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Social Work programme information

The following provides important information on placements, as well as useful documentation and frequently asked questions, to ensure you have the answers you'll need before embarking on your practice experience.

We are here to help you on your placement, so if you need to contact us please email a member of the Placements Support Team.


Practice learning is central to the qualifying social work programme at BU. Developing evidenced-based practice is integral to all academic and practice based units.

The programme has been designed to enable you to develop autonomous thought, critical reflection, professional competence, skills and values; and approaches to learning which value the expertise of people with first-hand experience.

Practice learning opportunities within the programme offer opportunities for you to meet new challenges, work in a diverse range of organisations and settings and to effectively apply knowledge from one situation or setting to another. Through this process you are supported to develop personally and professionally and to become a competent practitioner ready to undertake employment in an increasingly complex workplace.

The assessment of students in practice is based on the principles of holistic assessment promoted by the College of Social Work.

How long will I be on placement for?

Both BA (Hons) Social Work and MA Social Work students will spend at least 170 days gaining required experience and learning in practice settings over the duration of the course.

How will I find out my Placement details?

The university will aim to inform students of their allocations in the semester prior to the placement.

What is Placements on the Web (POW)?

Students will be given a login and password for the Placements on the Web (POW) system and your placement details will be available to you on the site.

What info is available on POW?

This will vary from area to area. However, you will see information such as what the dress code is, parking, facilities available on site or sometimes in the local area, hours of work, transport links etc. If you find any information that needs updating please advise your Placement Support Officer.

Will I have to go out of my local area?

Placements can be throughout Poole, Bournemouth, Dorset and Wiltshire. It will be useful if you have use of your own vehicle, especially for statutory placements.

What hours will I have to work?

Generally placements will involve a 35 hour, five-day week. Although during the first placement MA Social Work students will attend placement for four days per week then attend lectures on the fifth day.