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Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship

Boost your social work career and combine academic learning with on-the-job training

Boost your social work career and combine academic learning with on-the-job training

Graduate with a BA (Hons) Social Work degree

3 years
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)

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On this three year Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship, you will work for four days per week with your employer and attend university for the remaining weekday.

When you complete the course, you will be eligible to apply for registration with Social Work England.

This degree apprenticeship will prepare you for employment as a newly qualified registered social worker. You will develop skills in strengths-based working, resilience and self-care as you engage with theory and current debates about contemporary social work practice.

You will explore the underlying concepts, principles, methodologies and skills used in professional social work practice. This course is an opportunity to critically reflect upon your values, and to feel confident in discussing uncertainties and dilemmas.

This course develops the knowledge, skills and behaviours you need to meet the Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship and Social Work England’s Professional Standards.

This course is developed in partnership with employers.


This course is approved by Social Work England.

Social Work England logo

Teaching and Assessment

How you will learn

You will attend university for one day per week and attend your workplace for the other four weekdays. You will attend classes including lectures, seminars, practical workshops, small group discussions and web-based learning. You will work collaboratively with other students on the course and undertake individual learning activities.

End Point Assessment: Final Apprenticeship Portfolio

The End-Point Assessment (EPA) is the final assessment on this course. You will complete a ‘gateway’ process and be signed off to complete the final assessment of your apprenticeship. Your employer must agree that you are eligible to enter EPA.

You must meet the following criteria before taking the EPA:

  • achieved a minimum level 2 English and Math’s as per the standard and general apprenticeship requirements
  • be able to communicate at Level 7 of the International English Language Testing System (with no element below 6.5) – Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency 8.8
  • successfully completed assessed work experience in at least two contrasting settings, one with a focus on statutory work
  • obtained 300 academic credits of the Social Worker degree, 120 at level 4, 120 at level 5 and 60 at level 6 with a provisional grade

You will be recommended for EPA when they are ready. Employers should have a remediation process in place to support any apprentice who fails to meet the eligibility criteria to enter EPA.

The Course

What you will study

You will study a range of modules during your course. You will be taught at Chichester campus and complete two placements during the degree.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Adult and Child Development Across the Life Course

This module will introduce you to theories of physiological, social, cognitive, and psychological development in relation to children and adults throughout the life course.

It will also explore difficulties in physiological, psychological, and social development and consider cultural, class and gender perspectives in relation to development.

The effects of social problems on development and socialisation will also be examined.

Disability and Social Work

This module will start by considering historical, social, and cross-cultural perspectives on disability and learning difficulties.

The notion of ‘care’ and its impact on the lived experience of disability will also be explored.

You will explore ethical issues, such as the competing rights of carers and service users, as well as anti-oppressive practise, with particular attention to simultaneous oppression, social exclusion and hate crimes.

Diversity, Difference and Society

The module will use a range of approaches to learning and teaching, which will include problem-based learning, small workshops, and the use of multimedia materials plus appropriate external guest practitioners and/or service users.

This will encourage you to develop skills in gaining information relevant to the social identity of those with whom you are working.


This module will introduce you to the University. You’ll learn more about the course, the Institute of Education and Social Sciences and there will be an emphasis on academic development. You’ll also discover how you will be supported by the tutorial programme throughout your studies with us.

Introduction to Legal and Policy Frameworks

The overall aim of this module is to introduce you, as a social work student to the legal and policy frameworks that underpin professional practice. The module will outline the relationship and key differences between legislation and policy. It will help you to appreciate the differing ideological approaches to social policy and how these may find expression in welfare practice and its underlying legal framework.

Introduction to Social Work

This module aims to introduce you to social work roles, tasks and settings, as well as provide you with a grounding in the historical and social context of social work practice.

In addition, you will explore a framework of theories, values, ethics and research mindedness as a foundation for good practice and study throughout the course.

Linked Tutorial Programme

This module links the learning gained from the academic modules to an understanding of the knowledge, skills, and values of social work.

This will enable you to demonstrate that you have developed sufficient skills to enable you to undertake assessed practice.

The programme will comprise individual and group tutorials and you will have your individual identified Academic Tutor.

The tutorials will use a mixture of discussion, guided work sheets and case scenarios.

