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Social Worker Apprenticeship

Social Worker Apprenticeship

DegreeBSc (Hons) Social Work
Duration36 months
Entry point(s)September (Annually)
CampusUxbridge / Aylesbury


The Social Work Degree Apprenticeship is a work-based programme integrating academic learning with work-based learning thereby providing a rich learning experience to the apprentices. The programme aims to develop learners’ knowledge, skills and behaviours such as emotional intelligence, being culturally competent, ability to analyse social work issues and developing intervention plans in collaboration with People with lived experience where possible.

Social work in the current context is a challenging yet rewarding profession which operates in an environment where professionals from a range of professions work together with some of the most vulnerable groups in society whether children and families or adults. Social workers aim to empower vulnerable people to not only meet their basic needs but to be able to participate fully in the community and society that they belong to. Consequently, this programme is aimed at developing future social workers who have the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to practice in a challenging environment. Learners will be helped to appreciate the complexity and uncertainty of the social work profession through classroom teaching and work based learning. The programme is therefore designed to provide you with a good theoretical basis and the skills and behaviours required to practice social work. The programme aims to equip the learner with the knowledge and understanding, insight, perspectives, and skills with which to perform the role of a Social Worker and to gain an understanding of Social Work in its wider context which will include Equality, Diversity and inclusion (EDI) as well as Prevent. Safeguarding and law and procedures is paramount within the role.

The programme has also been developed to meet the expectations of the profession via the Standards for Education and Training of the Social Work England, the QAA Benchmarking Statements for Social Work, the Professional Capabilities Framework, the Knowledge and Skills Statements and the Apprenticeship Standard for Social Work.


Programme aims

1. Develop within learners a sound knowledge of contemporary social work practice in contrasting settings and the changing trends in current social work practice particularly within legislation and policy.

2. Enable learners to be critically self-aware reflexive practitioners, self-motivated learners interested in continual professional development by encouraging learners to be critically reflective and analytical thinkers who possess skill in collecting, analysing and integrating appropriate data, theory and research evidence into their practice.

3. Foster within learners a strengthened commitment to work anti-oppressively and with the inherent strengths of diverse individuals, families, groups and communities.

4. Develop learners who are confident when working in interdisciplinary, inter-professional and multi-agency contexts.

5. Develop confident and competent social work professionals who are committed to the values and principles of social work, and uphold the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) professional standards of conduct, performance and ethics.

Why choose BNU?

At Buckinghamshire New University, we are dedicated to equipping our graduates with the skills employers demand. We will work with you using our practice-based learning expertise to support your training needs.

Higher and degree apprenticeships are a partnership between industry and higher education institutions set up to help meet the needs of employers. They also provide a flexible way for employees to take advantage of the life-changing opportunities that higher education can offer them.

At BNU, we change lives through employment-focused teaching which enables our students to achieve their ambitions. As a small and personal university, we offer an agile approach to all apprenticeship training needs. You would also gain access to all our support services including Student Hub, Multi Faith Chaplaincy, Disability and Inclusion, Counselling, Library and Alumni Benefits.

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Programme details

The programme matches the University’s philosophy and strategy including outward facing, externality and industrial involvement thus providing students with the necessary qualifications to underpin their knowledge and progress in their chosen careers.

Degree apprenticeships combine study and work-based learning to enable apprentices to gain a full degree. They have been co-designed by employers thus ensuring that apprentices are equipped with the skills employers need and look for in their employees.

An apprentice is a paid employee and does not pay any training costs or student fees.


Programme delivery

Buckinghamshire New University’s blended learning model is designed to be flexible around the needs of apprentices and work load. This includes online, face-to-face and self directed learning which learners have fed back providers greatest flexibility around work, caregiving and other life commitments. This also helps reduce the impact of carbon created through commuting.

Social Workers are delivered face to face seminars from either BNU’s Uxbridge or Aylesbury campus. Apprentices are on campus once per week, Mondays for Uxbridge or Aylesbury on Fridays.


Entry requirements

Apprenticeship Eligibility

To be eligible for an apprenticeship, the apprentice must satisfy the following requirements and ESFA funding rules:

  • An apprentice can be a new or existing member of staff and must not already hold a degree in that area or be receiving funding for other training.
  • The employer must employ the apprentice in a genuine role with a genuine salary.
  • The apprentice must have the right to live and work in the UK.
  • BNU will check to make sure you're eligible before you start your degree apprenticeship, and may ask for proof of your right to work in the UK.
  • An apprentice must be employed in a full time job (minimum of 30 hours per week) or have a signed contract to start a full time job role, which is relevant to the apprenticeship.
  • The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will not fund apprentices who are repeating the same qualification.
  • An apprentice can be a citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or have the right to abode in the UK and have been resident in the EEA for at least the previous three years on the first day of your apprenticeship.
  • An apprentice can be a non-EEA citizen with permission from the UK government to live in the UK, (not for educational purposes) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of learning.


