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Access to Social Work Course

Social Work course

Social workers support individuals and families through difficult times and ensure that vulnerable people, including children and adults, are safeguarded from harm. It is a challenging but hugely rewarding career for those who really want to make a difference in people's lives. To become a Social Worker you will need to complete a BSc. (Hons) or BA (Hons) Social Work degree and be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)


What are the university entry requirements for Social Work degrees?

To apply to universities for a Social Work degree, you should have, or be working towards achieving, a relevant Access to HE Diploma in Health Science. Alternatively, 3 A Levels, noting that many universities do not accept general studies as one of the three. Universities advise on their particular entry requirements and they also publish these on the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website.

With the A Level route, you may also be expected to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs. With the Access to HE Diploma route, you are normally only required to have GCSEs in English and Maths at Grade C or above.

Access to HE Diplomas are normally aimed towards adults 18+ returning to education or wishing to change to a new career. There are no upper age limits. The Diploma qualification is viewed as being equivalent to 3 A Levels. Access to HE can be studied from home via online learning with Academy Online Learning.

There are many websites that track university performance in all subject areas. Students are encouraged to research carefully which university has a good track record in the particular degree course they are interested in. It is also worth looking into the department that you are applying to and see what facilities are available, what sort of placements are on offer and the student satisfaction rate for each degree course. 


What does a Social Worker do?

Social workers work with a wide range of people at any one time. This is often described as a caseload. Their work involves determining people's needs and aspirations, working with families to support them in making changes and solve problems, organise support, and make recommendations or referrals to other services and agencies. They also need to keep detailed records. 

You could decide to focus your career in social work on a specific group of people such as children, the elderly, adults, families, or those with mental ill health, physical disabilities, or alcohol or drug dependency. Social workers recognise the bigger picture affecting people's lives and work for a more equal and just society where human rights are respected and protected. They can be found working in a wide range of settings, including the NHS, local authorities (social services), community centres, schools and colleges and homeless shelters. They can help keep an under pressure family together and support people with mental health needs. Social work is a varied, demanding, often emotional and very rewarding career. 

There is a huge demand for social workers; the latest data shows over 75,000 job vacancies in the social care system in the UK. The government is now keen to achieve better integration between health and social care. This is seen as vital with an ageing population and increased crossover between the sectors. Greater Manchester was the first area to merge health and social care and other local authorities are expected to follow suit in the coming years. 


What personal attributes are desirable in Social Work?

      • The desire to help others and improve their daily lives
      • Ability to empathise with people, identify with and understand their situation
      • Communication is at the heart of social work, not so much in what you say but how well you listen. This will build trust levels and rapport with clients
      • Setting healthy boundaries is also key. Getting too emotionally invested in cases could actually harm outcomes for care users. 
      • Resilience is needed in social work. You may deal with traumatic cases, which can be emotionally draining. Successful social workers find a way to protect their own emotions so they can keep helping others effectively. 


What are the pay and working conditions like?

      • As a newly qualified social worker, you can expect to earn £22,000 a year. 
      • With experience and management roles this can rise to around £40,000.
      • Social workers for the NHS typically start on Band 6 of the NHS pay scale, which is £26,565 to £35,577.


You'll usually work office hours or on a rota. You may work shifts, including nights, or be on call. You may visit people in their homes. You could also work in a hospital or in a day, health or residential centre.


Five reasons to be a Social Worker

      • It will challenge you in ways few other careers will
      • You get to be the person who changed someone's life for the better
      • You get to stand up for human rights and social justice
      • You will never be bored
      • It is a diverse career full of challenges and rewards



How is the degree funded?

Studying for a Social Work degree allows you to apply for the standard student support package in the form of a student loan. Scholarships, bursaries or grants may also be available for example, through the university or your place of work. Social Workers are in great demand and to that end the government provides bursaries for some degree courses. These are grants and do not need to be paid back. You could be eligible for financial support if:

      • You don't get funding from your employer
      • You are studying an approved undergraduate or postgraduate course in social work
      • You don't already have a higher education social work qualification
      • Your university or college will tell you if your course qualifies.


If you would like to complete an Access to HE Diploma and obtain the qualifications for entry onto a Social Work degree course at university, please complete the enrolment form below or contact us for more information. Studying and achieving this qualification with AOLL provides a flexible way of achieving, as it is fully online and recognised and accepted by UK universities.


What will I study on the online Access to Social Work Course?


Ungraded Units

This gives you an opportunity to shine when you are invited for an interview at the university. You will research the university and look at the syllabus and the combination of academic and practical experience and delivery. You will address your own transferable skills and put them to use when writing your UCAS application. You can produce a practice UCAS form prior to submitting your application to UCAS. All the research relating to this unit needs to be contained in a portfolio. You can take this with you to demonstrate that you have carried out detailed research of the course that you have applied for.

There are many diseases and consequently many causes of diseases. Identifying the prevalence of diseases comes with the notion of patterns in society where disease is prevalent. You will be looking at the nature of diseases and the changing patterns across society over time. By identifying diseases and causes, steps can be taken to reduce a disease. Public Health Agencies play a clear role in this; you will be given the opportunity to discover how effective these agencies are in promoting health.

There are many different methods involved in research and you will be introduced to some of these, for example; Correlations, Experiments, Observations, Case Studies Questionnaires and Surveys. You will be given the opportunity to develop your own piece of research in a standard report format.

