Hi, I'm currently studying to be a social worker and am happy to talk you through the process. It all depends initially on what qualifications you already have. I dont have any so had to do an access to social work course. You can do these both at colleges and through online learning whichever suits you best. The course does cost money but only if you dont go to university within 3 years of passing it. When doing it through a college it takes an academic year through online learning you set the pace and have up to 2 years to pass. (Do check the course meets the chosen universities requirements if taking this route). Whilst taking the course you'll need to apply to your chosen universities via ucas and then you will be invited to interviews. The interviews are tough! A mixture of writing a short essay and short interviews with service users/lecturers and social workers on various topics. It sounds scary (and to be honest it felt it as well!! But the people doing the interviews were very friendly in my experience) Any other questions please feel free to ask
I would look for an apprenticeship in your local council, that's where you work alongside study, and thats the most affordable option if you can get on one.
Apply to several places and find where you fit best. Different unis have different strengths. Bigger research unis might have a heavier academic focus, more resources, but the smaller unis might have more pastoral support available.
Have a passion for social justice and be prepared to work hard. Anyone studying a professional degree has not only the academic study to consider, but about 50% of the learning will be on placement and skills development.
Familiarise yourself with BASW code of ethics, and PCF for entry level to university.
Read community care to give yourself an idea of some of the current issues in social work, think about your own emotional resilience and what you have to bring to social work.
Have a really solid understanding of what social work is. I've interviewed hundreds of people applying for social work training, and those that walk in thinking it's about helping people, or don't know the difference between social work and nursing, get advised to do some more research and reapply the following year. The more research you do, the more chance you can reassure an interview panel you understand the challenges and reality of Social Work.