Workforce intelligence > Publications > Topics > Social work > Social work education in England

Social work education in England

Data correct as at 2020/21

Next update due: March 2023

This page presents information on social work higher education in England, making use of data from HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) to describe and discuss the current trends in social work education. The findings are based on data as at 2020/21.

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Key findings

  • Around 5,710 students enrolled onto social work courses in 2020/21. The number of enrolments has increased by 32% in the last academic year. 
  • Postgraduate enrolments (making up 43% of enrolments) increased by 45% in 2020/21.
  • Undergraduate enrolments (making up 57% of enrolments) increased by 24% in 2020/21.
  • Of the 3,830 leavers from social work courses in 2018/19, 3,360 (88%) achieved a qualification.
  • The number of qualifying graduates has decreased by 29% from 4,700 in 2012/13 to 3,360 in 2020/21.
  • The proportion of qualifiers has decreased from 94% in 2019/20 to 88% in 2020/21.



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