School of Social Policy

Welcome to the School of Social Policy

The School of Social Policy, contains three departments: Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology; the Department for Social Work and Social Care; and the Health Services Management Centre. Our wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate progammes and world leading research seek ‘to understand the world – but also to change it’.

This means carrying out high quality and relevant research, but then using this as a starting point for making a practical difference in the real world through our teaching, our professional training, our policy advice and our work with local communities, the public and the media. 

Within our three departments you will be taught by a team of academics and practicioners who have previously received the teaching award from the Social Policy Association. You will delve into a range of debates around contemporary social problems, inequalities, the nature of society and criminality and what policies we need to pursue to change the world we live in. Social Work students will develop the skills and professional competences to achieve change through the activities of social workers. Students of health and care will look at the distinct challenges within this sector. You will build knowledge and skills that enable you to critique, lead, manage and strengthen health and care systems.

Throughout your degree we combine a range of academic and employability skills to ensure that we not only give you a great university learning experience but also prepare you for life after graduation.

School Key contacts

Student Experience Officers

Greta Doig:

Education Support Officers

Here are the contact details for your Education Support Team. You can contact your administrator when you need support for issues related to the organisation of your course such as timetabling, assessments, lectures and Canvas.

This is also the email address for you to write to if you are unsure where to direct your query.

Wellbeing Team


Contact the wellbeing team for pastoral support and any queries about disability support and reasonable adjustments.

Academic leads

Head of Education: Kerry Allen

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology

  • Head of Education: Frankie Rogan
  • Undergraduate Programmes Lead: Daniel Mitchell

Department of Social Work and Social Care

  • BA Social Work: TBC
  • MA Social Work: Tarsem Cooner and Denise Tanner

Health Services and Management Centre

  • NHS Leadership Academy Programmes: Steve Gultali and Catherine Weir
  • MSc Health Care Policy and Management: Martin Powell and Russell Mannion

School Societies

The Social Work Society is committed to developing the personal and academic experiences of its members. Find out more about the Social Work Society.

Spotlight on Careers

SWSC: On successful completion of our BA Social Work degree, we will equip you to work in a wide range of areas. We make sure you have experience of working with two different service user groups in two different social care settings whilst on placement. The Advanced Practice, Specialist Teaching and Dissertation modules in the final year of the BA Social Work degree allow you to build on both specialist and generic knowledge and skills, and apply for a wide range of jobs in the voluntary, private and statutory sectors.

Indeed, 85% of Social Work graduates from Birmingham are in professional or managerial careers six months after graduating and enjoy average starting salaries of £26,000 (UNISTATS, 2016-17).

This Social Work degree offers professional training, which on successful completion, will give you eligibility to apply to register with Social Work England as a professional Social Worker. 

Spotlight on Teaching

SWSC: On the social work programmes we have a number of modules that focus on skills development. These skills modules prepare students to enter the workforce by helping them develop the knowledge and skills required for communication and relationship building, intervening in challenging situations and the critical analysis of information.

The skills modules ensure that theory and practice are integrated throughout the curriculum and that students are able to demonstrate they can work in line with the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), the Social Work England Standards (SWE) and the Knowledge and Skills Statements for Social Workers in Adult Services and Social Workers in Children and Family Social Work (KSSs). Current social work practitioners, service users and carers work alongside academics to deliver the teaching on these modules.

By the time students complete the skills modules they should be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills in areas such as person-centred practice, effective direct work and professional ethics. These modules ensure that students have the foundation to further develop the knowledge, skills and values essential not only for when they go out on their two social work placements, but also for the rest of their careers.

Spotlight on Research

‘For social work: The work of Jon Glasby and Denise Tanner for adults social work, the work of Harry Ferguson for children’s. How these feed directly into our teaching.’

Any Recommended Reading

You will be provided with suggested and recommended reading during the programme by each module lead, but in the meantime we recommend the following sources: 

  • Adams, R, Dominelli, L. and Payne, M. (eds) (2009) (3rd edition) Social Work: Themes, Issues and Critical Debates, Basingstoke:  Palgrave Macmillan 

  • Healey, K. (2005) Social Work Theories in Context: Creating Frameworks for Practice, Basingstoke: Palgrave 

  • Banks, S (2012) (4th edition) Ethics and Values in Social Work, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 

  • Kendi, I.(2019) How to be an antiracist



Professional Services