This can be awarded against a level 3 essay. In essay preparation, you will be expected to research a topical area and present an argument, analysis or evaluation, demonstrating that you can use the evidence you have researched to present ideas and empirical evidence to support the claims that you are making.. The set of writing conventions relating to an essay can vary depending on the subject area. You will be asked to read the question carefully so that you know what the question is asking. In identifying the key words you will be able to see what the main idea is behind the title. You will be able to demonstrate your ability to select relevant material.

Psychology Units (Graded | Level 3)

In this unit you will learn about the nature v nurture debate and how it relates to the development of human social and cognitive development. You will consider the development of attachments in infancy and their importance in future social relationships. You will also look at how children's thinking differs from that of adults and the changes that take place during development.

In this unit, the focus is on the negative effects of chronic (long-lasting) stress. These may be purely psychological but stress also creates physical problems which can include: psychosomatic disorders (from psyche meaning mind and soma meaning body) and bodily disorders produced by the processes, such as psychological stress, of the mind. Such disorders can include stomach ulcers, digestive problems, raised blood pressure, eczema and other skin rashes, asthma and other allergic conditions. There is also increasing evidence that stress can be a causal factor in the development of eating disorders and we will examine this in some detail.

This topic will look at a number of explanations for aggressive behaviour. These are the biological approach, the behaviourist approach, the psycho-dynamic approach and the humanistic approach.  The unit also considers some of the ways in which aggression may be reduced.

This involves the localisation and function of the brain. The different methods of investigating the brain are considered, whereby the strengths and weaknesses of those methods are addressed. You will be given the opportunity to look at the interaction between the brain and behaviour in an example of day to day living.

This covers the central nervous system, Grey and White matter. You will be considering key concepts involved in nerve impulse transmission such as the all - or - none rule, sodium ion and calcium ion across membranes. You will be looking at a number of neurotransmitters and their role in behaviour and also the impact of drugs and the environment on behaviour and neurotransmitter levels.

This Psychology unit includes theoretical explanations of human behaviour and includes many examples; the Bio- psychological, Psychoanalytical, Behaviourist, Cognitive and Humanistic approaches. Each of these perspectives offer an understanding of why we behave the way we do and you will have the opportunity to apply these ideas to show knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts in an everyday life context.

Here we discuss an area of psychological investigation that relates to ‘abnormal ‘behaviour and psychopathological disorders, this is sometimes referred to as atypical behaviour. This unit covers explanations of what is considered to be ‘abnormal’ behaviour, it also considers a number of different perspectives that are used to explain a broad range of disorders including, depression, schizophrenia and eating disorders. The effectiveness of the various treatment and therapies are also addressed.

Health Units (Graded | Level 3)

This unit relates to communication between health care professionals and clients. Here you will be able to explore the different ways of breaking down barriers of communication and how some barriers are more difficult than others to eradicate. You will develop an understanding of the importance of listening skills and how empathy is a focal point of the client /nurse relationship. There are many forms of communication used to convey confidential information. There is a focus here to show how any breaches of confidentiality can have serious consequences.

There are a range of physiological disorders identified here in this unit. You will be made aware of at least three different disorders in detail from the onset and the processes involved in the diagnosis of the disorder including the tests involved in identifying the disorder and remedies to address the disorder and the care strategies used to support the individual on recovery. The roles and responsibility of health care specialists is also important in the speed of recovery and palliative care.


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Access to Higher Education Diploma

Make a selection to see the price per month

The total course price is £1212 (if you pay monthly from £101 per month) or £1162 if paid in full at the start!

Prices are per month for the number of months specified, except for courses paid in full.

Choose this for any Access to Higher Education Diploma, such as Access to Nursing, Access to Midwifery, etc. You will choose your pathway when you complete the enrolment form. If you are unsure of which pathway to follow for your chosen university course, we will help you at the start of your Access Diploma course.

If you choose monthly instalments, your course will need to be fully paid by your target moderation date. These events are held in June and November each year. You should aim to complete one month prior to these dates. For example, if you start your diploma studies in October and aim to complete by the following June, you would need to select the 8 month option. If you are starting in October and plan to complete the course by the following November, you can select the 12 month option. 



Access to Higher Education Diploma (Paid in Full)

Pay in full here for any Access to ... Higher Education Diploma. The diploma pathway is chosen when you say which university course you want to do in the enrolment form. You can change your diploma choice to another pathway during the first few weeks of the course without any problem, for example if the university you are applying to says they want you to have more biology credits.

Use this for:

Access to Nursing
Access to Paramedic Practice
Access to Biomedical Science
Access to Radiography
Access to Physiotherapy
Access to Operating Department Practice
Access to Midwifery
Access to Psychology
Access to Occupational Therapy
Access to Speech Therapy
Access to Biology
Access to Social Science
Access to Social Work
Access to Health Science
Access to Podiatry
Access to Nutrition and Dietetics
Access to Dental Hygiene
Environmental Health

or you can create your own Access Course

If you prefer monthly payments, click here.

Reserve a place on the Access to HE Diploma

If you don't want to start quite yet, but would like to reserve a place to start an Access to Higher Education Diploma later in the year, you can pay a £20 deposit. When you complete the enrolment form during checkout you can choose a start date for your course. As you may be preventing others from taking the place, this deposit is not refundable if you do not take up your place on the course.

Want to spread your payments over a longer period?



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