There aren’t many careers or degree courses that make you feel like you’re giving back to society in the way Social Work can.
Social Work is much more than ‘helping people’. At its best it saves lives, protects vulnerable people from harm and enhances the life chances of those in social need. This course engages the head, the heart and the hands because theoretical knowledge, practical experience and human compassion are all essential requisites of an effective social worker.
Coventry has been educating social workers for over 50 years. Professionally accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), on completion, you will be eligible to apply to the HCPC to register as a social worker.
This course is designed to develop your professional skills and knowledge so that you may achieve a recognised HCPC professional social work qualification. The curriculum centres on the Professional Capabilities of Social Work framework currently held by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) of: professionalism; values and ethics; diversity; rights, justice and economic wellbeing; knowledge; critical reflection and analysis; intervention and skills; and contexts and organisations.
You will study a range of academic topics ranging from Child Care and Adult Law, Safeguarding Vulnerable People, Social Work Theory and Methods, Human Growth and Development and Readiness to Practice Skills. These are not ‘dry’ topics, but are all designed to help you better understand people’s needs and life journeys and to equip you with the underpinning knowledge for practice.
The course is grounded in practice so that you experience first-hand the contemporary challenges and rapidly changing patterns of social work provision. You will undertake two separate and assessed practice placements, one of 70 days and one of 100. Supervised and supported by a qualified social worker and team members, you will begin to apply theory to practice, undertake direct work with service users and evidence the capabilities required by completion of the degree. Placements potentially cover the whole life cycle from children to elders and a range of service user groups.
Why choose this course?
People study social work because they want to make a difference. They care for people in need and are determined to try to give a better life to those experiencing abuse, neglect, ill health, poverty or disability.
Educating social workers for over 50 years, Coventry was chosen by Government in 2012 as a regional partner in the Children’s Workforce Development ‚Step-up to Social Work’ project. All of our course tutors are qualified social workers with many years’ professional experience and many are research active. They have worked for local authorities, voluntary organisations and regulatory bodies both in the UK and abroad. Many tutors have held senior positions within these organisations either as managers or in advisory capacities, informing on legislation, governance and practice developments, ensuring you receive social work teaching that is informed by specialist and expert knowledge of both national and international social work practice.
We have exceptionally high levels of student satisfaction – 96% of students agreed that staff were good at explaining things and 91% students agreed staff made the subject interesting in the latest National Student Survey (NSS) 2017.
You’ll find a course team passionate about the profession and committed to preparing the next generation of social workers with the skills, knowledge and values required in today’s complex, multicultural world. Both our staff and students, who include school leavers and mature students returning to study, come from a range of diverse social, ethnic and religious backgrounds. This mirrors the cultural diversity of wider society, bringing richness to the learning experience.
We benefit from strong partnerships with local statutory agencies, including Coventry City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council, as well many organisations in the voluntary and independent sectors. These well-established links enable us to provide high quality student placements and ensure we can actively involve service users and carers. For example, we involve service users and carers in teaching and also in our selection processes.
We’ll encourage you to understand the causes of social need and exclusion. For example, first year students undertake activities which help them to understand the impact of social environments on individuals and families Students also pursue their own investigation and critical enquiry through a supervised dissertation project.
You’ll put theory into practice on placement in a range of social work and care settings, dealing with complex situations and learning alongside experienced practitioners. Placements in the past have included children and family placements in duty teams, long-term teams, family centres, fostering and adoption centres, child protection, adolescent mental health and children’s disability teams. Adult and community care placements have included Independent Living Teams, hospital teams, homelessness and addictions services, hospices, disability teams and mental health.
International experience opportunities
We have developed a range of associations with institutions across the globe including: The University of Montreal and Dalhousie University in Canada, Stellenbosch University in South Africa, Laurea and Metropolia Universities in Finland, Kocaeli University in Turkey, Calabria University in Italy, St. Petersburg University in Russia, Loyola College in India, and the Belarusian State Pedagogical University.
In Year Three, there is usually a ‘live’ lecture link between Coventry University social work students and those at an internaional university. An additional example is three former students also recently undertook a study tour to Japan in conjunction with another programme within the School.
Successful completion of your course of study with us leads to your eligibility to seek registration with the HCPC in England with the protected title of ‘Social Worker’.
Career prospects in social work continue to be good and, as a graduate, you can seek employment locally, regionally and nationally in local authorities, voluntary agencies, housing associations, education, charities and private and voluntary organisations. Fields of practice are broad and include children and families, youth offending, mental health, learning disabilities and older adults.
The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences’ own Employability and Placements Unit can help you to find suitable work placements and give you advice on how to get the most out of them.
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.