The Academic Requirements To Become A Social Worker - SACAP
Social Work & Community Development

The Academic Requirements to become a Social Worker

Dec 14, 2022 | By Saranne Durham
The Academic Requirements to become a Social Worker - SACAP
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There are minimum academic requirements to become a social worker. In addition to these, there are non-academic checks which form part of the minimal requirements to study social work. These non-academic requirements are in place due to the inherent nature of social work. Specifically, because social workers operate at the coal face with people and communities. Here’s what you’ll need for your study application.

Academic Requirements to become a Social Worker

Social work is regarded as a professional career. Accordingly, the route to becoming a social worker is through a four-year professional qualification. Many social work programmes have a limited number of placements. This is to ensure that each student gets the necessary attention to excel within their course. SACAP accepts 20 applicants per campus, per year. There are four ways of academically qualifying for the SACAP’s Bachelor of Social Work.

4 Academic Requirement Options

  1. A National Senior Certificate/National Certificate (Vocational) or equivalent that has:
    • Appropriate subject combinations. Have to have English and Maths or Maths literacy.
    • An achievement rating of Level 4 (adequate achievement of 50-59%) or better in 6 designated subjects.
    • English with an achievement rating of Level 5 (adequate achievement of 60-69%) or better.
  2. A Senior Certificate (pre-2008) with Endorsement or an equivalent school-leaving certificate. Required subjects are English and Maths or Maths literacy passed at a standard grade or higher level.
  3. A Higher Certificate (NQF 5) or a SAQA-verified equivalent qualification.
  4. An Advanced Certificate or Diploma in a cognate field, also known as a second concentration or sub-specialisation area.

Experience as an Alternative to Academic Requirement

Those 24 years or older who do not meet the academic requirements could still be eligible for acceptance. This consideration to be admitted into a Social Work degree is in accordance with a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Accordingly, what you need to provide is a portfolio of evidence demonstrating formal and informal knowledge, training and work experience. And/or a learning equivalent to an NQF 5 qualification. For more information on the SACAP RPL process click here.

Non-Academic Requirements to become a Social Worker

Social workers work with the most vulnerable in society. As such, being a social worker is often described as fulfilling a calling. It requires a particular type of person to step into difficult personal, family and community situations. Thus, an applicant’s character is important and ahead of acceptance into a programme, hopeful candidates undergo various non-academic processes.

Three Non-Academic Requirements

  1. Police clearance for criminal convictions certificate.
  2. Two testimonials from credible sources vouching for your character.
  3. Selection and screening interview(s) with SACAP officials.

Part of the requirement for admittance into a social work programme is to be defined as a “fit and proper person” as per the South African Council for Social Service Professionals (SACSSP). Usually during the second year of study, students need to register with the South African Council for Social Service Professionals (SACSSP).

The character and temperament of a Social Worker applicant is important. Therefore, on a personal level, applicants should be empathetic, patient, active listeners, self-aware and able to think critically. These characteristics will stand them in good stead while studying and when they start to work.

Study Social Work

If you feel that your calling is to be a social worker, then enrol in SACAP’s Bachelor of Social Work degree. Study options are available on the SACAP Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg campuses. Contact an admissions officer for more information.

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