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social work

Social Work and Community

Where community matters

  • 100% Student Satisfaction

    Our highly popular BA (Hons) Social Work course scored 100% student satisfaction in 2019's National Student Survey, a fantastic endorsement from our students.

  • professional qualifications

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

  • Top place

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

About us

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.

We have strong links with local social work agencies and employers, who often offer UEL students newly qualified social worker posts. Qualified practitioners often remain connected with UEL, including undertaking continuing professional development and post-qualifying specialist courses.

We are accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council to award professional qualifications in social work alongside academic degrees. We have strong links with partner organisations including the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust with whom we offer a jointly taught qualifying MA Social Work. We host an innovative research centre, the Centre for Social Work Research (CSWR), led by Professor Steve Briggs and Dr Jo Finch.

See our courses.

What I liked about the course at UEL was that the tutors treated us as adults.  They trusted us to do our studying and didn’t spoon-feed us. That was important because when you work in the big wide world you need to think for yourself.

Steven Moore , BA (Hons) Social Work, graduate
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Our facilities

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.

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.

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.

To find out more and experience our facilities first-hand, visit us at an Open Day.

Our staff

Find out more about our staff.


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 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.

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 3 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.


Our degrees are designed to give you a range of career paths. Our graduates have gone on to work in teaching, local government, research and marketing and have become welfare officers, youth workers, family therapists and psychotherapists. 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.

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.

Careers services

At UEL, you’ll have access to:

  • Employability skills training such as interview techniques and CV writing.
  • Gradscore, a groundbreaking electronic tool that allows you to complete a mock application and find out if you’d be shortlisted for interview. It has been created exclusively for UEL with help from leading employers and employability experts.
  • 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.

Our online Career Coach shows you the different career paths that your chosen subject area can lead you to. It gives you information on specific careers, job roles, potential wages and available jobs in the sector. You can also take a quick quiz to find a career to match your personality type!

Undergraduate courses

Postgraduate courses

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