Students hoping to get a place on a social work degree course through clearing face a battle for places, with only five universities showing vacancies.
Anglia Ruskin, De Montfort, Kent and Northumbria universities and Havering College in London are the only institutions offering entry to students who did not gain the grades they were expecting, or late first-time applicants.
This is out of a total of 83 universities and colleges that provide the degree in England.
“There has been an enormous interest in social work,” said Jane McLenachan, head of social work and health studies at De Montfort University in Leicester.
“The course was almost full going into clearing anyway; we had fewer than 10 places left.”
Around 60,000 applications were received for social work and social care degrees in the UK this year compared to 37,000 in 2009, according to universities admissions body Ucas. Social work is the ninth most popular subject out of more than 180.
“Most courses will have offered more places than they had available, factoring in the possibility that some students won’t get the grades,” said Ray Jones, professor of social work at Kingston University.
“Hopefully, the increased number of applicants will lead to a higher intellectual calibre of students taking the degree.”
What do you think? Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emails