Social Care and Community Practice BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:


  • Level:


  • Duration:

    3 years full-time
    4-6 years part-time

  • Starting:


  • Fees UK:

    Full Time 22/23: £9,250 Part Time 22/23: £1,500 per 20 credit module Integrated Foundation Year 22/23: £9,250

  • Fees International:

    Full Time 22/23: £14,000 Integrated Foundation Year 22/23: £14,000

  • Location:


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 894503


Our Social Care and Community Practice degree is offered as a three-year course leading to the award of BA (Hons). The degree is designed using real-world material that equips you for employment either within Social Care or working with specific communities.

The programmes has a strong focus on evidence-based practice, preparing you for a broad range of employment opportunities or post graduate study in the field of social care and working with diverse communities. You will experience two short placements which will give you relevant work-based learning experience to take to employers.

Updated 01/02/2022


  • Strong focus on well-being, social justice and human rights.
  • Develops your knowledge and understanding of social issues, professional interventions and the role of social care and third sector organisations in social welfare services.
  • Wide range of teaching and support staff.
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
  • HP laptop and software included with this course* (*Terms and conditions apply).

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Course Content

  • This course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: SDG3 of Good Health and Wellbeing and SDG10 Reduce Inequalities.

    You will be taught by academics from a range of backgrounds and work-based experiences. The core concepts that are covered in the degree are Human Rights and Social Justice, respecting diversity and the key skills required to work with a range of Service Users. You will benefit from a short shadow placement in your first year followed by an extended work based placement and reflective experience in the second year of the course.

    By the final year you will be equipped with the skills to work in a variety of Social Care and Community settings, enabling you to be an effective Changemaker, having a truly positive social impact on individuals and communities. You will have explored, understood and analysed specific service user groups and you will have an assured grasp of the link between theory and practice.

    You will have the opportunity to choose between designated modules which will aid you in the pathway to success.

    The degree has a strong focus on evidence-based practice, setting a solid foundation and excellent academic and professional skills for employment or postgraduate study.

    List of modules:

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 21/22. The modules relating to the academic year 22/23 will be available from June 2022.

      • Module code: SWK1061
        Status: Compulsory
        This module is designed to introduce students to the wide range of contemporary social issues, which have an impact on individuals and the wider community. Students will explore causes, the extent of the issues and possible solutions, drawing on aspects of self help, advocacy, local and national policy and the work of community based groups.
      • Module code: SWK1062
        Status: Compulsory
        This module is designed to enable students to explore all communities in which social care and support takes place. In order to work within communities, students need to be resilient, this requires self-awareness and knowledge of how culture and diversity impact on life chances and challenges. Students will develop an understanding of cultural norms, levels of inclusion and exclusion and how to challenge barriers in relation to discrimination. The module will also outline the legal context in which diversity is grounded, overlapping with ethical issues in this area.
      • Module code: SWK1063
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to enable students to gain and develop academic skills necessary to succeed with academic tasks at University. Regardless of previous experience, all students will have the opportunity to develop the ability to write, argue, reflect and evaluate using activities and examples which will ensure that students have the confidence and ability to become lifelong learners. Students will also be introduced to the Harvard referencing system which will be used throughout. The foundations of research methods will also be incorporated into this module. Research terminology and basic research theory will be introduced so that this can built upon in level 5 and 6.
      • Module code: SWK1064
        Status: Compulsory
        To enable students to learn about different types of service user groups and how to communicate professionally and effectively with service users with a diverse range of needs.The students will explore the importance of the service user voice and how services should be designed around and led by this voice. The module will be delivered using service users as part of the teaching team.
      • Module code: SWK1065
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to faciliate student?s understanding of underpinning principles, values and professional skills for employment in the social care and community practice sector. Students will take responsibility for their own personal/professional development plans by identifying their current skills and setting targets and objectives for their work based learning experience. There will be a short work based learning experience within the module.
      • Module code: SWK1066
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with a psychosocial understanding of human behaviour across the lifespan. Students will examine psychological and sociological theories and how they have account for human behaviour and identity and the impact this has on the inclusion of the individual in society. Practical examples will be used to explore the influences on our behaviour and lifestyle, students are encouraged to think about current issues and debates that relate to life course experiences and formation of identity.
      • Module code: SWK2063
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to develop students knowledge and application of research methods and methodologies and to equip the students with the relevant skills to undertake an autonomous piece of work at level 6. Research skills introduced at level 4 will be examined in more depth to develop the students confidence when approaching research study, design and implication for future practice.
      • Module code: SWK2064
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to examine how the law and social policy can be applied to specific service user groups in order to achieve social change. Students will explore and examine the ethical, legal and moral dilemmas in applying the Law and Social Policy. A frequent theme throughout this module will be the exploration of concepts such as care and control. Central to the delivery of this module are service user perspectives, advocacy and best practice which is underpinned by principles of social justice and Human Rights.
      • Module code: SWK2065P
        Status: Compulsory
        The module will provide an opportunity, through a work based learning experience, for students to put theory into practice and further develop the skills gained at level 4. It will focus on the professional, interpersonal, reflective and Changemaker skills needed to work in a social care or community environment. This will enable students to identify their current employability skills and create a personal plan for future learning.
      • Module code: SWK2066
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to ensure that students have the basic knowledge and skills required to work with service users and their friends and families. Students will explore: the prevelance of mental ill health, a range of mental health conditions and possible self help strategies and interventions. The module focuses on helping students develop insight into the support needs of people with mental health difficulties within the current landscape of social care. In order to do this students will develop an understanding of risk assessment and mental health legislation.
      • Module code: SWK2067
        Status: Compulsory
        The module will develop students understanding of models and experiences of a range disabilities. It will cover perceptions of disability and discrimination. This module will also introduce students to a range of theoretical perspectives and debates and encourage them to explore and draw on their own attitudes and values to enhance their learning.
      • Module code: SWK2068
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to prepare students for effective partership working in a globally connected society. It will develop students knowledge and understanding of working with others, emphasising how and why organisations and agencies form partnerships to address social issues within local and national contexts. The module will introduce students to a range of collaborative working practices across various sectors and community organisations. Therefore, fostering an appreciation of diversity as well as the complex areas which these partnerships operate.
      • Module code: SWK2069
        Status: Compulsory
        Addiction is a complex and contested yet prevalent social issue. This module will give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of addiction and related concepts with an emphasis on applying this learning to social care and community practice contexts. Throughout the module, students will be encouraged to reflect on social and political contexts in which addiction occurs, as well as the implications of their personal beliefs and values during practice with people who are experiencing or recovering from addiction.
      • Module code: SWK3023
        Status: Compulsory
        Students will be introduced to the changes which have taken place in the housing sector. This module will identify key changes in policy and legislation and examine the implications of the delivery of these. The different partnerships necessary for successful and sustainable communities will be explored in order for students to appreciate housing organisations and their relationship with tenants, residents and other organisations.
      • Module code: SWK3028
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is raise awareness of the role leadership plays within social care and community practice and identify the skills needed to fulfill a leadership role after graduation. The module will help students to become more aware of their own values and leadership styles and to consider how to use and develop research based techniques to improve leadership skills for employment.
      • Module code: SWK3029
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is ensure that students have the knowledge and skills to work with children and young people in various settings. Within the module students will learn about varying needs of children and young people in complex situations and ensure that children and young people?s voices are heard and taken seriously in various forums.
      • Module code: SWK3030
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to ensure that students have the knowledge and skills required to work with an ageing population. The module will also help students to understand present significant challenges being faced by social care services. Students will be introduced to issues relating to the social construction of ageing, theories of ageing and ideas of active and successful ageing.
      • Module code: SWK4011
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to enable the student to complete an autonomous piece of work focusing on a chosen area of social care and community practice within a designated time frame. This may be a literature based dissertation or a project based on empirical research, whichever is most relevant to the area selected. By completion, the piece of work will illustrate the students engagement with project design, relevant and appropriate methodological approaches towards research design, underpinned by theoretical perspectives that frame the area of work selected.
  • Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be:

