WPCS 2.1.2
Tuition Fees:$0 /year
Applications Begin:June 2020
Final Award:Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
Start Date:September 2020
Academic Unit:Faculty of Arts
Campus:Main Campus
Application Deadline: 30 September 2020
Programme Overview

Since its inception in 1976 the social work program (B.A. Degree) has been administratively under the auspices of the Department of Sociology but with its own Program Coordinator. The Programme was initiated within the Department of Sociology in response to a request from an Inter-Ministerial Working Committee on Social Work Education in Kenya. The Inter-Ministerial Committee included the following representatives: The Kenya Institute of Administration, The Kenya National Association of Social Workers, The National Council of Social Services, The Ministry of Housing and Social Services, The Ministry of Finance and Planning, The Ministry of Education, The Directorate of Personnel and The Department of Sociology, University of Nairobi. The Committee, following its study of the social welfare needs of Kenya at that time projected that the country would need twenty to twenty-five (20-25) social work graduates per year to meet the existing manpower needs.

The committee established that “the overall goal of the programme would be to train professional university level social workers in response to the increasing complexity of social problems in the country”. Prior to 1976, there existed in Kenya a Diploma and Certificate Training Programme operating under the auspices of the Kenya Institute of Administration at Kabete. The Diploma Training Programme was later transferred to the Embu Government Training Institute. In other words, there was no university level training of social workers in Kenya prior to 1976.

In the beginning, the Inter-Ministries Committee and the Department of Sociology collaborated in planning and the development of the Social Work Programme. As a result of this collaboration, it was recommended that a B.A. Social Work degree be offered within the Department of Sociology at the University of Nairobi. The decision to administratively house the Programme in the Department of Sociology was made for several reasons:

Initially, the Social Work Programme was funded by the Fredrick Ebert Foundation for three-years. The Foundation met the cost of a senior lecturer position and two lecturer positions, including other expenses for operating the programme for the period specified and renewable for an additional two years. However, the Foundation did not fund the programme beyond the three years. Consequently, the financial responsibilities for operating the programme were taken over by the government.  The programme has since grown; from admitting about 20 students per year to about 60 currently.

From 1976 to as recent as the 1990’s, the BA (Social Work) programme at the University of Nairobi remained the only university program in Kenya for professional training in social work. The course was started to fill a professional gap not only in Kenya’s but actually in East Africa’s social development sector. Social work graduates have since played a critical role in the overall development of the country. Of notable significance has been their contribution in the following areas: management of children’s affairs (e.g., rehabilitation and training), gender and development, youth affairs, probation and correctional services, management of community development programmes, community mobilization and capacity building, medical social work (in health facilities), counselling, human resource management and micro-enterprise development.

Like all recognized tertiary training centres for social workers, the University of Nairobi has over the years adhered to a curricula that not only allows students to specialize in social work early in the BA programme but also that combines class work and fieldwork. It is hoped that this practice will be sustained especially for the purpose of maintaining internationally recognized social work training standards and for the University of Nairobi to maintain its pole position as the model for professional social work training in Kenya.


Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts (Social Work) degree programme will be admitted to the course at the beginning of their first year and enroll for four courses in the social work programme, four in the department of Sociology and four others in any other two departments in the faculty of Arts. Thereafter, students will take courses prescribed by the social work programme, including not less than 1200 hours of field Practicum. Therefore, the curriculum for the B.A. Social Work will consist of:
I). Taught courses 41 courses
II) Practicum    3 courses
Each taught course shall include 45 contact hours
Each field practicum course shall take 10 weeks of external agency attachment.

Admission Requirements

Common regulations for admission into the University of Nairobi and those in the faculty of Arts shall apply.

Application Process
Application Fees for Kenyan Students: $0
Application Fees for International Students: $0

How to Apply:
Applicants should visit = to apply Online

University of Nairobi has three intakes in an Academic year. Main intake being in September/October for all the courses and December/January for Bachelor of Education(Arts), Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Hospitality Management, Bachelor of Travel and Tourism April/May for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education(Arts), Bachelor of Education Early Childhood, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Economics ,Bachelor of Economics and Statistics ,Bachelor of Journalism and media Studies, Bachelor of Art Broadcast Production, Bachelor of Hospitality Management, Bachelor of Travel and Tourism, Bachelor of Arts Broadcast Production and all Diploma and Certificate courses.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for this programme include:
– Adult guidance worker
– Advice worker
– Arbitrator
– Careers adviser
– Chaplain
– Community development worker
– Counsellor
– Detective
– Education consultant
– Equality, diversity and inclusion officer
– Life coach
– Mediator
– Play therapist
– Special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
– Volunteer coordinator
– Youth worker

Tuition Fees Details
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Tuition Fees for Kenyan Students: $0
Tuition Fees for International Students: $0

Tuition Fees for Kenyan Students =
Tuition Fees for International Students =
**This programme will be completed after a duration of 4 years, with fees per year as follows:
– First year =
– Second year =
– Third year =
– Fourth year =


International Students pay 20% more than the Kenyan Students.

Relevant Contact

Prof. Ephraim Wahome
Dean Faculty of Arts
Admissions Office
Admission Enquiries