Qualification: BA (Hons) Social Work

On successful completion of the programme, you will be able to 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.

The programme will develop you into 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. It will prepare you to be a confident, autonomous, critical, research minded and competent practitioner who can practice in a complex globalised and technical world.

What the apprenticeship covers

As a Social Worker you will work in partnership with adults, children, carers and families in a range of different settings to support and promote positive change in people's lives in order to improve their wellbeing and independence. You will engage in protecting individuals from harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. You will work in a way which is compassionate and which takes account of all aspects of the individual’s life - ensuring their voice is central to decision making. You will use your professional expertise to work, assess, plan, implement, evaluate and intervene putting the needs of people first.

What will I study?

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.

All about the course

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.

How you'll learn

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.

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.

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. 

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 several 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).

Professional Accreditation

On successful completion of all required academic and practice elements you will be eligible to apply for registration as a social worker with Social Work England. 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.

More information

Full information on the apprenticeship standard

Find out more about apprenticeships

If you would like to speak with us, please call 01227 923 625

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Associated partners

The Graham Care Group
The Huntercombe Group
Medway Council
Pilgrims Hospices
The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust
Strode Park Foundation