    • BCC at A Level
    • DMM at BTEC
    • an Access Course must include 30 level 3 credits at Merit.
    • We also ask that applicants hold a GCSE (or an equivalent qualification) in English Language at grade C or above.

    We welcome international applications and applications from students with a range of non-traditional educational or professional qualifications.

    Please note that all students who enrol on the course may be required to complete:

    • successful Occupational Health Screening
    • Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS) prior to their first placement.

    For more more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.


    Admission to this Foundation Framework is normally:

    • DEE at A Level or MPP at BTEC
    • For students who do meet GCSE English or equivalent requirements, can study a Level 2 equivalency 20 credit module as a part of their Foundation Year.
    • We would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the course you wish to study.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
      for study at undergraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2022/23 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 22/23 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,500 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £9,250 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA/BSc rate)
    • International – Full Time: £14,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £14,000
    2021/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 2021/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £6,780 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA/BSc rate)
    • International – Full Time: £13,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £13,000
    Additional Costs

    Travel costs to and from placements, and extra costs associated with placements, may be incurred throughout your studies depending on where you are based.

    The course has an optional Placement Year which is negotiated between you and the teaching team. This may extend the duration of your course, however, if you have a specific area of interest this can provide useful additional experience.

    Scholarships and Bursaries

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • Successful completion of this course could lead on to one of our postgraduate programmes.

    Our postgraduate courses are a great way to enhance the skills you have already learnt. Benefit from our 20% alumni discount on postgraduate fees.

  • At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.

    If you join this full time degree at Northampton you will receive a laptop when your course begins. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks visit our Student Perks page.

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • How will I be taught?

    The course will use a range of teaching methods and assessments across the years. Active blended learning with be used across all modules, with group seminars to support this. As you progress through the course you will become more independent in your studies to prepare you for your final project or dissertation.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed through coursework, essays, reports, critical reviews, portfolios, online tests, oral presentations, individual and group work.

    Is there a placement or work experience?

    We can support you to find volunteering opportunities, paid employment and link you to our Changemaker team.

    Can I do further postgraduate study after this course?

    On a successful completion of this undergraduate programme, you can apply for postgraduate courses, such as MA Youth and Community Leadership or MA Social Work.

    Will I be able to do this course part-time?

    You can undertake this course part-time and it can be completed in four years or more depending on the number of modules undertaken each year.

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Careers and Employability

The degree will prepare you for employment in the field of social care and working with diverse communities. These opportunities are in a wide range of voluntary, statutory and private sector organisations.

The work-based learning experiences in year 1 and 2 will provide relevant practice experience and transferable skills to take to employers. The opportunity to choose two designated modules within the third year will aid with specific routes to employment.