What is social work?

What is social work?

Supporting communities: the heart of social work.
Supporting communities: the heart of social work.

Social work is a field of study and profession that focuses on improving the wellness of society. People in this field tend to address essential societal issues such as unemployment, poverty, housing, and more. To achieve this, social workers equip themselves with psychology, law, healthcare skills, and more.

Social work is an integral function of society that helps harmonize people and assists in solving conflicts that come up in our large communities. This field emphasizes ethics, human rights, social justice, and respect for every human being. It helps make a difference in the world we live in. If you’re someone who likes the sound of that, it could be the field for you.

Social work course entry requirements

You must meet specific criteria to enter the best social work degree programs and courses. Colleges are looking for the most suitable candidates, so make sure you meet the various technical entry requirements. Social work is not for the faint of heart, so you have to prove that you have what it takes.

The typical entry requirements include, but are not limited to:

Two to three A levels – These specifics, such as the subjects, may vary from school to school.

GCSE subjects or equivalent – You must usually complete at least five GCSE subjects.

Vocational courses – Some colleges and universities may accept your completion of vocational courses as a substitute for some requirements.

Take note that these are only the technical requirements. Likely, you’ll also undergo some form of an interview. You’ll have to prove your compassion, dedication, resilience, and other traits to be an excellent addition to the social work field.

What can you do with a social work degree?

With a social work degree, you can enter many jobs and careers related to social work. You’ve proven your resilience, grit, and determination, so most fields will already be willing to accept you. Of course, your level of power in the field may also depend on your degree level.

However, rest assured that whether you want to work with the elderly, the impoverished, the children, or the mentally suffering, there’s a place for you. Below are some fields where you can make a difference after attaining your degree.

  • Child Welfare
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse and Rehab
  • Public Welfare
  • Advocacy
  • Youth and Community Work
  • Adoption
  • Probation
  • Criminal Justice and Corrections

What’s it like to study social work?

In social work degrees, you’ll learn both theoretical concepts and practical skills. The field encompasses many concepts, from sociology and psychology to even law.

The early parts of studying will involve basic concepts and principles. As you go on, you’ll eventually get the opportunity to choose specializations and on-the-job training. Most degrees require you to work a certain number of days on the field, so don’t expect too many lectures after your first year.

Overall, classroom time in this degree can be less than in other degrees. However, the experience you need to accumulate in the field is significantly higher than most. On top of that, a social work degree can involve essays and reports, projects, presentations, and more.


An apprenticeship is a way to combine your work and study. With it, you can earn money while learning about your field in the real world. There are many types of social work apprenticeships. Below, we list down some types you may encounter in order from the lowest to the highest level.

  • Adult care worker
  • Lead practitioner in adult care
  • Nursing Associate
  • Social Work
  • Occupational Therapist

An apprenticeship is worth considering, especially if you’re tight on budget. At the same time, it helps you look into the real world and develop more compassion and heart for your work.