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Routes to an undergraduate degree

Free Gateway to HE: Social Studies

We teach the Gateway in an informal style, allowing you to settle back into study. The course is designed to fit around work and family commitments, whilst developing your skills, knowledge, and confidence. Successful completion of the Gateway guarantees a place on our BA (Hons) Social Studies Degree

2+2 degree pathway

If you do not have formal qualifications and wish to study locally for a university degree, this pathway is for you. The first two years are taught at a local college enabling you to gain the skills and confidence to prepare you for the final two years here at the University.

You will start on the BA (Hons) Social Studies and you can transfer to the more specialised BA (Hons) Health and Social Policy in your 3rd year if you wish.

Early Childhood foundation and BA (Hons) degree

This offers you the chance to combine your study with work and family commitments. You might be an early years educator, parent, grandparent or health worker, or simply wish to extend your knowledge and understanding about Early Childhood. Our foundation degree helps you to develop a range of academic, professional and key skills. If you wish to take your study further, the degree will also offer you a preparation towards an honours degree and is an important pathway to the BA (Hons) Early Childhood.

Part-time degrees

A flexible programme, enabling you to study at your own pace (up to 10 years). There are a number of evening modules but you will need to be able to study daytime too if you wish to choose from the full range of modules on offer. We welcome your application whatever your background and experience. There are a range of subjects you can study as a part-time degree:

*daytime study only

BA (Hons) Social Work - Degree Apprenticeship

Study alongside work, with one day per week studying. Throughout your degree, you'll be employed by your current employer working as an apprentice social worker. Applications are made via your employer.

Funding your studies

To find out more about the funding available for each course, have a look at the University of Warwick funding information pages.

Latest from the CLL Blog
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A spread of brilliant red poppies. A row of beautiful tall lime trees, and a clattering of jackdaws. The lockdown has restricted our time beyond our homes, but I am extremely lucky to have a small garden, and a common in walking distance. Each morning of lockdown, my daughter and I have taken a trip to the common to lap up the sunshine and see the ducks and geese that congregate and wait for the daily trickle of families that will visit to feed them over the course of the day. My daughter herself will excitedly throw a handful of bird seed as we stop by the pond.

We've been treated to some beautiful sunshine for the majority of the lockdown, and it's been a joy to watch my daughter pick up new words about the wildlife around her. Normally at this time in the year our weekends would be spent travelling off to a local park or gardens to enjoy the change of scenery and the outdoors. Having to just enjoy the more immediate space around us though has come with benefits – it has made me focus on the smaller changes, which in turn I bring to my daughter's attention. Time spent running our hands over a new type of long grass on one section of the common, or stopping to look up close at smaller flowers we might otherwise miss, has brought variety, interest and appreciation to our local walk.

Equally time in the garden has run at a slower, calmer pace, with a new appreciation and gratitude for having our own space to escape to. Sitting with my daughter watching a kite soar above the cluster of our little garden and others, and listening to the starlings flittering from one roof to another, was utterly peaceful. The lockdown may have brought less time for myself, with work and study and childcare, but, some of the ways in which it's meant I share time with my daughter, has brought a helpful reminder of the immediate environment around us, and what we can absorb, enjoy and fine peace from.

About the author

Rose Leek

Rose Leek is a paid blogger for CLL.

I work in a University Employability & Careers Centre, as part of a Placements team, and am studying the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE). I live with my daughter, husband, and two moggies. When not juggling work, home or study, I enjoy walks, cycling, and time outdoors, and starting (and someday finishing) various craft projects.

I'd never experienced home working before the lockdown. For much of the last decade I have worked in education, being based within college and university campuses. Their own communities, these bubbles of campus life have become a working norm to me.

After spending 2019 at home with my baby, I had just begun to feel familiar with work and campus when in mid-March the campus effectively closed down to most students and staff, much like many works and public spaces. Our office has since learnt to work together, whilst sat separately in our homes. My experience wouldn't be a true indication of what home working is like, for example, my daughter is currently piling Duplo and books on my lap. This is a moment in time where many people around the country – and world – are juggling home working with their home life. Everyone is experiencing it differently. Mine's a messy, noisy, but happy, blend of work and toddler.

Post-lockdown, at some point our office will open again on campus. In what capacity, and in what "new normal" arrangements, time will tell. It won't be the same though, for a long time I imagine. Beyond my bubble on campus, the way in which we work will be interesting beyond this lockdown world. Before Covid-19, ONS statistics showed in 2019 just 5% of UK workers considered the home as their main place of work.

