Department of Social Work and Social Care

About the Department

The Head of the Department of Social Work and Social Care is Senior Lecturer, Dr Russell Whiting. Full time teaching faculty (Lecturers, Senior Lecturers and Professors) are supported by excellent Teaching Fellows and Associate Tutors. The latter work for us on a part-time basis whilst holding what are often very influential and senior roles in social care settings. See 'People and contacts' for details of the full team.

Teaching in the Department of Social Work and Social Care

We offer undergraduate, postgraduate and post-qualifying (CPD) degrees.

At undergraduate level, we have two BA degrees. Our Social Work BA is a qualifying course enabling graduates to register with the HCPC as a social worker. The course scored 97 per cent for learning resources, 96 per cent in the personal development category and 93 per cent for overall satisfaction within the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS), placing us 2nd, 4th and 8th, respectively. The multi-disciplinary Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice BA straddles not only the Departments of Education and Social Work and Social Care, but includes modules from the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Sociology and the School of Psychology. 

We have three postgraduate qualifying courses which enable graduates to register with the HCPC as a social worker. The two-year Social Work MA has been established at Sussex for nearly 50 years. Additionally, we now offer a complementary Social Work Postgraduate Diploma which enables students to work in the summer period between years 1 and 2, rather than completing a dissertation. The government-funded fast-track Postgraduate Diploma (Step Up To Social Work) became operational in cohort 5, and we anticipate a further funded cohort in 2020. We also offer a Wellbeing MRes, a Social Research Methods MSc, and a Childhood and Youth Studies MA which, like the BA, is a multidisciplinary degree straddling the Department of Education and the Department of Social Work and Social Care. 

The Department of Social Work and Social Care also offers courses in continuing professional development (CPD) to give experienced professionals the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills for specialist roles. Modules may be studied individually, or as part of a whole award.

The Department of Social Work & Social Care at Sussex is part of a flagship teaching partnership with East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and the University of Brighton. Our South Coast Regional Centre for Education (SCRC)  focuses on delivering excellent social work education on the frontline with funding from the Government's Department for Education. Consisting of three hubs - the Student Learning Hub, the Professional Development Hub and the Practice Research Hub - the SCRC provides an enhanced teaching and placement experience for students, a defined career pathway for social work practitioners and research which is driven by issues experienced by adults and children’s social workers. See the internal release for more details.

Research in the Department of Social Work and Social Care

Doctoral researchers can study on our Social Work and Social Care PhD.

Most of our research is undertaken in the areas of (i) child social care, (ii) adult social care, and (iii) social work education. See details of research currently being undertaken within the Department, projects recently completed and Research ethics information for those interested in undertaking research with us.

The Department currently hosts three research centres: The Centre for Innovation and Research in Wellbeing (CIRW), the Centre for Innovation and Research in Social Work (C-SWIR), and the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY). 

Researchers will almost certainly want to familiarise themselves with this page: Seminars and speakers: current term which has details of the open research seminars taking place during the current academic year - hosted by the Department of Social Work and Social Care, as well as our sister Department, the Department of Education. On this page are links to recordings of seminars that have already taken place (and links to archived recordings from previous years), as well as details of upcoming events. All seminars are 'open' to all, ie. pre-booking is not necessary and anyone/everyone who wants to come is welcome. These events are also almost always available to join remotely online (subject to the speakers' permission). The relevant url for each event is shown at the bottom of its promo poster - also downloadable from this page.