Upon successful completion, learners will have the knowledge, skills and values required to practice as a Social Worker in England and to be eligible to apply for registration with Social Work England.
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About the Social Work Degree Apprenticeship
Gain a BSc (Hons) degree from University of Gloucestershire on this apprenticeship programme that gives learners the knowledge and expertise to become effective and compassionate practitioners.
Throughout this programme, degree apprentices are required to apply their learning in the workplace, meaning they are developing their skills in a real-world context.
The programme makes use of technology to enable online delivery supported by direct contact with academic staff. The integration of theory to practice underpins the programme, allowing learners to reflect on how the knowledge gained influences their own practice.
A range of tools are utilised in order to engage learners, such as lectures, facilitated discussions, group work, case studies/scenarios, flipped learning and the use of multimedia/online resources.
Simulation activities are used in order to help learners reflect on their approaches to situations and be prepared for times when circumstances may become challenging – in a place of safety, apprentices are able to trial strategies for future use.
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What are Degree Apprenticeships?
Degree apprenticeships are a fantastic way to upskill employees and train new staff. They contribute to improved competitiveness and productivity, as well as increased staff retention.
Degree apprentices study for higher level qualifications alongside working. As such, they spend at least 6 working hours each week carrying out ‘off-the-job training’ where they study for their degree and gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required to successfully complete the apprenticeship.
Large employers can use their apprenticeships levy to pay for apprenticeship training. Smaller firms can claim up to 95 per cent of these costs from the Government. This means apprenticeships are a cost-effective choice for both the employer and learner.
In year 1, we give our learners an opportunity to engage with academic work in order to produce content to a higher standard than expected at A-level study. This includes, as a minimum requirement, engagement with quality academic literature, course texts and online material.
Values and ethics
Within this module learners have the opportunity to reflect upon their own value base and consider how this may inform their practice. Ethical dilemmas are explored, along with ethical decision-making. Diversity and discrimination are examined, as well as how different cultures and communities shape our society and the impact of this upon social work practice.
The concept of power is explored, alongside the importance of rights and responsibilities. Relationships within social work practice are analysed with regard to effective partnerships, empowerment, maintaining professional accountability, and confidentiality. The ethical and legal frameworks underpinning practice are applied.
Professional knowledge 1
Within this module learners gain an understanding of the legislation that underpins professional practice. Human growth and development is explored, and the impact of key stages and transitions is examined. Social work theories that assist the understanding of society, social problems and behaviours are discussed and evaluated. This includes an introduction to safeguarding and signs of abuse and neglect.
On this module learners are introduced to the role of the social worker and the requirements of the professional body. The different social and organisational contexts in which social workers operate are discussed. Professional accountability is explored alongside the principles of good recording and record keeping. Models of supervision are explored, along with the importance of reflection within social work practice to ensure personal well-being and safety.
Intervention and skills
Within this module, the importance of effective communication is explored. Learners develop an understanding of the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication. Consideration is given to how effective communication impacts upon service user and carer engagement, as well as the factors that can impact upon this. Assessment and assessment skills are explored and methods of intervention are discussed, including strength-based perspectives.
In year 2, learners further engage with quality academic work in terms of understanding and applying theoretical knowledge for demonstration and justification of their writing. They continue to engage with personal and professional development.
Contexts and organisations
Within this module apprentices gain an understanding of multi-agency working and the skills required to work effectively with other professionals and organisations. The importance of teamwork and understanding the nature of other people?s roles is explored. Effective information sharing and the policy and legislative framework underpinning this is also analysed – this includes IT data sharing protocols.
Rights, justice and well-being
The concepts of participation, advocacy, co-production, involvement and empowerment are analysed within this module. The impact of injustice, demography, social inequality, policies and other issues that impact on adults, families and communities are critically evaluated. Ethical decision-making is discussed and consideration is given to balancing the rights of individuals whilst also preventing harm.
Professional knowledge 2
This module builds upon Professional Knowledge 1. It considers the application of legislation to practice and explores research methods and how research and the examination of evidence can inform social work practice.
