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BA (Hons) Social Work Degree Apprenticeship

Social work lecture

Find out more about our BA (Hons) Social Work degree apprenticeship (with Centre for Lifelong Learning)

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.

Entry Requirements

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. An enhanced DBS check is mandatory.

Course Overview

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.

"I reflect so much more effectively now, I am able to think deeply when applying theory into practice (I still have a long way to go), I feel that my confidence is growing and I work in a different way as to what I did before."

Claire Wiltshire, current student Read Claire's story

What is Degree Apprenticeship?

This is an exciting new way of gaining a BA (Hons) Social Work, offering eligibility to apply for entry to the professional Social Work England Register, whilst working for an employer (usually a local authority adult or children’s social care department, or in the voluntary/independent sector) 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.

However, if your employer doesn’t pay the levy, we can still work them, it just means they will contribute 5% towards the cost of training and assessment. You'll be a full-time employee learning and applying knowledge and skills on the job for 80% of your time, and the other 20% undertaking off-the-job training and enjoying all the fantastic opportunities at the University of Warwick.

Why choose this course?

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 Social Work England. 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.

If you are an employer of prospective apprentices on the course, see Employer Information for Degree Apprenticeships at Warwick.

"It's a course that makes me think about things from different perspectives and analyse certain things, so I feel that I've grown in my professional life, but also in my personal life. Now I don't seem to take things at face value and start to question everything in a way that can be constructive."

Emma Goodfellow, current student Read Emma's story

Teaching and Assessment

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

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Work-Based Learning for Qualifying Social Work
  • Learning from Experts by Experience
  • Skills A - The Professional Social Worker
    • Aligned to 30 days placement (in work-based learning setting).
  • Social Diversity and Social Work
  • Social Work Law A

Year 2 Modules

  • Human Life-Course Development
  • Key Issues in Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults
  • Skills B - The Interpersonal Social Worker
    • Aligned to 70 days placement (in work-based learning setting).
  • Social Work Law B

Year 3 Modules

  • Evidence-informed Practice
  • Key Issues in Professional Social Work
    • Aligned to 30 days placement (in a contrasting setting)
  • Readiness for Professional Social Work Practice
    • Aligned to 70 days placement (in work-based learning setting)

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.

University of Warwick was recently awarded Gold in all categories of the government's latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) rankings.

Warwick has achieved a triple Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2023


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 BA (Hons) Degree Apprenticeship course is a generic award, and there is a Social Work England (SWE) requirement as set out in their 2021 Standards for Education, guidance that apprentices spend at least 200 days (including up to 30 skills days) gaining different experiences and learning in practice settings. This means that apprentices will undertake discrete periods of placement during the programme as outlined above.

Contrasting experience placements are found by your employer.


Dr Kevin Stone (Director of Social Work programmes)

Dr Alan Dolan (Senior Tutor, Admissions Tutor)

Gemma Hunt

Debora Stewart

Faye Tomlinson

Jim McGeohegan

Tim Coleman

Alicja Kabat-Pastwa

Andrew Gambrill

Fees and Funding

As a Degree Apprentice, all fees are met by your employer.

If you require a diagnostic test to evidence a disability to gain reasonable adjustments this may need to be funded by the apprentice.

Student Support

The CLL Student Support TeamLink opens in a new window supports the pastoral and academic needs of our diverse student body, including:

  • Supporting the academic development of undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Ensuring a learning experience of the highest quality, both at the University and in partner colleges.
  • Communicating with students in order to ensure a positive learning experience at CLL

To do this, we support you in many areas, including:

  • Study skills
  • Student welfare
  • Technology and e-learning
  • Careers and development

In addition to the support offered by your academic tutors, you will be assigned a dedicated Apprenticeship Tutor to provide you with both academic and pastoral support and to discuss your progress and any concerns you have throughout your apprenticeship.

We want to ensure you to feel safe, supported and valued within our campus community, and although you may not spend large amounts of time on the University campus, you are fully entitled to the support and wellbeing services we offer.

Wellbeing Support - Wellbeing Support Services provide advice, information and support to navigate the challenges and opportunities of student life. Their main aims are to promote mental health and wellbeing for all students, identify support needs, discuss strategies for managing mental health difficulties, provide short-term or ongoing support, and, if needed, access to other services.

Disability Services - Disability Services encourage students to declare any disability or learning difference so that they can discuss support requirements to enable reasonable adjustments to be made for the duration of their studies.

4 mature students on Warwick campus

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How to Apply

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.

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.

How to Apply

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.

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.