Bachelor of Social Work Admission Information

Thank you for considering social work as a field of study. The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is a selection programme. Please note that, despite meeting the academic criteria, not every candidate who applies for admission can be accepted. Selection for the Social Work Programme at the UFS is highly competitive. Due to the high standards required for academic and professional development, we can only accommodate a limited number of students (± 70). Each year we receive more applications (approximately 8000+ per year) than we can accommodate. Therefore, only the top academic candidates will be selected.

The selection process and requirements are explained below. Please read them carefully and provide us with the necessary information as soon as possible. The final date for applications is 31 July of each year. All applications are made online.


The minimum admission requirements to the Bachelor of Social Work programme are:

  • An endorsed National Senior Certificate (NSC) issued by the South African Certification Council.
  • Your matric certificate should indicate that you qualify for admission to a bachelor’s degree.
  • A minimum of 30 admission points (AP) is required. However, applicants with higher AP scores (35+) will be more likely to be selected for the programme. Refer to the table below to calculate your AP score.
  • A minimum of 60% (Level 5) was obtained for English in the NSC.
  • Please note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the programme. Only the top 70 candidates will be selected.

Use the table and example below to determine your AP score. The formula for calculating the AP follows below.

NSC Level of Achievement

UFS Admission Point (AP)

7 (90%-100%)


7 (80%-89%)


6 (70%-79%)


5 (60%-69%)


4 (50%-59%)


3 (40%-49%)


2 (30%-39%)


Example: An achievement level of at least 5 (60%) in five academic subjects is required, and English is compulsory at a minimum level of 5. An achievement level of at least 4 (50%) in one other academic subject is required. An achievement level of 5 (60%) or higher for Life Orientation is required to score a maximum of 1 point.


The Selection Committee uses the following selection criteria:

  • Higher AP scores (35+) receive preference.

  • First-time entries are given preference.

  • Motivation letter. Instructions for the motivation letter: one page; typed; font type: Arial; font size: 11; line spacing: 1.15; name and surname at the top of the page; a well written letter is crucial. Explain the following in the motivation letter:

    A.    Your understanding of social work as a profession (half a page).

    B.    Reasons why you want to study social work (half a page).

  • All candidates will be notified by the end of December of the outcome of their application.


  • Endorsed matric certificate.
  • June matric results for current matric applicants.
  • A copy of your identity document.
  • A testimonial on your character from a reputable source (i.e., former teacher, employer, religious leader, etc.).
  • Motivation letter.
  • Study record if you are/were a student at an institution other than UFS. (Please note that first-time entries are given preference.)


Students studying towards a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) will be registered as student social workers with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) at the end of their first year or the beginning of their second year of study. The SACSSP requires a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) as a condition of registration. If the SACSSP does not register you as a student, you cannot do the field instruction module (field practice), which means you cannot study social work.


Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)

You must provide evidence that you do not have a criminal record and have not committed an offence against children. The PCC and the National Child Protection Register (NCPR Part B clearance are required, but since you must pay a fee for the PCC, you only need to provide us with a police clearance certificate after admittance to the programme. You must apply for the PCC yourself.

You must submit your PCC to the Department of Social Work when selected and register for your first-year modules. If you have not received the PCC by then, submit a copy of the receipt from the South African Police Service (SAPS) that you applied for a PCC to the secretary. When you receive the certificate, please submit it at reception. If your PPC shows that you are not a fit and proper candidate for social work, your selection will be withdrawn, no matter how good your academic achievements might be.

Visit your local police station to apply for the PCC. You must have your ID book with you. Have cash available to pay for the PCC application at the police station. Details of the procedure for applying for this certificate are available here.

According to the Social Service Practitioners Bill (2016), a particular type of offender is barred from practising social work. Specifically, section 47(1)(c) says – "A person who has been convicted of an offence in the Republic and sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine or, in the case of fraud, any other offence involving dishonesty or any sexual offence, to a fine or imprisonment or both. Section 47(1)(d) – "is a person whose name appears on the register contemplated in: (i) section 23 of the Older Persons Act, 2006 (Act no. 13 of 2006); or (ii) Part B of the National Child Protection Register contemplated in section 111 of the Children's Act, 2005 (Act no. 38 of 2005); or (iii) chapter 6 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 (Act No. 32 of 2007), which refers to the national register for sex offenders; or section 47(1)(e), a person may be refused registration if they have "been convicted of an offence in a foreign country and sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine or, in the case of fraud, any other offence involving dishonesty or any sexual offence, to a fine or imprisonment or both". The SACSSP uses the PCC as a keyway to determine “fit and properness”.

In practice, this means that, even if a person has a BSW, but they have a criminal record, they will be judged to be not a “fit and proper" person and thus will be denied registration as a social worker. Some criminal matters would probably be excluded, such as involvement in political action or a traffic fine.

The SACSSP requires all student social workers to have a clean PCC before their registration as student social workers. The SACSSP will not register a graduate as a social worker without a clean PCC. Thus, a person with a criminal record who enrols for the BSW will probably not be permitted to register as a student social worker, which means they cannot complete the practical components of the BSW.

For these reasons, universities require students to obtain a PCC early in their studies before they start field practice in their second year. Moreover, students who complete the first year of the BSW but are then found to have a criminal record will be required to deregister from the BSW and transfer to another academic programme. Every student in social work will have to re-submit for a new PCC at the beginning of each subsequent year of study.

The National Child Protection Register (NCPR)

Form 30 will be handed to you to be completed and submitted along with an additional certified copy of your ID as part of your application. The Department of Social Work will submit this on your behalf to the Department of Social Development (DSD). There is no cost for this application.

Part B of the NCPR is a register of persons convicted of child abuse. Clearance of all employees of any service concerning the care, protection, and development of children is required by the Children's Act (2005), including such services as early childhood development centres (playschools and preschools for younger children). According to the Children's Act (Section 43): "Further to the provisions of Section 123(1) of the Act relating to types of prohibited employment or activity of a person whose name appears in Part B of the National Child Protection Register, no such person may- a) be employed or involved in any position, where he or she will be placed in a position of authority, supervision or care of a child; b) be employed or involved in any position, where he or she will be able to gain access to a child or to a place or places where children are present or congregate; c) own or have any economic or business interest in any entity, business concern or trade relating to the supervision or care of a child if such interest would cause that person to have direct access to or would place him or her in a position of authority, supervision or care of a child."

As all student social workers will be working with children, they must provide evidence that their names do not appear on the NCPR Part B.


Do not hesitate to contact Randy September with selection-related enquiries.

Randy September

Programme Director
Dr Carel van Wyk

Academic Head of Department
Dr Mpumelelo E. Ncube



T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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