About us

Covering some of the biggest issues facing society today, you'll learn from researchers investigating different areas including the effects of conflict on children and the wellbeing of migrants in London. With this sort of experience, our graduates go on to secure roles at organisations such as British Red Cross and NSPCC.

UEL 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.

The majority of placements are in east London, a diverse and multicultural environment. This provides unique opportunities for our students as you put theory into practice, giving you a wide range of experiences that is valuable to employers.

Why choose us?

    We were ranked Number 1 for overall satisfaction in the sector by students in the National Student Survey 2019.

    Our courses give you the professional and academic training you need to qualify as a social worker in England.

    95% of our graduates go on to work and/or study (Unistats, 2017). Our courses give you the professional and academic training you need to qualify as a social worker in England.

    Our facilities

    Our libraries

    Our libraries and learning services are at the very heart of the University. We have a superb range of resources and facilities to help you with your studies and we're committed to offering you a first-class student experience.

    Our Stratford library, opened at a cost of £14 million, is a state-of-the-art building which provides an inspirational environment for study and research.

    Overlooking the Royal Docks, our modern Docklands library is another fantastic space for learning, offering a wide range of resources as well as group and silent study facilities. It's also home to the UEL Skillzone, where you can get extra help with your academic writing.

    Open 24/7

    Both our libraries are open 24/7 during term time, giving you maximum flexibility about when you choose to study. As well as visiting our libraries in person, you can also take advantage of our growing collection of electronic resources, including e-books, e-journals and databases.

    Student Support hubs

    To ensure our students get the best possible support, we've opened brand-new Student Support hubs at our Docklands and Stratford campuses - at a cost of £3.1 million. These contain centralised helpdesks as well as comfortable areas to relax and socialise. The helpdesks provide a 'one-stop shop' for every possible need, from course-related enquiries to personal issues such as health and money matters. They're designed to be your first port of call if you have an enquiry or problem.

    What we're researching

    Social work research is coordinated through The Centre for Social Work Research (CSWR).

    CSWR applies a distinctive approach to social work CSWR research embraces relationship-based reflective approaches to social work practice and policy, psycho-social approaches to understanding individuals, society and institutions and inter/multi-disciplinary perspectives on social work practice. CSWR has three current research themes:

    • mental health, including suicide prevention; infant mental health; adolescent mental health
    • social work education; practice education and issues of diversity
    • child protection; including issues affecting ethnic minorities

    More detail on our specific research focuses can be found on the research page. RK research and its applications in practice through its model of 'practice-near' research. We work closely with national and international academic and non-academic partners, to improve the evaluation and delivery of social and health services.

    Take a look at our areas of Doctoral and PhD research.

    Professor Maria Tamboukou has recently published research, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

    Her research focuses on ways of understanding the position of migrant and refugee women who now form the majority of 'nomadic subjects' crossing into Europe.

    It examines how their experiences challenge our perception of the subject of feminism and force us to revise who we are and how we relate to ourselves and to others.

    The lecturers at UEL have been really supportive. They respond to emails quickly and have really helped me in areas where I have struggled. My placements have been great and I've learned a lot. I continued volunteering at my last placement so that I could see through the work that I had begun. I've also enjoyed improving my public speaking skills and doing presentations. I've built up my confidence and am no longer nervous to present to a big group.

    Ismail Batanda

    BA (Hons) Social Work, Undergraduate


    Our degrees are designed to give you a range of career paths.

    Our graduates have gone on to start their own NGOs, work in teaching, family support, local government, research, marketing, some have become welfare officers, youth workers, community development worker, family therapists and psychotherapists.  

    We have strong links with local social work agencies and employers, who often offer UEL students newly qualified social worker posts.

    If you want to work with agencies tackling issues such as homelessness, drug abuse, learning difficulties and mental illness - as many of our graduates have - the insight and skills you gain on our courses will give you a head start. 

    At UEL, you'll have access to:

    • Employability skills training such as interview techniques and CV writing.
    • Career Assessment, giving you the opportunity to learn about yourself and Career Coach will help you to discover career suggestions based on your interests.
    • UEL Skills Academy, where external professionals deliver sessions on the competencies most prized by graduate employers.
    • Internships, placements and volunteering opportunities from our work placements team.
    • Professional mentoring scheme, matching students with staff from major companies.
    • Networking opportunities and annual careers fair.
    • Support with setting up your own business.

    Our location in one of Europe's largest regeneration areas and our extensive links to local employers will also give you access to fantastic internships and placements. From heavy industry to high-tech, health and social care to the arts, there are so many opportunities right on our doorstep.

    Career Coach

    Our online Career Coach shows you the different career paths that your chosen subject area can lead you to.

    Get information on specific careers, job roles, potential wages and available jobs in the sector.

    Or take a quick quiz to find a career to match your personality type!

    Explore Career Coach


    We're accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to award professional qualifications in social work alongside academic degrees.

    Our students are eligible to register with the HCPC and practice as a social worker.

    Our staff

    Find out more about our staff.

    Undergraduate courses

    BA (Hons) Psychosocial Community Work

    This course is about engaging with issues such as mental health, social care, racism, psychotherapies, class, gender, youth, and ageing.

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    BA (Hons) Social Work

    Get a rewarding insight into contemporary social work and train to become a reflective, capable and effective practitioner.

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    BA (Hons) Youth Work

    The course gives you the skills, experience, and qualifications to progress a career in the youth and community sector and associated fields.

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    Postgraduate courses

    Advanced Mental Health Policy And Practice Short Course

    A preparatory short course for professionals who are considering undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma Approved Mental Health Practice.

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    Short Course Best Interests Assessor - Deprivation Of Liberties Safeguards

    This course qualifies you to assess situations where liberty may be in question, as well as people's mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

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    Post-qualifying Social Work - Consolidating Social Work Practice With Assessed And Supported Year In Employment (ASYE) - Short Course

    Learn how to support newly qualified social workers undergoing their work practice with assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE).

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    Practice Educator PQSW Short Course

    Practice Education Stage 1 & 2 and Practice Education Stage 2 are part of the post qualifying Social Work provision at UEL.

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    Prof Doc Social Work

    Conduct robust and innovative research; enhance your professional capability through critical analysis and the use of research evidence.

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    MA Social Work

    This MA Social Work degree equips you with the skills, knowledge and reflective capacity you need to practise as an effective social worker.

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    MA Youth And Community Work

    This established course opens the door for you to step straight into youth work.

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