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Test, Interview and Group Task Information for Social Work Applicants

social work

The University of East London is the principal social work training provider in east London. We have strong links with local social work agencies and employers, who often offer UEL students newly qualified social worker posts.  

Our social work programmes are taught by experts in the field. All teaching staff are professionally qualified and registered social workers, and lectures are lively, highly participative and interactive. We are accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council to award professional qualifications in social work alongside academic degrees. Qualifying programmes meet government requirements, which include stipulated numbers of supervised practice days in local statutory and voluntary social work agencies.

Test, Interview and Group Task Information

Congratulations on being invited to our admissions day. Please read the following information carefully.

To confirm or decline your attendance, or to request an alternative date, please log on to your UEL application portal. Please be aware that, due to high demand for a limited number of places on the BA and MA courses, we may not be able to offer an alternative date, so please only request one if you are definitely not able to attend on the date that you have been offered.

You are required to bring with you the following original documents plus 2 sets of photocopies:
  • Passport or photo driving licence
  • Deed poll document/marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • All first degrees and post-graduate qualifications certificates, including transcripts
  • GCSE maths and English Language certificates, or level 2 equivalent qualifications*
  • Access course certificate including breakdown of modules
  • All level 3 certificates, such as A levels, BTECs, etc.
*If you hold a level 2 maths or English qualification and are not sure if it is equivalent to a GCSE at grade C or above, please call 020 8223 3333.

If you do not bring photographic ID with you, you will not be interviewed.

Please also print and complete the Social Work Declaration Form to bring with you. It would be very useful if you could please staple this form to prevent pages being lost.

Please note we will be unable to process your application further without the declaration or your certificates.

The test, interview and group task will take place on our Stratford campus. Please report to the main reception desk, the entrance is on Water Lane. Staff will direct you to the correct building from there. The address of the campus is University of East London Stratford Campus, Water Lane, London E15 4LZ.

Directions to the campus can be found here.

If you have any requirements, such as assistance due to a disability, please contact us on 020 8223 3333 at least 3 working days before the interview so that we can make these arrangements for you.
The date and time you need to come for the admissions day will be found on your UEL application portal. If you arrive late, there is no guarantee that you will be seen or that we will be able to offer you an alternative date, so please ensure that you plan your journey effectively and arrive in good time.

A member of our admissions team will check your ID and certificates. You will then sit an entrance test. You will be asked to wait while we mark your test paper. We will let you know the result of your test as soon as it is marked. If you have passed the test you will be invited to stay for a group exercise and individual interview. The times will be given to you and will normally be on the same day as the test. This will take place either in the morning or the afternoon. Exceptionally you may be asked to come back another day for the group exercise and interview.  You may do either the group task followed by the interview or the other way round depending which group you are allocated to. In the group task you will be set a Social Work related task (such as looking at a case example and forming a care plan) in a small group. This will last approximately 20 minutes. You will be interviewed (individually) by a Social Work academic, often together with a stakeholder. Stakeholders include: service users, carers, practitioners and employers. All Interviewers are briefed on the selection process and have a thorough understanding of the relevant entry criteria. The interview will last about 30 minutes. After you have completed both the individual interview and the group task, you will be free to leave or stay and look around the campus and our facilities if you wish.

You are welcome to bring children to the admissions day but they must be accompanied by another adult. UEL staff cannot look after children while your test, group task or interview is taking place and children must not be left unaccompanied anywhere on UEL premises. It is not appropriate for children to be in the test, group task or interview with you as this would limit the ability for both you and the interviewer to hold an open conversation about future studies at UEL; similarly, children are not permitted in test/exam environments. 

If you require further information about the interview, please refer to our Admissions handbook. You may find the FAQ section particularly helpful.
It is strongly recommended that you prepare carefully for your interview for the MA Social Work programme. You can do this by familiarising yourself with literature and information of relevance to contemporary social work.

Here are some possible sources of information:
Quality newspapers, for example, The Guardian, The Times
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
Health & Social Care Professions Council (HCPC)
The College of Social Work (TCSW)

Social work text books, for example:
Ruch, G, Turney, D and Ward, A, 2010, Relationship-Based Social Work, London, Jessica Kingsley
Wilson, K, Ruch, G, Lymbery, M and Cooper, A, 2011, Social Work: An Introduction to Contemporary Practice, 2nd edition, Harlow, Pearson
Horner, N, 2013, What is Social Work? 4th edition, London, Learning Matters
Your application portal will be updated to let you know if you have been successful or not. If you have been successful, your offer will be made via UCAS together with any conditions which will need to be met before the start of the programme.
It is usual for us to make waiting list offers once we have made sufficient ‘firm’ offers. You will be advised if your offer is for a waiting list place. We will notify you of this by email, as we cannot make a waiting list offer via UCAS. This is so that you can still apply for a firm place at another institution.

Unfortunately, there is no set deadline by which we could call you and invite you to join the course once you are on our waiting list. It could be as late as at the start of the course, as we have no control over whether an applicant enrols on to the programme.

If you are offered a waiting list place, we will provide you with more information at the time.

We can only accept one application per cycle. However, you are welcome to re-apply for the following year if you have been unsuccessful previously. Please be aware that due to changes in entry requirements and demand for places, you will not necessarily be selected every time, so please ensure that you submit a strong application each time that you apply.

It is rare for the BA or MA courses to still have vacancies at such a late stage, as we accept applications for almost a year in advance of the course start date. However, if there are still places available, the entry requirements remain the same and we do not accept repeat applications from anybody who has been previously unsuccessful during the same cycle, as stated above.
For the BA and MA Social Work courses, we must see your certificates for any relevant qualifications. If you do not have these with you at your interview, you will be asked to upload them via our applicant portal when your conditional offer has been made.  We will then retain the certified copy on file.

These deadlines vary depending on when you submitted your application, when your offer was made, and the conditions you are required to meet.  If you are ever concerned that you may not meet one or more of your conditions, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can discuss this with you and give you the appropriate advice and information.

It is unlikely, however please do contact us as we can discuss your options with you such as if you have time to pass an alternative level 2 qualification, or if there is an alternative course that you can be offered instead.

Requests will be considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us as soon as possible, ideally before the start of your course, so that we can advise you and also offer your place to another candidate if you decide not to enrol. If you do not contact us until after the course has started, we are less likely to be able to defer your offer. If you miss the deferral deadline, or your request is denied, you are welcome to reapply for the next cycle and will have to go through the complete assessment process again.

We hope you have found this information useful. If you have any further questions, please call 020 8223 3333.

We look forward to seeing you at the interview, and wish you good luck!