Social Work

This vocational degree programme was designed to allow you to enhance your employability skills and progress your career prospects, by combining academic study with practical work experience.

What is a Degree Apprenticeship?

A Degree Apprenticeship is a degree you study for while working as an apprentice with an employer and is paid for by your employer and the Government. The course and the apprenticeship are designed to a national standard for a particular job role and often come with professional qualifications and accreditation.

Why study this degree apprenticeship course? 

You will study core modules on a part-time basis and be able to put the theory into practice through work-based projects. The assessments will be agreed with the employer, to ensure that the course is fully integrated within the workplace and benefits both the employer and the apprentice. All UCLan degree apprenticeships fully meet all the standards outlined by the Government.

What does the course lead to?

Graduates from the programme will be eligible to apply to join the Social Work Register and practice as a social worker.

As this is a generic award graduates may work in all social work services including but not limited to children and families, adult services, mental health, disability and offender services.

What qualification do I receive at the end of the course?

Honours Degree in Social Work.

Entry Requirements

By the point of entry to Social Work qualifying programmes, prospective apprentices should demonstrate awareness of social context for Social Work practice, awareness of self, ability to develop rapport and potential to develop relevant knowledge, skills and values through professional training.

All applicants will therefore be assessed according to the criteria below. In addition, other observations and feedback from colleagues will complete the process of ensuring we recruit the best candidates we can for Social Work education

Selection will be done in partnership with employers and the potential for the applicant to complete degree level study will considered. All applicants are required to complete a written test and interview.


  • Fluency in spoken English
  • Recognition of need to deal with conflict
  • Conflicts inherent in Social Work regarding rights and responsibilities
  • Appreciation of importance of seeking views of Service 
  • Self-awareness – impact of own views on others
  • Demonstrates openness to views of others
  • Understands importance of team work

 Interview and/or Written Test

  • Communicates clearly in written English
  • Awareness of key Social Work skills and values
  • Understanding of Social Work role
  • Self- awareness – strengths and weaknesses
  • Takes responsibility for own learning
  • Intellectual potential / curiosity
  • Demonstrates motivation and commitment
  • Ability to reflect upon own learning
  • Understands importance of working within an organisation/ understands accountability

Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking their end point assessment.

Enrolment on the course is subject to clearance through the Suitability Panel and a mandatory DBS check.

Course at a glance

Year 1:

Preparation for Social Work Practice
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Human Growth and Development
Law and Safeguarding
Social Justice in Practice
Learning from Service Users and Carers Experience and Knowledge

Year 2:

Social Work Practice 1: Applying Theory, Methods and Research
Working with Children, Young People and Families
Personalisation and Citizenship: empowering adult service users
Social Perspectives on Mental Health and Distress
Project Module = This is an alternative module for SW2072 for those who are not continuing as a Social Work Apprentice and exiting the programme

Year 3:

Research for Specialist Professional Practice
Psychosocial Studies
Social Work End Point Assessment
Project Module = This is an alternative module for SW3076 for those who are not continuing as a Social Work Apprentice and completing an alternative exit degree

Course delivery

All apprentices are required to undertake 20% off the job training which equates to one day per week. Most weeks they will attend the university for direct teaching, seminars and workshops but on other occasions they will undertaken directed study.  This directed study may include a range of activities including for example reading, research, on line learning, undertaking an observation of a child or visiting court.Unless alternative arrangements have been made with employers apprentices will be required to attend the Preston campus of UCLan.

The rest of the employed time, apprentices will be in the workplace undertaking learning opportunities which will prepare them for social work practice. They will work alongside social care professionals and social workers to help them develop their knowledge, skills and values. Where this provision is not available on a day to day basis the employer will need to arrange additional learning opportunities akin to a practice learning placement

How to Apply

If you are already in employment then talk to your employer about the course and how your company can utilise the Apprenticeship Levy to join it.

Your employer or potential employer should then contact to begin the process of drawing up a contract and welcoming you to the University.

UCLan will work in collaboration with the employer to short list and select apprentices. To conform to professional body requirements, candidates will complete a short written statement and interview. Employers and service users are invited to joint UCLan staff on the interview panel.