However Covid-19 has pushed much of the world into a working from home experiment. Many are finding that home working can be effective. Twitter for example have announced that staff can work from home "forever" if they want to. Of course, some jobs will never practically allow for full-time home working, but it may at least provide a positive shift in flexible working. This could have a wide impact – less time on lengthy commuting, less demand for workers to have to relocate for their work. There will be many, many changes from Covid-19, but also I imagine, many ways of life may flood back in once people feel the freedom to do so. The importance of flexible working in traditional office setups, however, may be very different.

About the author

Rose Leek

Rose Leek is a paid blogger for CLL.

I work in a University Employability & Careers Centre, as part of a Placements team, and am studying the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE). I live with my daughter, husband, and two moggies. When not juggling work, home or study, I enjoy walks, cycling, and time outdoors, and starting (and someday finishing) various craft projects.

We are all navigating our way around the lockdown. You might be furloughed or are working from home. Maybe you're one of the vital key workers across a myriad of industries, or perhaps you're in a role that can maintain social distancing and so continue your normal travels out to your place of work, but instead through quiet roads and empty high streets. Perhaps you have already faced redundancy, uncertain of what lies ahead, of which you have my huge sympathy and I hope the future provides something better for you.

For me, I'm combining work and study alongside looking after my daughter during the day. My husband works in a role that has continued in the workplace, and so we have the normality of him going to and from home for work, during a time that is anything but normal.

We are so used to our patterns and routines that the prospect of overlapping our different life roles simultaneously can seem overwhelming. I only finished maternity leave in December, and both myself and my daughter had settled into a new routine of home, work and nursery. In the space of a few days, just like everyone else, things had been upturned. I miss the closeness of my family, getting to hug my siblings, or sitting at my parent's kitchen table on a Sunday afternoon with the comfort of my mum's cooking. I miss woodland walks with my husband, as we watch our daughter discovering new flowers and wildlife for the first time, and I miss our daughter experiencing the richness of interacting and watching others. I look forward to when these aspects of life can return.

However, being only a few months since maternity ended, there is also a familiarity to being back in this bubble at home. Time becomes less defined and with fewer distractions, it makes you take in each moment a little more. When I returned to work it was with mixed emotions – the positives of knowing that life for my daughter and me was developing into the next chapter, but a real sense of heartbreak at being away from her. Within a few months, I still missed my daughter but also saw the fun she had at nursery, and how life was positively moving on. I had been worried about not managing my job after a year away, and knowing the shift in my priorities, but was pleasantly surprised to find, in time, a different confidence I now had (not to mention what I could multitask). Being back at home now, it is different, as I'm factoring part-time work around nap times and late in the evenings. Just like many others, creating new routines for combining our worlds of home and work. When the time comes, it will be with mixed emotions that I physically return to the workplace and my daughter to her childcare. Who knows when that will be, and what different setup it is likely to be. I am prone to thinking ahead, and trying to make plans, when the current climate doesn't allow for that. Instead, thinking ahead should focus on those walks in the woodland, the hugs with siblings, the time with my parents – and how I'll be sharing all of that joy with my daughter, just as I'm enjoying the time with her now.

About the author

Rose LeekRose Leek is a paid blogger for CLL.

I work in a University Employability & Careers Centre, as part of a Placements team, and am studying the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE). I live with my daughter, husband, and two moggies. When not juggling work, home or study, I enjoy walks, cycling, and time outdoors, and starting (and someday finishing) various craft projects.

It's 2am and I’ve just settled my daughter back to sleep. My daughter is amazing, beautiful, perfect. She is also often a fan of night-time chats and cuddles. Pre-pregnancy if I could have comprehended the various phases of broken sleep that I would come to experience, I doubt I would believe I'd function. But you do. You adapt, you find new routines and new strengths, it all becomes normal, and you have the joy of watching someone grow and change. Before my daughter my world was very different, but right now, everyone's world is a very, very different place.

The coronavirus crisis has changed for most of us our daily routines, the way in which many of us work, our social interactions, and has reinforced how remarkable our NHS is and the people who are part of it. We are dependent on these people, and the wide variety of key workers helping in different sectors across society. If at the start of 2020 we could have comprehended how different our lives would become, it would be hard to believe. But again, we adapt and learn a new way of living, for however long is necessary.

