The Social Work Degree Apprenticeship programme offers a way to earn your social work degree without having to take time out to study.
Many local authorities offer this type of apprenticeship, primarily through a ‘grow your own’ programme where existing staff can up-skill. Therefore, it’s a useful route into social work if you already work in social care or children’s services without a formal qualification.
We answer some frequently asked questions about Social Work Degree Apprenticeships below.
Frequently asked questions about Apprenticeships
What is an Integrated Degree Apprenticeship?
Degree Apprenticeships combine the practical learning of an apprenticeship with a built-in university degree qualification. As an apprentice you will be employed in a social work role, with time built in for your academic studies.
Do I need to pay for tuition?
No! This is one of the main advantages of this route into social work. You will not have to pay tuition like you would if you were studying a normal degree course, and you will be paid for the work you do during the apprenticeship.
What qualifications do I need?
English and Maths Level 2 (GCSE or equivalent) are required. Other entry criteria may vary depending on the employer and university – many of these are still being worked out, and we’ll add more info on what to expect as it becomes available.
Are there any other entry requirements?
Much like any other educational programme, you will need to demonstrate the maturity and time management skills to balance working full-time with your studies. It’s a good idea to get some form of work experience (such as voluntary experience) to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the field, as well as to get some practice in beforehand.
The Institute for Apprenticeships has some more information on what’s expected of social workers and social work apprenticeships if you’re considering this route into the profession.
How do I find out if there are places available near me?
Availability is likely to vary between different local authorities. Many authorities are currently only offering apprenticeships to people already working in their Children’s Services.
If you’re having trouble finding an apprenticeship place, it might be worth looking into other routes into the profession, such as university courses or fast-track degree programmes.
What is an End Point Assessment (EPA)?
The EPA is the final assessment for the apprenticeship, taking place in the last six months of the programme. It is conducted by an external assessor, and forms the last 60 credits needed to pass the degree. There are two parts to the assessment: a written critical case study and presentation, and a practical scenario exercise.
A detailed summary of the assessment structure for the programme is available on the Institute for Apprenticeships site.
Can I start practicing social work straight after finishing the apprenticeship?
Once you’ve completed your social work apprenticeship, you will also need to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Register. You’ll need to fill out an application to confirm your identity and prove that you meet the standards of proficiency for social workers in England. Once your application has been accepted, you’ll be ready to practice.
Where can I find a children’s services job in Yorkshire & the Humber?
If you don’t already work for a local authority, but you’re still interested in an apprenticeship, it may be worth considering applying to an unqualified role in children’s services. There are a range of roles in children’s services, such as in family support or children’s homes, which don’t require a social work degree.
Working in one of these roles is a great way to build experience in children’s social care. It will also enable you to take advantage of opportunities for further training, like the social work apprenticeship. Our children's social work jobs page details all of the current vacancies in our region.