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Social Work

Paper cut out men and women around a globe

The Open University (OU) is one of the largest providers of social work training in the UK, with around 250 graduates every year. Our flexible study arrangements fit in with your work and home life, so you can carry on earning while you learn.

Our curriculum is developed by leading academics and professionals who are actively engaged in social work, ensuring that teaching reflects current priorities. We're also pioneers in working collaboratively with service users, whose voices are heard throughout our learning materials – challenging and enriching the contributions of practitioners and policy makers alike.

Use the menu on the right to find information about our social work qualifications

Study at The Open University

If you are new to studying with The Open University, useful information is available on our What it's like to study page.

Female student standing by a door

Inspiring Social Work

For World Social Work Day 2016, some of our students shared their reflections on the people who inspired and supported them to train as social workers; one of them also featured in Community Care alongside Social Worker and OU graduate Emma Govan.


Social Work enquiries

phone: +44(0)1908 654229

phone: +44(0)131 226 3851

phone: +44(0)29 2026 2728

phone: +44(0)28 9024 5025

Providing sponsorship to staff enables them to develop a career pathway. We find that this definitely improves retention; in the 10+ years that we've been offering the OU degree programme, only one sponsored social worker has left - to take up a senior promoted post. Among former students, two are now team managers, one has recently begun studying for the Mental Health Officer Award (MHOA), and several are involved in practice learning placements with roles in mentoring and providing leadership input for the next generation of trainees.

Karen O'Donnell, Workforce Development Officer, Angus Council