The social worker degree apprenticeship programme reflects the multi-professional nature of social work practice through joint learning sessions with students of nursing, occupational therapy, midwifery, medicine, education and physiotherapy. There is also a focus on the social science knowledge base of social work, with contributions from criminology, psychology, sociology and social policy.
With support from the employer, apprentices are required to spend 20% of paid working hours on studies and be able to evidence this. This is a statutory requirement for apprenticeships and the funding is conditional on this being met. Off-the-job learning includes activities which have not previously been a part of the role or furthers apprentices development into new areas.
Modules and core skills
- Introduction to Social Work Practice
- Contemporary Social Inequalities
- Human Growth and Development
- Preparing for Social Work Practice
- Law for Social Workers
- Experts by Experience: Identity, Needs and Resources
- Social Work Practice with Children and Families
- Social Work Practice with Adults
- Practice Learning 1
- Critical Social Work
- Social Work Dissertation
- Contemporary Social Work
- Practice Learning 2
- Social Work End Point Assessment
Upon completion of the programme, apprentices will be equipped to:
- analyse and evaluate complex knowledge, theory and research critically, reflectively and conceptually, drawing conclusions from it on a self managed and systematic basis
- apply complex knowledge from a variety of academic disciplines to uncertain practice situations, including those involving risk
- a systematic understanding of research approaches, methods and evidence
- a detailed understanding of the tasks, responsibilities and accountability of social workers
- an up to date knowledge of applied social policy and law, including relevant practice guidance
- well-developed skills in engaging, building, maintaining, sustaining and ending effective and compassionate relationships with service users and carers.
Teaching and assessment
All staff teaching and tutoring on the programme are either actively undertaking research, or are specialists in the scholarship of their area of practice. This informs learning and teaching sessions and approaches, ensuring they are current and innovatory.
Learning and teaching on the programme aims to offer apprentices an active, transformational learning experience which will promote their own personal and professional development, and enable them to work with, and support, service users and carers to bring about change for users of services and carers and ensure protection when necessary.
Over the duration of the course, teaching aims to deliver learning that will enable apprentices to demonstrate the professional skills as outlined by Social Work England.
Assessment tasks are designed to support development of skills and abilities for practice. Assessment of knowledge and application is undertaken using the following methods:
- professional development workbook
- take-home examination paper
- case study and shadowing log
- group presentation, with individual responsibility for particular components:
- reflective paper
- case analysis
- decision-making analysis
- poster presentation
- professional development review and plans
- 20 minute question and answer session.
Upon completion of the qualification apprentices must complete an End Point Assessment (EPA) comprised of:
- a portfolio of workplace evidence
- demonstration of practice
- professional discussion.
Employer and apprentice commitments
In order to deliver the programme, the employer undertakes to:
- conduct a workplace induction and set out a contract of employment
- provide an appropriately qualified workplace mentor to support the apprentice
- attend apprentice's progress review (twice a year)
- ensure that an Occupational Health Screening and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check has been undertaken by the employer
- release apprentice for scheduled off-the-job learning
- have an Apprenticeship Agreement in place from the start of the programme.
Throughout the programme, apprentices will:
- attend the workplace for the agreed pattern as set out in the employment contract
- record all training sessions and off-the-job learning
- attend scheduled university learning sessions and complete all assessments as required by the university and End Point Assessment Organisation
- behave in a safe and responsible manner at the workplace and university
- engage with regular progress reviews
- complete, throughout the apprenticeship, a professional development portfolio.
Fees and funding information for apprentices
As an apprentice the cost of your learning programme is covered by your employer through their Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account.
Higher and degree level apprentices are not eligible for any element of student finance. This is because they receive a salary instead of the student loan package. However, if you are experiencing any financial difficulties, please contact the Student Advice Service on 01273 642 888.
Apprentices studying at Higher and degree level may be able to access funding in relation to additional support but this is available through the university and not Disabled Students Allowance. Apprentices may also be able to apply for Access to Work funding for work-based equipment and software. Please contact the Disability and Dyslexia team on 01273 643 799.
Living costs and benefits
Higher and degree level apprentices must fulfil the standard eligibility criteria in order to apply for means tested benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. If you have any questions about entitlement to benefits, please contact the Student Advice Service on 01273 642 888.
Higher and degree level apprentices who are undertaking a full-time mode of study can be treated as being exempt from paying Council Tax. Although some programmes require study on a day-release arrangement, this can still be classed as full-time study. You will need to obtain a letter from the Student Information Desk at any campus and send this to your Council Tax department when you enrol on the programme.
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