BASW student members can get ahead on your course with the student hub.
Browse the Student Hub
Download the student flyer
Discover the benefits of joining BASW as a student. Get ahead on your course and chosen career with BASW's discounted membership.
Download the Top Tips Guide for Student Social Workers 2023
This guide has been produced by BASW England Student/NQSW group. They have put together information they wish they had access to when they started their social work journey. We would like to thank the members of the BASW England NQSW & Student group who contributed to and developed this document.
This short guide includes:
- top tips,
- and information on how you can compliment the learning you will receive on placement and at university.
Social Work Student Bursary Campaign
BASW is campaigning for better bursary support for social work students across the UK with success already achieved in Wales with a 50% increase to bursaries.
BASW Chief Executive, Dr Ruth Allen and SWU General Secretary, John McGowan spoke to The Social Worker & The Mentor podcast about the importance of this campaign.
Take a look at what else is being done across the countries below and discover how to get involved.
Your voice inspires our campaigns. Together we’ll drive positive change and influence what matters in social work today.
SASW is backing a member-led campaign co-ordinated by SWU and the Campaign Collective calling for better bursary support for social work students in Scotland. The campaign was established following a successful application to SWU’s campaign collective fund by SASW members. Currently, undergraduate students get no bursaries while on placement years and the support available to postgraduate students is limited.
- A letter signed by over 300 students and supported by SASW and SWU was sent to the Scottish Government urging them to make more funding available. A petition has also been launched to the Scottish Parliament asking MSPs to debate the issue.
BASW England has been highlighting the challenges faced by the workforce through surveys and using our voice in the media. 43% of social workers fear they will struggle to pay their own bills. A campaign has begun to try to deliver better funded student bursaries to help better support the workforce.
A major triumph for BASW Cymru this year was the joint lobbying with Masters students and Social Workers Union (SWU) for an increase in financial support for social work students. The Welsh government announced that from September 2022, the bursary for both undergraduates and postgraduates in Wales will be increased by over 50%. A great success!
BASW Northern Ireland is campaigning for better bursary support for social work students. A campaign has begun to try to deliver better funded student bursaries to help better support the workforce.
Open the door to unique opportunities as a student!
BASW is an active member of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) where we represent all UK social workers.
BASW members and staff take key roles in IFSW Europe. Recently, student member Omar Mohammed was the Director of the IFSW ‘New social workers project’.
BASW Student Ambassador Scheme
BASW Student Ambassadors link social work students and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) together so that we can hear the voices of students and build understanding of the support BASW offers. Keep an eye on eBulletins for the next nomination window opening.
The scheme is co-produced between BASW, current students, University programmes and the BASW UK student and NQSW group.
How to get involved or receive support as a BASW member
Get involved in campaigns
Add your voice and influence on what matters in social work today. See more information on the Student Bursary Campaign.
Become a Student Ambassador
A unique opportunity for you to learn and develop. Join projects and events that focus on the student experience.
Connect or join a group
The Student Peer Support Special Interest Group (SPSSIG) offers a monthly online forum, so BASW students and NQSW have a space to connect and network with a wider cohort. If you would like to find out more, send us an email on SPSSIG@baswnetwork.co.uk
Receive 1-1 support and coaching
Receive 1-1 mentoring with the Social Work Professional Support Service, a space to reflect or a space for career advice as you prepare to work towards your first job in social work.
Protection and support
Student membership includes £5 million professional indemnity insurance cover for social work students. They also have access to advice from BASW/SWU Advice and Representation team for professional help on a range of issues including placement difficulties.
I'm having issues on placement, what can I do?
The law concerning employment status for students on placement is complex. In most circumstances, students on a work placement are not regarded has having employment status. This means that students have limited employment rights and no statutory right to representation. This, in turn, means that the A&R team cannot provide you with representation.
When we are unable to provide representation, we may still be able to provide you with advice. A suite of guidance and information sheets is available to all members on the A&R service webpage, covering a range of employment and Fitness to Practise (FtP) issues.
Please bear in mind that the information is framed to support employed members, and therefore cannot directly be applied to a placement situation. However, you may find that some of the documents contain useful tips and pointers that could be applied to you as a student.
How to get involved or receive support as a SWU member
Become a student union contact
SWU recruits and trains student Union Contacts who promote membership and activism in universities
Join events and campaigns
SWU offers opportunities for students to join events, campaigns and ‘talk to SWU’ sessions covering student issues and advice.