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Top resources for prospective and new social work students

Abigail Davey

Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Allied Health and Social Care
Course: BA (Hons) Social Work
Category: Social sciences and social care

29 April 2022

I’m writing this blog for prospective and newly starting out social work students with some top resources. Narrowing it down to just five was just too difficult, so you got ten!

Five resources and five books have still been pretty hard to pick out, as there are so many out there. However, some really good places to start are:


  1. Social Work England
    Social Work England are the regulatory body for the profession. On their website they include the professional standards that social workers are required to work towards and be competent at in practice. It’s really good to get to know these early on if you can.
  2. British Association for Social Workers
    Here you will find lots of information for example, on what social workers do and the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).
  3. Community Care
    A great place to keep up to date with sector news, read articles and also later on there is a jobs career section.
  4. Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
    SCIE offer a wide range of social care information and training, some of which is referred to within the teaching and will be great to use while learning on the course.
  5. Social Work Student Connect with Siobhan Maclean
    Every week Siobhan and her team present different social work webinars for learning. The easiest way to sign up for these is to follow Sw_student_connect on Facebook or SW_student_con on Twitter, where a link is shared every week.


It’s hard to recommend books to other students as everyone has their own reading and writing style. However, there are some key books that I have used a lot so far that I think will really help you as you approach your degree:

  1. Carr, H., Goosey, D., 2019. Law for Social Workers (15th Ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  2. Maclean, S., 2015. Theory and Practice: A Straightforward Guide for Social Work Students (Lichfield: Kirwin Maclean Associates Ltd.).
  3. Teater, B., 2020. An Introduction to Applying Social Work Theories and Methods (3rd Ed., London Open University Press).
  4. Johns, R., 2020. Using the Law in Social Work (8th Ed., London: Learning Matters).
  5. Lishman, J., Yuill, C., Brannan, J., Gibson, A., 2018. Social Work: An Introduction (2nd Ed., London: Sage).

ARU do have a fantastic library, as well as access to a lot of books online, so don’t worry too much about buying lots of books before you start, as you’ll need to find out what you are writing about before you get too deep into it. However, you can guarantee that the law and theory will feature!

I hope this has been helpful, and good luck!

Abigail studies BA (Hons) Social Work at ARU in Chelmsford. We also train social workers in Cambridge and Peterborough. Find out more about this, and other degree courses, at one of our Open Days.


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