To become a social worker, you will need to complete a Social Work England approved undergraduate or postgraduate degree in social work.
All social work qualifying programmes will include a minimum of 170 days of practice learning. This is usually split over two placements which are typically 70-day or 100-day, but this can vary.
The placements must be with different service user groups. This is usually one placement working with children and families and one placement working with adults.
Useful websites for social work career information:
Courses in the local region
UEA offers full-time BA and MA programmes.
University of Suffolk (Ipswich)
Full-time and part-time BA programmes are available.
Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge, Peterborough and Chelmsford)
Anglia Ruskin offers full-time BA and MA programmes, plus a part-time BA programme.
A distance learning BA, Postgraduate Diploma and MA programmes are available.
Applicants can self-fund an Open University course, but they need to be supported by an employer who must commit to providing the required placement opportunities and releasing them for the 170 practice learning days. Applications can only be made via the supporting agency.
Funding - bursaries and loans
There are currently bursaries available to help students with the course costs. The NHS Business Services Authority website has more information about bursaries, including how to apply.
It's also possible to apply for student loans for both BA and MA programmes. For more information go to www.gov.uk/student-finance or www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan
Funded fast-track postgraduate courses
For graduates with an honours degree with a minimum of a 2:1 classification in any discipline there are a number of funded fast-track routes available nationally.
Step up to Social Work is currently the only one of these available in Norfolk. All these programmes provide a recognised generic qualification, although they are each aimed at a particular specialism.
Step up to Social Work
This is a 14-month postgraduate diploma in social work aimed at working in Children’s Services.
Applications for the course take place every other year and the next opportunity to apply is likely to be in 2021. Students' course fees are funded and they currently receive a bursary of £19,833 for the duration of the course.
Learn more about Step up to Social Work at the GOV.UK website.
This is a fully-funded, two-year MA in social work aimed at those wishing to work in Children's Services. It's delivered in various locations around the country (but not currently in Norfolk).
More information about the courses is available at Frontline's website.
This is a fully-funded, two-year MA in social work aimed at those wishing to work in mental health. It's delivered at various locations around the country (but not currently in Norfolk).
More information about courses is available at the Think Ahead website.