Social Work

BA (Hons) Social Work  sOCIAL wORK (Degree) Apprenticeship This course is only available to applicants via an apprenticeship scheme and is subject to HCPC approval.

Year of entry

This course is only available to applicants via an apprenticeship scheme.

This degree apprenticeship is designed to equip those working in a non-registered capacity, in the social care sector, with the knowledge, skills and attributes to become a Social Worker. The Social Worker (Degree) Apprenticeship containing the BA (Hons) Social Work (SW(D)A) is a work-based degree programme with an inclusive philosophy which supports the development of capable, confident, collaborative, flexible and adaptable practitioners who put the needs of service users at the heart of their professional practice.

On successful completion of the programme, you should be able tocritically apply a range of theoretical knowledge and perspectives, research, and legal and policy frameworks to social work practice. You will have developed your skills at analysing and applying ethical principles that promote social justice, inclusion, equality, anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice within a changing global environment. 

You will demonstrate your ability to analyse and evaluate evidence, arguments and alternative interpretations and formulate appropriate professional judgements as a basis of accountable decision-making in complex situations.  You should be able todemonstrate informed and critical use of skills, processes and professional authority, at an appropriate level for a newly qualified practitioner, in supporting and safeguarding individuals, within families, groups, communities and interprofessional context.  

You will evidence your skills toappraise and manage the challenges involved in maintaining a collaborative and person-centred perspective when working with service users, carers and other professionals in complex environments. Finally, you willacquire and demonstrate emerging professional resilience, critical reflection, and capacity to use supervision and guidance for transformative learning. 

The primary aims of the SW(D)A programme are: 

  • To prepare you to meet the academic and professional requirements for the award of the BA (Hons) Social Work and the Institute for Apprenticeship standards for Social Work apprenticeships as stipulated by current professional and policy drivers.
  • To enable you to work in a profession which has distinctive qualities of promoting social justice, equality and diversity, human rights while enhancing interpersonal skills in engagement and in supportive working partnerships with both vulnerable individuals and groups within constant changing environment.
  • To equip you to be a skilled practitioner who will support children, young people and adults at times of vulnerability while enabling or guiding them to create changes in their life circumstances.
  • To prepare you to be a confident, autonomous, critical, research minded and competent practitioner who can practice in a complex globalised and technical world.

You will study a range of modules across the programme and integrate academic, practice and work-based learning to enable you to meet the programme learning outcomes. The modules and work-based learning will develop your understanding of social work roles and tasks, the organisational context and relevant legal and policy frameworks. You will evaluate theoretical perspectives that underpin social work assessments and interventions, and develop communication, assessment and decision-making skills. You will learn the research skills that underpin evidence-informed practice and apply these through an individual dissertation.

There is a focus throughout the programme on the perspectives of service users, understanding issues of oppression, discrimination, diversity and adopting social work values. You will be provided with opportunities to develop as a critically reflective, anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practitioner who is able to form appropriate professional relationships and demonstrate professional and ethical standards in decision making in a range of settings while understanding the importance of interprofessional work. 

Year 1

Skills for Academic and Work -based learning (20 credits)

This module will introduce you to core concepts underpinning effective academic and work-based learning (WBL) and help you develop skills to maximise your learning within the workplace.

Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan (20 credits)

The aims of this module are to enable you to explore theories relating to human growth and development across the lifespan and to understand your relevance for social work practice.

Introduction to Social Work Theory Practice and Skills (40 credits)

This module will introduce you to the nature of contemporary social work in a global and inter professional context, including key aspects of the knowledge, skills, theories and values that inform social work practice.

Sociology Social Policy and Social Work (40 credits)

This module will introduce you to sociological theories and perspectives and develop understanding of how social policy shapes social work practice and the organisational context of social work.

Year 2

Research and Evidence for Social Work Practice (40 credits)

The aim of the module is to prepare you for professional practice grounded in evidence-based research.

Law and Policy for Professional SW Practice (40 credits)

Overall this module aims to help you examine and develop understanding of how social work law and policy apply to the fields of children, young people, adults and mental health. The module will build on the 1st year policy teaching to help you gain a comprehensive yet critical understanding of the relationship of law and policy to welfare practice.

Assessed Practice Module 1 (40 credits)

This period of assessed practice provides practice-based learning opportunities to enable you to demonstrate professional knowledge, skills and values.

Year 3

Critical Literature Review (20 credits)

Within the context of an evidence-based approach, this module provides you with the opportunity to explore knowledge, evidence and research in relation to service user involvement (SUI), service user-led research and participatory approaches within social work practice.

Assessed Practice Module 2 (40 credits)

The module provides the opportunity to develop your specialist in-depth knowledge and practice skills either in relation to Social Work with Adults or Child and Family Social Work dependent on the student’s work setting and service user group.

End Point Assessment (60 credits)

As an integrated degree level Apprenticeship incorporating on-programme academic and workplace learning and assessment, the independent EPA tests your knowledge, skills and behaviours detailed in the standard.

All modules are required and there are no optional modules. 

