Routes into social work

General qualifying course information

Self-funding applicants can apply directly to any university or college that offers social work training.

Social Work England provides a list of all approved undergraduate or postgraduate social work qualification programmes on their website. See all approved courses.

Entry requirements

Each university has different entry requirements for social work degrees but for BA programmes you’re likely to need two or three A-Levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications, and five supporting GCSEs including English and maths. Some universities might accept other qualifications such as a BTEC, HND, NVQ or health and social care access course.

For post graduate programmes you will need an undergraduate degree.


Previous experience in an area relating to social work is extremely important if you want to become a social worker.

You could look for paid positions or voluntary work in places such as community care settings, charities that work with vulnerable adults or children, or children’s centres. Any roles that show you can build relationships and demonstrate empathy, along with a genuine desire to improve the quality of the lives of others, are helpful. Find relevant voluntary work through Volunteering Matters.

You may want to look for a role at Norfolk County Council. Not only will this enable you to gain experience, it may also enable you to become eligible to apply for our supported social work training routes for employees. Our jobs, training and volunteering pages have information on all jobs that are currently being advertised and you can set up alerts to let you know if something new comes up.

Funding options

There are some funding options that may be available to help with fees and living expenses: