Sociology, Psychology, Social Policy/Social Administration; and degrees in Law, Teaching, Nursing, Community Work, Youth Work, Early Childhood Studies or other cognate subjects.

Graduates in any other subjects (minimum standard 2.2) who have successfully completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) will also be considered.

Applicants must have a minimum of a grade C in GCSE Mathematics or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

Applicants being considered for an offer will be interviewed.

1. Because of the professional nature of the course, a satisfactory Access NI check and registration with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council are required.

2. Applicants are advised to have some experience in employment or voluntary work of a social work nature.

3. Applicants being considered for an offer will be interviewed to assess their suitability for Social Work training. The interview is organised on a regional basis enabling candidates to have a single interview for all Northern Ireland Social Work programmes.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

How we choose our students

Download "How we choose our students" PDF


For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

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