Programme Entry Requirements

To be eligible for the Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship apprentices must meet the following requirements:

  • Government approved Level 2 Maths and English Qualification (e.g. GCSE or Functional Skills).
  • Candidates without level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.
  • All candidates must be employed in a role related to the subject matter of the Degree Apprenticeship and be sponsored by their employer.
  • Applications can only be made through the sponsoring employer. The University will consider all such applications and will have the final decision whether to accept the candidate for entry to the programme
Alumni Testimonials

I have been working as a Social Work Assistant since 2011 in the Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities. However for me, I was unable to progress to a social worker position as I did not have the qualification. Applying onto the Social Work Degree Apprenticeship gave me an insight into academic learning as well as continuing with my employment and providing financially for my family. I was able to learn, gain experience and at the end be awarded with a social work degree.

Looking back at the apprenticeship, I can honestly say that it is not as tough as people say. You have all the support you need from the university lecturers as well as your employer; and you have to be confident enough to ask the questions that seem silly to you in order for you to get a better understanding of the topic at hand. The lecturers are very good at responding to your emails promptly during assignments and sometimes the tutor will call you to reassure you and ensure you understand what is being asked from the assignment brief. The lecturers will always offer 1:1 tutorials before any assignment and give you the information you need to write your academic essays.


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The apprenticeship will help you develop your time management skills. You will learn to allocate time for family life, social life, work life and academic life. This is a transferrable skill that helps you as an individual to build structure and routine in your life to get the most from what life has to offer you.

I strongly believe that apprenticeships are unique and valuable as they offer individuals like myself the opportunity to learn and work in the field you are interested and passionate about and get a qualification.

I am a one of five children. The eldest is in their 50’s and I am in my early 30’s. None of my siblings attended further or higher education and started working soon after the completed their schooling. For me, this is the biggest achievement in my family as I’m the first of my siblings to achieve a degree and my children as well as my nieces and nephews can look up to me and get a motivation to access further and higher education which the apprenticeship offers.

The social work degree apprenticeship with Buckinghamshire New University has been a life changing opportunity. Completing an apprenticeship enabled me to learn about social work through a combination of theory, research and practical experience with an emphasis on on the job learning.


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I feel that I have gained a true understanding of the requirements of a social worker better preparing me for the challenging and rewarding world of adult social care. The experience has been invaluable and the support from the university was brilliant especially during the pandemic. Thank you for such a wonderful degree. I cannot emphasise enough how much more people learn through this apprenticeship in comparison to a traditional social work degree.

My experience at BNU was a positive one and has allowed me enter the world of Social Work well prepared. Over the three years, our teaching staff have been listening to our feedback and were making adjustments- to our benefit. Undoubtedly, the nature of the apprenticeship degree is intense- as it requires you to balance work, learning and your personal life. So it is important to be prepared for this undertaking. However, once you are committed to succeed - you will certainly be supported by the diligent staff- to reach your aspirations of becoming a Social Worker.


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I found the Social Work Apprenticeship programme to be very engaging. The university tutors/lectures were also very helpful and approachable which allowed me to feel supported throughout my journey. The programme taught me how to apply theory to practice whilst being in employment and helped me to develop my skills as a practitioner.


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How to apply

Register your interest

  1. Contact BNU’s Apprenticeship via email: or call: 01296 744202
  2. Interested employers will be invited to an information session lead by a representative of BNU’s Apprenticeship Hub and the programme lead. Once completed the Apprenticeship Hub will provide a capture form to begin your application process.


Application Process

  1. Email your nominated Apprenticeship team representative with a document detailing names and contact details of your selected candidates.
  2. Candidates will be sent a link to an online application which takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.
  3. Candidates will be required to upload supporting documents such as prior certification (including Level 2 English and maths) and evidence of Right to Work in the United Kingdom.
  4. After submitting the application, the Admissions team will complete all necessary eligibility checks.
  5. Successful candidates will be invited to an interview with a member of the academic team and will be asked to fill in an Individual Needs Assessment (INA) document identifying their existing experiences, skills and knowledge which will be discussed in the interview.



In many instances apprenticeships are fully funded through the government’s Apprenticeship Levy Fund and for those ineligible up to 95% is funded through the government’s Co-Investment Fund.

Social Worker Degree Apprenticeship Cost: £24,000

  • The apprenticeship levy will be paid by employers in any sector with a pay bill of more than £3 million per year. Those employers will be able to use their apprenticeship levy funds to fund this programme.
  • Non-levy paying employers will receive up to 95% funding towards the costs of this apprenticeship through the government’s Co-Investment Fund.
  • For more information on funding and the Apprenticeship Levy visit our Apprenticeship Funding page in the find out more section below.