Intervention and skills 2
Within this module learners explore the concept of professional curiosity and evaluate the use of appropriate risk assessment tools and processes.
Apprentices demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the principles of social work in assessing, analysing and managing risk in relation to service users, carers, colleagues and themselves. They reflect upon the processes influencing professional judgments and decision-making, and articulate professional judgment and decision-making skills. Safeguarding is explored further, including its complexities when working within adult social care, mental health and children and families.
In year 3, learners develop academic skills and have opportunities to demonstrate deeper understanding, drawing on all their studies and practical experience to date – both within and outside of their apprenticeship.
Within this module learners explore the concepts of ‘professionalism’ and ‘professional social work.’ They identify for themselves what being a professional social worker means. They also consider the implications of continuing professional development.
The concept of leadership and the use of authority within social work practice is analysed, as well as the skills required to be an effective leader. The multi-agency and multi-disciplinary context of social work practice is critically evaluated and organisational theory is applied to enhance understanding.
Intervention and Skills 3
Critical reflection and the use of power within the social work relationship is explored further. Strategies to manage the emotional and physical impact of practice in order to build resilience is examined.
Other topics explored include working with complexity and change, and managing difficult conversations and challenge in practice. The balance between autonomy with accountability is examined, as well as working with resistance and conflict and enabling effective and sustainable change.
Professional Knowledge 3
This module builds upon the theoretical understanding in relation to social work with adults, families and communities. It explores the application of research when responding to complex situations and the legal, social, economic and ecological context of social work is analysed. Drawing upon a wide range of knowledge and evidence, learners apply their understanding when working with individuals and families accessing social care services. Complex problem definition and the impact on adults, children and communities is explored using different theoretical models. Difference and diversity is explored, along with the types of discrimination impacting upon individuals. Consideration is given to statutory interventions to protect vulnerable adults and children
The end point assessment (EPA) is designed to test learners’ knowledge, skills and understanding. The EPA consists of a case study assessment and a scenario-based exercise.
Teaching for this apprenticeship will start at Oxstalls Campus, then transfer to the new City Campus in Gloucester in the 2024-25 academic year. This provides time to ensure a smooth transition and familiarisation with the new facilities for all.
Our new City Campus is partly funded by Gloucester’s successful £20million ‘Levelling Up’ bid, the building is being refurbished to an exceptionally high standard and will include state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for all our learners.
We have also secured a landmark £29million in funding from Barclays linked to our commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals: to recruit a higher proportion of UK-domiciled young BAME students; widen access, engagement and participation for students from deprived areas; and to reduce gas and electricity CO2 emissions as part of its commitment to Net Zero by 2030.
As part of its decarbonisation drive, the University has also secured £3.3million funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of its Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, delivered by Salix. The scheme aims to put the public sector at the forefront of decarbonising buildings in the UK.
As well as training the region’s future nurses and teachers, it is estimated that over its lifetime, City Campus will add over £300million of direct and indirect value to the county’s economy, as well as more than 4,000 jobs.
Employer and learner support
Learners have a personal tutor throughout their apprenticeship, as well as a learner coach who conducts reviews and supports them towards successful completion. They are also supported by module tutors and our Helpzone staff, who are contactable by telephone, in person and online.
Employers are able to access our dedicated apprenticeship support team, who are here to ensure that businesses get the best from both the learner and the programme.
All apprentices have access to:
· experienced professionals, who are experts in their field
· state-of-the-art facilities
· all university libraries and IT and facilities
· discounted travel with Stagecoach across the South West network
· an NUS card offering great discounts at restaurants and high street stores
· a vibrant social scene complete with bars, sports clubs, gyms and leisure facilities
View our apprenticeships FAQ guide and discover answers to the most commonly asked questions about higher and degree apprenticeships.
Degree apprentices should be in full-time employment (e.g. at least employed for 30 hours per week) throughout the duration of their apprenticeship, and 20% of their working hours should be spent on off-the-job training.
Apprentices must have level 2 qualifications in English and maths (GCSE grade 4/C or above, or equivalent) before they undertake the end point assessment.
Individual employers may wish to set additional entry requirements to suit their organisational needs.
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