How to Get into Social Work: 3 Important Steps to Follow

Do you have the passion to support people in their moments of stress?

Can you commit to helping vulnerable children and adults who are in need?

Have you ever thought of how to get into social work?

What is preventing you from pursuing a career in social work?

Henry Ford once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Perhaps you have, but cannot figure out how to become one.

There are various answers to the question, “how do I become a social worker?”.

Below, I have detailed common routes into the social work career.

How to Get into Social Work: 3 Important Steps to Follow

How do you become a social worker?

Social work is a regulated profession. You can become a social worker by;

  • Pursuing a university course.
  • An apprenticeship or Graduate training schemes
  • Volunteering to gain experience

1. University

how to get into social work

Universities offer a degree or masters qualification in social work if you already have a degree in a related field.

A degree programme may take up to 3 years to complete and a master’s is usually up to 2 years.

You can find out more information on university options and application at

Entry requirements into social work are usually 2 to 3 A-levels, or equivalent, for a degree and for a postgraduate course or master’s degree, you will usually need a degree in any related subject such as psychology.

Once you have completed your degree and have a BSc, BA, MSc or MA, you will be eligible to apply to the Social Work England Register and can practice as a social worker in England.

You can find details on how to register here at

You may be eligible for a social work bursary which will help you with living costs and tuition fees.

You can find out more about eligibility, what you’ll get and how to apply at social work bursaries

2. Apprenticeship

how to get into social work

Another way to become a social worker is by completing an apprenticeship which is usually part of a social work degree programme.

Read more on how to become an apprentice HERE.

For example, Step Up to Social Work, which is an intensive full time, fully funded, Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work training programme that allows you to become a qualified in around 14 months.

There is also the Think Ahead programme, which is an alternative route into mental health social work.

It can take up to 3 years to complete a social worker degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements into the social work apprenticeship programmes include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-levels, or equivalent.

3. Volunteering

You can volunteer to become a social worker assistant or a support worker within a local authority.

Support worker

As a Support Worker you are in a position to make a genuine positive difference.

You may be involved in supporting people to live independently as much as possible or helping with signposting them to useful resources.


You don’t need to have experience to become a support worker however, a commitment to helping vulnerable people is essential.

However, as a bare minimum, an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care is required.

You can find out more about support worker roles or social work assistant roles at or

how to get into social work

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