Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship

for Employers

The Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship prepares participants for the challenging, complex and rewarding world of social work. It explores the role of social workers within the context of people, society and ethics, to develop confident social work professionals. It builds resilience, encourages problem-solving, and embeds a collaborative approach to improving peoples' lives.

Social Worker degree apprentices will benefit from inter-professional best practice and cutting-edge academic thinking, within an environment that gives first-hand exposure to the ways in which theory can be applied to improve outcomes for individuals and encourage social change.

Our next cohort will be starting in March and September 2020; please contact us to find out how to get involved.

 Video | Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship

Book now to come to our Health and Social Care Employer Information Event on 6th February.

Programme Content

Year 1 Units  

  • Social Work, Social Justice and Lived Experiences

 An introduction to social work within the context of our understanding of contemporary society and social justice. The unit focuses on the lived experiences of those who have contact with social workers.

  • Strengthening Relationships and Wellbeing

This unit introduces the apprentice to the knowledge and skills required in social work to build and sustain effective relationships and interventions with service users, carers and interdisciplinary professionals. It builds on and tests understanding of human development, behaviour and interaction, and the principles of holistic wellbeing and resilience.

  • Society, Welfare and Global Inequalities

This unit introduces apprentices to the historical and contemporary context of social work in relation to Global and British models of welfare, theories of power and society, and social and health inequalities. Apprentices will explore key sociological theories that social workers use to support their analysis of the social experiences of individuals, families and communities.

  • Ethical Practice for Professional Social Work

This unit supports the apprentice to develop knowledge and application of values and ethics relating to defined standards of practice, including knowledge of key philosophies, development of professional skills, awareness of inter-disciplinary contexts and readiness for practice.

Year 2 Units

  • Law, Rights and Safeguarding

 Introduction to the legislation, policy, rights and inter-disciplinary practice required to safeguard adults and children.

  • ASPIRE 1: Knowledge and Skills in Practice

The ASPIRE module is designed to enable apprentices to consolidate and further develop their practice with service users, families and carers working in professional contexts. This Unit provides an opportunity for apprentices to experience a contrasting area of practice that is distinct from their substantive job role. There is a taught element to the unit, which will develop apprentices’ skills in assessment practice, analysis, planning intervention, and review and evaluation. 

  • Journeys Through the Life-Course: Social Work Practice and Policy

Exploration of key contemporary issues faced by service users and carers across the child and adult ‘journey’ through the life course.

  • Critical Theory for Social Work Practice

A critical introduction to a range of social and psychological theories that underpin and support social work analysis and decision-making.

  • Applied Skills and Methods for Social Work Practice 

This unit focuses on the critical application of skills and methods required by social workers based upon the requirements of employers and reflects the contemporary evidence base for practice.

Year 3 Units

  • Applied Social Research and Evaluation for Practice

Understanding and application of principles and methods of social research and evaluation, linking this to direct social work practice and organisational delivery. Apprentices will use their developing knowledge and skills to make sense of and interpret potentially complex and sometimes conflicting findings.

  • Critical and International Perspectives in Social Work

 An advanced critical exploration of perspectives, theories, research and contemporary debates within chosen practice pathways (e.g. children and families, adult services, mental health).

  • Aspire 2 including Applying Law, Safeguarding and Inter-Disciplinary Approaches in Practice (apprenticeship)

This unit integrates the end-point assessment (EPA) and requires the apprentice to demonstrate advanced practice skills in assessment, analysis, planning, intervention, review and evaluation in their work setting.

Prior to taking the EPA participants must have completed 300 academic credits of the Social Work degree, been given a provisional grade, and achieved other specified criteria i.e. Maths and English.

Delivery Model

The programme, typically delivered over 30 months, has an inclusive, flexible and blended learning approach, where approximately one day each week is spent on the acquisition and application of new knowledge, skills and behaviours. The programme utilises a variety of teaching and learning approaches and includes face to face lectures, seminars, action learning, practice simulation, skills-based work and digitised e-learning.

Assessments have been developed with key stakeholders, including experts by experience, carers and employers. The flexible nature of assessments means that they are agreed between the apprentice, line manager, mentor and tutor to ensure that learning is fully integrated within the workplace, and can include case studies, online tests, exams, written work, presentations and work-based projects.  

Apprentices are mentored throughout their studies with dedicated and personalised support from work-based mentors and academic tutors.

Final Degree Award

Upon successful completion of the course, apprentices will achieve an Honours Degree in Social Work. You will also be eligible to apply to join the HCPC register.

Entry Requirements & Eligibility

Candidates for the Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship should ideally have a minimum of 112 points at A2 (BBC) or an equivalent.

However, many candidates do not meet these requirements so we will individually evaluate candidates for suitability. Participants will also require Maths and English Language GCSE grade A*-C, or commit to undertaking Functional Skills during the programme.

The selection process for all applicants will include a written test and panel interview. 

Eligible Employers

The programme is open to those employed by statutory and non-statutory agencies, if the organisation can provide the experience and support to train an apprentice to be a fully qualified social worker.



Employers with a payroll in excess of £3 million will be subject to the Apprenticeship Levy and any funds paid out can be used to fund participation in apprenticeship programmes. Employers with a payroll below £3 million are eligible for funding, which will cover at least 95% of the cost of apprenticeship programmes.

Find out more about funding

Get Involved

We will support you every step of the way to implement the Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship at your organisation, whether you intend to upskill existing employees or attract new recruits.

You can contact us by emailing or by calling (+44) 07717 421 548 (9:30am - 4pm Monday to Friday).