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BA (Hons)/Grad Dip Vulnerable Adults & Community Care Practice

The National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work offers a portfolio of courses designed to raise standards in social work practice and help social workers demonstrate their competence to work within complex situations.

The Vulnerable Adults and Community Care Practice course is designed for qualified adult care workers from statutory, voluntary and private agencies, working in all settings.

This course will enable you to:

  • Build on your social work knowledge and experience to develop your competence as an adult care practitioner
  • Gain further knowledge and skills needed to undertake the role of adult care practitioner
  • Develop your skills of reflective understanding and critical analysis
  • Use your knowledge, skills and experience to assist the development of others.

This course is under review and not currently available, we will update this page in November 2017 to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded.

Key information

Next start date:

No dates for this course are currently scheduled. Please enquire for more information.


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


18 months

Entry requirements:

Applicants will normally hold a social work qualification recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council or a qualification in an allied profession. You must hold at least a Diploma level qualification, such as a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) or equivalent. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component. For more information check out our full entry requirements

Course details

This course is taught with a competence-based assessment scheme linked to practice. We use range of learning and teaching methods, including lectures, tutorials, group-based exercises and facilitated discussions. We'll assess you assignments linked to observed practices.

If you study the BA (Hons) route you will undertake the Professional Practice unit below, Graduate Diploma students won't study this unit. 

  • Professional Practice (working with adults) or Professional Practice (assessed & supported year in employment- ASYE): A chance to prove you're consistent and competent in your professional practice, from the point of qualification to the present time. There will also be room for further professional development in your chosen context. 

You can choose four option units from the following:

  • Assessment in Community Care - Needs, Risks and Rights: You'll consider need and risk assessments and make a link between applying rights and assessment models in statutory and non-statutory settings. One example of this is personalisation and community care, in terms of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards to develop understanding of mental capacity, mental illness, disabilities, domestic violence and safeguarding. This will help you to develop your practice.
  • Organisation and Delivery of Community Care: You'll carry out duties in the context of community care services and legislative and policy frameworks related to health and social care. You'll also analyse and evaluate organisational practice, and how contemporary policies promote service user and carer rights.
  • Safeguarding Adults - Enabling Adults in Vulnerable Circumstances: Explore theories that underpin adult development while considering the ageing process, life stage transitions and how significant life events affect wellbeing. Notions such as ‘disability’, ‘learning disability’, ‘mental health’ and ‘old age’ will also be explored so you can analyse their relationship to marginalisation and discrimination and how these might impact ‘vulnerability’.
  • Evidencing Professional and/or Management Learning: A work-based continuing professional development (CPD) unit which allows practitioners to achieve academic credit from experiential learning and in-house training. You won't be taught by BU staff but we will endorse suitable and appropriate learning. Can also be studied as a standalone unit.
  • Practice Observation: A feature of professional development is not only identifying and meeting learning needs, but applying these learning outcomes into practice. This unit will combine what you've learnt in the other units,to help you apply theory to practice through direct observation reflective analysis.

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff and qualified professional practitioners. 

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BA (Hons) Vulnerable Adults and Community Care Practice (pdf 475kb).

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Selection criteria

  • A HCPC approved qualification in Social Work
  • All students must be in an appropriate practice setting and have a suitably qualified Practice Assessor in place identified by their agency. All students must be supported by their sponsoring agency

Full entry requirements

Applicants will normally hold a social work qualification recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council or a qualification in an allied profession. You must hold at least a Diploma level qualification, such as a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.

How to apply

We offer a single point of contact for all questions and enquiries regarding Post Qualifying Social Work courses.

Please contact our NCPQSW Administration Team (National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work) for more information:

  • Tel: +44 (0)1202 964765
  • Email:

Please note: If your fees are to be paid by your employer you should submit your application via your Workforce Development Officer so that your employer can sign the sponsor section of the payment agreement. This must take place before you can be enrolled.

If you are paying your own fees you should submit your application directly to the NCPQSW Administration Team.


This course is designed for qualified adult care practitioners who want to progress their careers and work in more complex social care situations. Once you graduate, you will be in a position to undertake the role of adult care practitioner and to help others in your field develop their knowledge and skills.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

  • All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions & specialist teaching facilities.
  • One set of study-related consumables such as a hard copy/memory stick/ DVD
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service;
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, Faculty Librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/ improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our unilinx bus service operates in the local areas, offering a subsided travel rate. We also have a large number of bike storage facilities.
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Travel to placement is your responsibility; you may be able to reclaim costs from NHS Student Bursaries
  • Supplementary uniform supplies
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/ securing placements
  • Professional Body membership/registration post qualification
  • Internet access at discretion of your accommodation provider
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Student section of the website.

Other possible costs to consider

  • Replacement Student ID card- £10.00 (per replacement)
  • Cost of resit examination- No charge if examined at Bournemouth University, if examined elsewhere costs may be incurred at the Exam Centre
  • Cost of additional transcript results- £10.00 (per year of study)
  • Replacement certificate (Postgraduate and Diploma level students only)- £30.00 (per replacement)

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