The OU has been teaching social work to students across the UK since 1997. We work in partnership with employers to deliver a work-based learning programme, through which their employees can be supported to train and qualify as social workers.

Having long-standing relationships with several of the local authorities in the North-East as well as organisations in the private, independent and voluntary sector, we’re excited by the potential to further enhance the experience of OU social work students in the region through the Alliance, such as opportunities to explore shared skills development and mentoring.

The OU route may be ideal for you if: you’re already working in the North East in a social care role, or a similar environment where you have regular interaction with people who use services, and are considering a career in social work.

Social Work - School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care

Update regarding Social Work England Consultation Events How to register

By Greg Houghton | February 8, 2019

Source: ‎ Consultation events Reshaping Standards, Enabling Change We believe in the importance of collaboration and share a common goal with those we regulate—to protect the public, enable positive change and ultimately improve people’s lives. To help us succeed we are creating a number of opportunities to listen to those with an interest in social work,…

One Stop Social – building a community for modern social work

By Greg Houghton | February 5, 2019

How do you build a community for social work in the modern day? One Stop Social’s mantra since launch in 2016 has been to look at the problem of the vast array of information that floods our phones, tablets and computers every day. How do you know where to turn when there are so many…

Seeking Social Workers for usability testing of Social Work England’s digital services

By Greg Houghton | January 24, 2019

Seeking Social Workers for usability testing of Social Work England’s digital services We are seeking Social Workers who first registered with a regulator (most likely HCPC) within the last 5 years. The more recent, the better. The usability testing sessions are 45 mins long and we recommend arriving 10 mins before the start of the session.…


By Greg Houghton | January 16, 2019

#valuinginvolvement We are delighted to announce the upcoming NESWA EXPERTS BY EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE which will take place on the 27th March, 2019. Please save the date! More details to follow soon… If you are interested in being involved in the conference planning committee then please contact: Sarah Lonbay ( 01912156771) Northumbria University NEWCASTLE Download flier

Prison: No Place for Old Men

By Felicity Shenton | December 13, 2018

This week I took part in one of the NESWA Masterclasses. Delivered by Dr Norman McClelland from Northumbria University and with input from Helen Casey at the Open University who talked about the Inside Out Programme at HMP Durham ( and Lynne Dolphin (Senior Practice Development Officer / Principal Social Worker (Adults) Durham County Council)…

Social Work England Consultation on Appointment Rules

By Glenn Dunnett | December 11, 2018

In the new year (subject to the clearance of this appointment rules consultation), Social Work England will be advertising for a range of roles for social workers and other professionals including fitness to practise investigators, specialist advisers, case examiners and hearing panellists. Do watch out for those going live and share with your networks. Under the…

Keep your Calendar Up to Date!!

By Glenn Dunnett | December 6, 2018

Here at NESWA, we continue to try and develop as many opportunities for social workers in the North East to learn and develop their skills, participate in discussion and share best practice. A lot of social workers have already took advantage of some of these opportunities such as the ongoing KSS Briefing Sessions which we…

The Impact of Austerity: UN Rapporteur

By Felicity Shenton | November 23, 2018

On Friday 16th November the United Nations rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philp Alston,  published a report on his 2 week fact finding mission to the UK. He concludes that ‘despite being the world’s fifth largest economy, levels of child poverty are not just a disgrace but a social calamity and an…

Every Day is Different…

By Glenn Dunnett | November 20, 2018

The Department of Health and Social Care have partnered with Skills for Care to launch a new campaign around recruitment into Adult Social Work. In adult social care, no two days are the same because supporting people of different ages, with different abilities and needs, means making a difference in all sorts of roles. You…

UK Social Workers Working Conditions and Well-being

By Felicity Shenton | November 20, 2018

This week I read the report that was published over the summer about a piece of research carried out by Bath Spa University with support from the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and Social Work Union (SWU). Ravalier, J. and Boichat, G. (2018) UK Social Workers: Working Conditions and Well-Being. Bath Spa University. The…

"I never believed I could achieve a qualification let alone a degree. I worked at my own pace and the support I was given throughout gave me the ability to succeed. I cannot thank the OU enough for making me achieve, what was in my eyes, unachievable."

Helping you get the best from your studies

Whether you’re studying for a qualification or a standalone module, make sure you read the description carefully and ask any additional questions you may have about what’s involved. This will ensure that you get the right level of support to make the best of your studies.

Some qualifications may be more accessible than others, depending on your specific needs, but we offer a comprehensive range of services to support you:

Accessible study materials

We provide a variety of formats to make printed texts, audio/visual content, interactive activities, or other online resources accessible

Specialist equipment

If you are not eligible for funding, our lending scheme can provide you with specialist equipment or software, enabling you to study at home, in tutorials, at day schools or residential schools.

Access to tutorials and day schools

We can help you with access and taking part in talking, listening, note-taking and group activities; or provide alternative arrangements if you are unable to participate.

Tailored assessment

If you're not able to sit an examination under standard conditions or you have difficulties with an assessment, we will make reasonable adjustments to suit your needs.

Residential schools support

A few courses have residential schools, which can be the highlight of OU study. We're committed to helping you attend and may be able to provide the support and facilities you need.

Financial help

If you're in the UK, you may be able to get Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) funding to help with study costs. You don't have to be registered disabled, and it's not age or income related.



Kate Fawcett
Head of Operations, Social Work

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Social Work England Consultation on Appointment Rules

In the new year (subject to the clearance of this appointment rules consultation), Social Work England will be advertising for a range of roles for social…

Read More

Every Day is Different…

The Department of Health and Social Care have partnered with Skills for Care to launch a new campaign around recruitment into Adult Social Work. In…

Read More

BASW Student & NQSW Reference Group – Get Involved!

BASW England has announced details of plans to develop a reference group specifically focussed upon student social workers and Newly Qualified Social Workers and their…

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BASW & Social Work England – Appointment Rules Consultation

Social Work England (SWE) have launched their first public consultation on Social Work England’s appointment rules, which form part of the legislative framework underpinning the…

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Social Work England – Have Your Say on its Identity!

Social Work England is the new national body that is being developed to represent social work in England and they are asking for your views…

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Prison – No Place for Old Men – Monday 10th December

A short workshop, which aims to explore the position of the ‘older’ prisoner in relation to health and social care provision, recognising how people over…

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NESWA Annual Appraisal Tool Mapped Against the KSS – Use it Today!

NESWA has been developing a number of pieces of work that aim to ensure that the Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) are firmly embedded within…

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Social Work England – What Difference will you See?

NESWA can confirm that BASW North East Branch will host a seminar on the incoming Social Work England in the new year. It is anticipated…

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Systems Centred Theory – Free Workshop for Social Work Practitioners & Students

GAPS (Groups for the Advancement of Psychodynamics and Psychotherapy in Social Work) are hosting a free workshop in Newcastle this Friday!! (2nd November) Research shows…

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Shining a Spotlight on Suicide Prevention

Within the field of social work, and every increasingly in modern society, the topic of mental health is debated with various focus such as work-based…

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