On successful completion of all required academic and practice elements you will be eligible to apply for registration as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or the new regulator from December 2019, Social Work England (SWE). Following your registration with the HCPC/SWE and on meeting the HCPC/SWE  standards of proficiency, you will be able to practise as a Social Worker in a wide range of organisations.



The programme will adopt an Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) approach, creating an environment in which learning will be driven by a process of enquiry owned by you as a student and lecturers becoming facilitators as you progress from level 4 to level 6. EBL will encourage group work approach, use of triggers/scenarios, critique of research, and use of other university-wide resources while adopting student centred approaches to learning. Within this approach a blended learning method will be utilised to enhance links between work-based practice learning and university teaching.  

Teaching and learning will be a combination of university and work-based learning.  Lectures, seminars, reading groups, and tutorials will form parts of a varied, interactive approach to teaching and learning. Other teaching and learning methods will also be adopted to support your learning style were appropriate and use of technology, e.g. web-based seminars. The programme continues to develop a learning community for students by utilising the action learning set model of learning which encourages students to learn and reflect in small groups and considers apprentices as partners in teaching and learning.

Independent Learning

Learning to be a social worker means attaining professional autonomy by making independent decisions and actions while taking responsibility for one’s action. The programme will adopt varied methods of teaching and learning to enable you progress into an autonomous learner/professional from year 1 to year 3.

A significant part of your learning will take place in practice through work-based and assessed practice learning. Learning will be supported and facilitated by work-based mentors and other practitioners in the practice settings, through a variety of learning opportunities and activities.

All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Overall workload

You will typically have one day per week in university – based learning and 4 days per week in practice/work-based learning. For each 20 credits, your study time is about 10 hours a week.

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience.

Several of our team members hold doctoral degree and all hold teaching qualifications. They are research-active. They have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars

In practice you will be supported by social work practice educators who have met the Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS), and experienced workplace mentors who have received training in supporting work-based learning. 

There are a wide variety of assessments throughout the programme that will assess the range of knowledge, skills, and behaviours required for social work practice. You will be assessed at the end of your first year regarding your readiness for assessed practice learning across all social work capabilities. This will be followed by assessment of end of your first period of assessed practice which takes place in your second year and final year period of assessed practice which takes place in your third year of the programme.  After passing required academic and practice learning elements, you will be eligible to undertake the End Point Assessment (EPA) in the final year.  

You will be assessed in the university in a number of ways, including group/individual presentations, essays, portfolios, written or oral exams, case studies and reflective accounts. Assessment in practice will be made through observations, written work and feedback from service users, carers and practitioners. The requirements for assessment in practice will be set out clearly in your assessed practice handbooks. Opportunities for formative feedback by your peers and lecturers will be provided in each module and throughout the programme.

There are no exams in the Social Work (degree) Apprenticeship programme.

In order to demonstrate your professional competence and meet academic requirements for the degree apprenticeship, you will need to pass 300 credits of academic, work-based, and assessed practice learning. You will then have up to six months to complete and pass a 60-credit end point assessment (EPA).  

Social Work is a regulated profession, therefore all applicants are required to meet the university occupational health screening requirements and satisfactorily complete the Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS). Additionally, apprentices will be required to meet employer standards for occupational health and DBS. You are also required to complete a suitability form at entry point, at the beginning of year two and year three.

The Apprenticeship standard for this programme is set by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. The Social Worker (degree) Apprenticeship standards align with the professional regulator for social work (HCPC, changing to Social Work England in 2019). 

All Social Work Training programmes are currently approved by the HCPC. The HCPC sets standards of proficiency (SoPs). Alongside the standards of proficiency, the HCPC also sets separate standards for conduct, performance and ethics and Standards of Education and Training (SETs). Once approved the programme will be subject to ongoing monitoring by the HCPC or the new professional regulator Social Work England.

Employers and learning providers will decide through a selection process whether they think a candidate is suitable and capable of completing the apprenticeship. The initial stages of application are usually conducted by the employer. Individuals are shortlisted by the employer and then those who are to be invited to a selection event are referred to the University. You will have an initial assessment to determine the relevance of any prior learning or qualifications to completing the programme.

The recruitment and selection event typically consists of a range of activities which are decided by the employer and the university. You would typically be required to complete a diagnostic assessment in both literacy and numeracy, a group discussion/activity, and an individual interview conducted by members of the programme team, social care practitioners and service users.

Please note, English and Maths requirements in line with HCPC Standards of Practice must be attained prior to the end point assessment (EPA).

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • N/A


  • 3 years. This is achieved through is a combination of taught university sessions, off the job training, and assessed practice learning.


  • January 2020

Entry requirements

  • You must be employed in a role in the UK social care sector providing care to enable you to meet the work-based learning outcomes and you will need to have the support of your employer who will sign the application form. You are also required to have certified evidence of level 2 Maths and English (or equivalent) prior to completing the end point assessment.



Contact The Enterprise & Engagement Team


Connect with us

Last edited: 05/05/2020 15:47:00