I paused my studies at the end of 2018 to go on maternity and have just started on one of the last two modules of my diploma. It was a mixed feeling to enrol in the midst of what is going on in the world. When I started my course, I hoped it would improve my knowledge of careers work, better my ability to support students, and to widen my own career options in the future. On the one hand, study could feel a little insignificant right now, when the world is on pause. Just like many people though, students will be facing their own set of uncertainties as a result of the pandemic. Whenever this is over, some will be venturing out into a world where recruitment in sectors they have looked to be part of, will be very different, even if just temporarily. Getting back into the last of my studies will help me feel more equipped to assist students when things may feel more uncertain to them. And as I sit in the middle of the night, cuddling my daughter back to the world of sleep, I also remember the motivation during pregnancy, as I sat typing out assignments, that I was also hopefully equipping myself to better navigate my career in the future, for the sake of my family. It's good to re-engage with those feelings again.

About the author

Rose LeekRose Leek is a paid blogger for CLL.

I work in a University Employability & Careers Centre, as part of a Placements team, and am studying the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE). I live with my daughter, husband, and two moggies. When not juggling work, home or study, I enjoy walks, cycling, and time outdoors, and starting (and someday finishing) various craft projects.

 

Jon started studying BA (Hons) Health and Social Policy on our 2+2 Degree Pathway with Partner College, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College in 2014. Graduating last year from the Centre for Lifelong Learning, Jon was offered a scholarship to study a Masters in Social Research and has recently been offered a funded PhD.

We caught up with Jon to see how he is feeling about his recent PhD offer.

CLL: Congratulations on your recent PhD offer, can you go into more detail with what you'll be studying?

Jon: "The research will be a collaborative piece of work between the Institute for Employment Research (IER) at Warwick and the Living Wage Foundation. The aim will be to discover what makes 'good work' for people on low wages and precarious hours – effectively zero hour contracts (or very low hours contracted) and minimum wage.

The Living Wage Foundation currently say a living wage outside London for full time work should be £9per hour.

The work, I think will be to try and help employers understand why it is beneficial for them to offer a living wage."

CLL: Where did you find your interest in the subject?

Jon: "It was in the second year I got the bug for research and the module on widening participation during my third year really got me interested in inequality, although this was just a continuation of the Health and Social Policy taught in years 1 and 2. The subject matter was different but the many evels of inequality and the reasons people end up being disadvantaged really opened my eyes. Another module which demonstrated the inequalities and obvious greed of industry was Food- Critical Perspectives.

CLL: Did you always set out to study a PhD?

Jon: "During my final year on the 2+2 I decided I wanted to work either in research or for a third sector employer- failing that as a researcher in government. Many of the job vacancies wanted skills I did not have which was why I decided to do the MA in Social Research – it would plug the gaps in my knowledge. I had thought about a PhD but my plan was to focus on my MA, then take the following year to work out what I wanted to do, however we received an email across the department for the PhD Studentship. It ticked all my boxes, working on research, with a third sector charity and gaining a qualification. I really did not expect to even get an interview but I did and was offered the role. No one was more surprised than I was."

CLL: When you started studying at Warwick, did you imagine you would be where you are now?

Jon: "No a PhD was never on the agenda – my goal was to get a degree and figure out what I wanted to do next as I knew what I had been doing was not right for me. Immediately before starting I was not working – but previously I had worked in sales, as a retail manager for Somerfield and also at McDonalds."

CLL: What are the benefits of returning to education as an adult?

Jon: "For me, I found it was useful to have life experience; this was particularly noticeable when I did a politics module with traditional age students, they frankly had no experience at all! Right or wrong they had no idea just how divisive the Miners' Strike and Thatcher had been."

CLL: What do you hope to achieve from studying your PhD?

Jon: "At this point I have no idea, it might be that I have had enough of research or it might be that I really enjoy it. I would like to get some experience teaching during the course so who knows where this will go."

CLL: What have you enjoyed most about studying?

Jon: "I really enjoyed working on a project in my second year which was a policy report on Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988. Even now I will read something which is at odds with work I read for the project- different perspectives and different views. This sort of knowledge never leaves you- I have been able to use some of it in a module this year."

CLL: Have you took part in any extra activities with the University?

Jon: "I work as a student ambassador for CLL as well as the Warwick Welcome Service. I also worked as a library steward during term time. The other piece of work I did was as a digital skills mentor for CLL, the highlight was getting unsolicited hugs one sunny day from two of the people I had helped.  I will continue to do this as long as they will have me."

About the blogger

jon_winfield_1
Jon graduated from the Centre for Lifelong Learning in 2018, after completing the 2+2 Degree Pathway, BA (Hons) Health and Social Policy.