Throughout this programme, degree apprentices are required to apply their learning in the workplace, meaning they have an immediate impact on the delivery of care for patients.
This programme is delivered through a blended approach, consisting of a 50 / 50 split between theory and practice.
Level 4 begins with a six week introductory block where learners are based at university full-time. For the remainder of the course, blocks of teaching are interspersed with a mix of 'home' and 'away' placements – the former take place in the apprentice's place of work while the latter are with a host organisation. This approach enables learners to gain experience in a variety of healthcare settings, including acute, primary, independent and private care.
Towards the end of Year 3, learners return to their place of work full-time for one year to put their studies into practice. They then return to university for a short period of further study and assessment in order to complete taught programme.
As no two learners are the same, assessment is through a range of methods including essays, projects, presentations, portfolios and exams, as well as through the demonstration of clinical competence.
Areas of Study
During Year 1, learners are introduced to the fundamentals of care and develop core skills and knowledge to underpin their working practices. This includes developing strategies to support their own resilience, so that they are able to deliver the best possible care to others.
In Year 2, learners should be able to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts relating to patient care. These include risk and how to manage it in a clinical setting, the principles of shared decision making in healthcare practice, and the nurse’s role in supporting individuals with long term and complex needs.
In years 3 and 4, learners develop further the skills needed to become the leaders of first class healthcare services. This includes focusing on service improvement and how the latest research and innovation can contribute to this. After the first two taught modules are completed, learners are practice-based for one year, before returning to university for the final elements of teaching and assessment.
End Point Assessment
The compulsory (and independent) end point assessment takes place after the learner has completed the university part of the programme. It consists of two elements – a reflective essay and a professional discussion. The reflective essay requires the apprentice to explore topics including leadership and management, team working, nursing practice and decision making. In the professional discussion they are required to consider two scenarios which they must relate to their practice.
This is a Level 6 degree apprenticeship.
Apprentices should be in full-time employment (e.g. at least employed for 30 hours per week) throughout the duration of their apprenticeship
Before undertaking the End Point Assessment, learners should have achieved Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English Language (GCSE grade 4/C or above, or equivalent).
Employers may also specify that their apprentices meet additional entry requirements – this is something that can be discuss further with the university.
There is good news for all sizes of employers. Larger employers can utilise their Apprenticeship Levy to fund this apprenticeship (Levy funding has to be used within 24 months or it is lost to the employer). For employers with a payroll of less than £3m, there is funding support available (see below for more information).