Skills for Practice 1

This aims to develop the intellectual and practical skills that will be of value in a variety of situations and will include the development of self-awareness, problem-solving, reflection and reflexive skills. It will prepare you to communicate effectively with a range of people in a complex and diverse society. You’ll gain insight into the ethical issues and professional codes of practice in relation to intervening in the lives of others.

Skills for Practice 2

Build on basic communication and relationship skills in order to prepare for social work practice. You’ll develop an understanding of the wider community in which social work takes place. Opportunities to introduce you to the perspectives of service users, carers, and the organisations with which social workers liaise and operate.

Assessed Practice 1

You will be required to demonstrate your ability to work within the Professional Capabilities Framework.

There will be a range of activities to help you develop skills in critical reflection in relation to your social work practice and be able to apply appropriate social work skills and methods in practice.

You will be supported to demonstrate skills in synthesising information and reflecting critically on social work knowledge.

Ethics and Professional Dilemmas

You’ll develop the ability to apply philosophical ethics and ethical reasoning, as a tool for exploring value dilemmas and conflicts in interpersonal and professional contexts. You will consider strategies that develop personal resilience alongside seeking to contribute to making resilient organisations. Learn to understand the contested nature, scope and purpose of social work in an unequal society.

Law in Social Work

You will consider the role of the social worker within the legal system and explore the difference between legal rules and rights and the ethical dilemmas that arise, in a context of applying the law to promote human rights, equality and social justice.

You will also visit a court and to reflect on the impact of that experience, as you examine the major statutory responsibilities of social work agencies within the context of major relevant pieces of legislation.

Linked Tutorial Programme

You will partake in a series of activities that seek to develop your capacity to reflect within a group and individually, as you a focus on the application of professional standards in practice placements.

Mental Health

This module explores key dominate themes within contemporary mental health practice. You will examine the bio-psychosocial conceptual framework model alongside other mental health models and learn to utilise these models within the field of mental health. It will identify what factors both enhance and debilitate mental health and the ways in which professionals may respond and work together to support them.

Methods of Intervention and Assessment

This module will focus on the methods and skills in the processes of assessment, planning, intervention and review. You will learn risk assessment, intervention and management skills, all of which will link to your ability to recognise the key signs and symptoms of child and adult abuse. You will also consider the ethical implications of intervention.

Professional Effectiveness in Groups and Organisational Contexts

This module will build on previous skills modules with a particular emphasis on effective working with groups and teams. It will prepare you to work within multi-disciplinary and multi-organisational teams, networks and systems.


The module will consider safeguarding adults, child protection and domestic violence as inter-related rather than in isolation as you explore the concepts of “significant harm” and “good enough parenting”.

You will also explore the signs and symptoms of abuse, issues of disclosure and confidentiality, the use of supervision and the appropriate referral process if child protection safeguarding adults and/or domestic violence issues are involved.

Assessed Practice 2

You will be required to demonstrate your ability to work within the Professional Capabilities Framework.

There will be a range of activities to help you develop skills in critical reflection in relation to your social work practice and be able to apply appropriate social work skills and methods in practice.

You will be supported to demonstrate skills in synthesising information and reflecting critically on social work knowledge.

Complexity and Risk

This module introduces you to the complexities of managing risk within the social work profession. You will critically explore the current organisational and policy context alongside relevant research into practice, as well as methods of observation with children and adults including the setting up of observations and addressing ethical issues and the tension these create.

Linked Tutorial Programme

This module aims to support and guide you through the final year programme by linking learning from the academic modules to current practice standards and to support the development of critical evaluation and reflection.


Course Costs

Your employer will pay your tuition fees to the University so you will graduate without tuition fee debt. 

As an employee you will receive your salary from your employer and be eligible for employee benefits while you study. You will not be eligible for a student loan.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Course specific costs

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check costing £40 which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Entry Requirements

Degree apprentices are recruited directly by employers or are already employed by the company.

To be eligible for the course you will need any of the following:

A Levels
C or above
3 A Levels
BTEC Vocational Qualifications
Level 3
Relevant work social work or social care experience

Applicants will be required to produce certificates for all qualifications. If you have no formal qualifications you will be set ‘non-standard’ entry tasks.

  • A satisfactory occupational health assessment is required.
  • You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check.


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

You need to apply directly to an employer for a degree apprenticeship, unlike traditional degree programmes.

You will be employed in a full time role while studying in partnership with the University of Chichester.

Any other questions

If you have any other questions please contact apprenticeships@chi.ac.uk.

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