Are you working in a social care role in adults or children’s services, mental health, disability or youth offending? Have you thought about your future development and career? Have you discussed this with your line manager or other colleagues? Perhaps you would like to become a qualified and registered social worker, but you cannot afford to take time out or meet the costs to do a conventional degree programme? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you may be interested in our new degree apprenticeship, our BA (Hons) Social Work.
This is an exciting new way of gaining a BA (Hons) Social Work, offering eligibility to apply for entry to the professional Social Work Register, whilst working for an employer (usually a local authority adult or children’s social care department) and being paid a salary. Your employer pays a levy to the government and the cost of the degree apprenticeship comes out of this, enabling you to thrive in the workplace. You'll be a full-time employee learning skills on the job for around 80% of your time, the other 20% enjoying all the fantastic opportunities at Warwick.
This degree apprenticeship has been collaboratively designed by the University of Warwick and local authorities and service users in the region to meet all the requirements of the Apprentice Standard for Social Work and the professional requirements for validation by the Health and Care Professions Council. The University of Warwick has a long history of social work education; the Centre for Lifelong Learning has unparalleled experience of working with adult and non-traditional learners and has a dedicated student support team. The Social Work Teaching Group is committed to developing progressive forms of practice underpinned by principles of social justice and anti-oppressive practice and can draw on the resources within the Centre to meet your learning and support needs.
There are no formal academic entry requirements for the BA (Hons) Social Work. There is a two-stage admissions process that will evaluate your suitability for social work education, including in relation to your values and understanding of social work, fluency in spoken English, and potential to successfully complete the degree apprenticeship. This process will involve employers, University teaching staff and service users. A DBS check is mandatory.
The BA (Hons) Social Work is an integrated degree course that combines academic study with its application in a work-based practice setting, to enable apprentices to optimise their learning and demonstrate all the evidence needed to meet vocational and academic standards (knowledge, values, skills and behaviours). This is often referred to as off-the-job and on-the-job training, where for one day a week you attend University and undertake guided self-study, and for four days a week you work in your usual setting. You will be supported by a University Apprenticeship Tutor, your line manager and a Practice Educator, who will meet with you regularly to identify your learning objectives and evaluate progress. Your learning will also be supported by a virtual learning environment that is accessible 24/7. This allows you to catch up with any sessions missed through short term absence including illness or annual leave and to extend and reinforce your learning in a flexible way.
Like other degrees, the BA (Hons) Social Work is a three year degree apprenticeship and taught sessions are delivered in sequence on a modular basis:
Year 1 Modules
· Investigating Work-Based Learning
· Introduction to Social Work
· Skills and Interventions A – The Professional Social Worker
· Social Work Law A
· Social Diversity and Social Work
· Learning from Experts by Experience
Year 2 Modules
· Human Life-Course Development
· Social Work Law B
· Key Issues in Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults
· Skills and Interventions B – The Interpersonal Social Worker
Year 3 Modules
· Key issues in Professional Social Work
· Evidence-informed Social Work Practice
· Preparation for Professional Social Work Practice
This off-the-job training will be delivered on one day a week, and will mostly be through face to face contact at the University in seminars and workshops. Blended learning will also be used to engage apprentices in guided self-study and other methods of reinforcing learning and supporting its application in practice.
The other 80% of the week is spent in on-the-job training, where practice learning opportunities are provided by the employer that allow apprentices to apply their knowledge and demonstrate their values and skills in the work setting. On- and off-the-job learning will be coordinated through each apprentice’s Individual Learning Plan, which will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.
Assessment will take a variety of forms such as assignments, exercises, reflective logs, presentations and posters. Each module will have a summative assessment attached to it. In the practice setting you will compile a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates that you are meeting all the requirements. Progression from one year to the next is dependent on passing all summative assessment and providing satisfactory evidence of progress in practice.
Year one of the course will not count towards the degree classification, years two and three will be worth 50% each.
In order to obtain a pass/ordinary degree, students will need to pass the final two years equating to at least 150 credits in total, including at least 50 credits taken in the final year (at the 40% module pass mark).
The first thing you will need to do is establish whether your local authority or other social care agency has an apprentice social work scheme.
As an apprentice degree, all fees are met by your employer.
If your employer is currently involved in an apprentice degree with the University, and you indicate your interest to them, you will be invited to an information session in your authority. If you choose to apply for an apprenticeship and are selected for an interview you will attend a selection day at the University.