Integrating theory and practice is key to this professional programme and apprentices are challenged to reflect upon their practice and bring learning into the workplace.
- Develop their ability to consistently exercise professional autonomy and initiative in decision making.
- Develop their ability to critically reflect upon performance, take responsibility for modifying future practice in light of new insights gained, and apply knowledge, values and skills.
- Explore people and relationships, attachment and separation-loss theories, as well as human development from childhood to old age.
- Explore social oppression and advocacy, developing skills in anti-oppressive practice to ensure they get the best results for those they work with.
The programme is taught by experienced social workers in a highly supportive environment, their experience spanning the range of social work specialities: children, families and young people; adults; conflict in communities; mental health and social work law. The research interests of the team include the use of virtual reality and simulations in social work education, working with older people, young carers, and the changing landscape of social work education. Lecturers bring practice experience and real life situations to the classroom.
Every apprentice is allocated a mentor within the workplace, as well as an academic link tutor. Progress and learning is supported and reviewed through learner progress reviews – these formal meetings take place every 6-8 weeks, either in the workplace or at the University.
Apprentices must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week, with their employer allowing them to spend 20% of their time studying and working on their personal development.
The programme is delivered through a blended learning approach, which involves a mix of face to face and online learning. Learners are expected to access the course content online and work through the various sessions and topics that the lecturer has set. Online content is delivered through our Virtual Learning platform (Moodle) and includes a mixture of activities to help keep the learner on track. Every month, a day is spent reviewing what has been learnt and how it has informed professional practice.
Each level has a specific focus allowing learners to develop their understanding of professional practice, and each year of study builds on previous modules. Within the programme learners explore the role of the Social Worker in a variety of settings, with a focus on how the profession works through relationship-based practice to improve the outcomes of those individuals who access services.
The programme will typically take 36 months to complete, with the last 6 months spent in preparation for the End Point Assessment (EPA).