This course is 'Subject to Approval' and has not yet completed the University’s approvals process. Whilst we are confident that the course will be approved, there is the possibility that the course may not run or may be subject to alterations. This course is due to be validated by August 2019 after which we will write to all applicants who have applied for the course to let them know the outcome and of any changes. In the event that a course is not approved the University will make reasonable efforts to offer an alternative course at the University.

BA (Hons) Social Work (Degree Apprenticeship)

The University of Bolton's Social Work England-approved BA (Hons) Social Work (Degree Apprenticeship) allows you to invest in your workforce by combining university education, work-based learning and ongoing professional development. While working as valuable members of your team, your apprentices can develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to support people in complex and challenging situations and bring about positive changes for individuals, families and communities.

Social Work (Degree Apprenticeship)

Key information


BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:



3 years


University of Bolton

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

Our Social Work England-approved BA (Hons) Social Work (Degree Apprenticeship) is designed to support the development of confident, highly competent, compassionate and professional social workers who perfectly match the needs of your organisation. You can offer structured on-the-job training and a nationally recognised qualification in social work, helping you attract the best new talent and retain valued staff through career progression. Integrating study into the normal working week will allow your apprentices to put their new skills and understanding into practice immediately, benefitting your organisation and the communities you serve without delay.

This programme has been fully mapped to the Social Work Degree Apprenticeship standard (ST0510) and studies at the University will complement learning in your workplace. We'll work with you to devise individual learning agreements for each of your apprentices, ensuring they fulfil the criteria of the apprenticeship, as well as develop additional skills and knowledge valuable for your organisation.

We'll focus on preparing your apprentices to maintain professional and ethical standards while supporting positive change in people's lives in order to improve their wellbeing and independence. Our passionate and knowledgeable staff will support them in developing a sound knowledge of social work theory, models, legislation, policy, ethics and interventions that will underpin their professional decision-making. When they successfully complete this qualification, your apprentices will be able to use their professional expertise to work, assess, plan, implement, evaluate and intervene, putting the needs of your clients first and ensuring their voice is central to decision-making.

If you're looking for undergraduate-level training in this subject area but don't work for an employer that offers apprenticeships, please see our related courses section for details of study opportunities that don't require current employment.

  • The University of Bolton's BA (Hons) Social Work (Degree Apprenticeship) is approved by Social Work England. On successful completion of this programme, your apprentices will be eligible to apply for registration with Social Work England as a Social Worker.
  • Face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support are offered by our professional expert academic tutors who come from a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds, including social work and a number of allied health and social care professions.
  • We'll guide your apprentices as they gain key skills, values and behaviours, including professional curiosity, interpersonal and communication skills, initiative, leadership, research and critical reflection, partnership working, self-care and resilience, record keeping, and workload management.
  • During the final stage of the course, your apprentice will undertake a substantial work-based research project, the nature of which will be identified and developed through consultation between your organisation and the University. As well as offering your apprentice valuable experience, this live project can offer you a genuine insight into potential opportunities or improvements that can benefit your organisation.
Key Features
  • We offer 30 skills development days that focus on helping your apprentices learn specific skills, such as interviewing families, communicating with children, family group conferencing, solution-focused approaches, 'clarifying, probing and challenging', resilience for practitioners, case recording and giving evidence in court.
  • Course materials are available online, allowing your apprentices to prepare work in advance and make the most of the highly interactive in-class tuition.
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is student-centred, so we'll work with your apprentices on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout their studies.
  • Throughout the course, specialists in the field of social work, other key allied health and social care practitioners, senior managers and policy-makers will be invited to join us as guest speakers. Apprentices can also expect to meet service users and carers who have direct experience of services and who can offer their unique and valuable perspectives on the role of social workers in the community.
  • Social work can be very demanding and carries a lot of responsibility, so we'll support your apprentices to learn strategies and techniques that can help them to build their professional and emotional resilience and successfully manage the situations they face.
  • Quarterly and annual reviews, where each apprentice, their workplace mentor and a member of our team meet to assess your apprentice's progress, promote continuing conversation between your workplace and the University. This helps to ensure the success of your apprentices and maximise the value of their studies to your organisation.
Professional recognition

This programme is approved by Social Work England.

On successful completion of this course, your apprentices will have been assessed as meeting the professional standards required by Social Work England and the professional capabilities for qualifying social workers. As a result, they will be eligible to apply for registration with Social Work England as a Social Worker.

  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.
  • Applicants should have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent), including English and Mathematics. If an applicant has yet to achieve appropriate Level 2 English and Mathematics qualifications, then with their employer's support, they can complete suitable equivalents locally or with assistance from the University before commencing the apprenticeship. Please contact for a list of acceptable GCSE equivalents, further information and support.
  • While applicants don't need to have prior experience, some experience working in a helping capacity would be an advantage.
  • For guidance regarding acceptable alternative qualifications, please contact Qualifications gained outside England and Wales will be assessed on an individual basis according to guidance from Social Work England).
  • We're happy to consider alternative qualifications and relevant work experience. The Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning (RPCL) or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) route may be used for entry. Please contact the programme leader for details.
  • Potential applicants should seek advice from their Human Resources Department to discuss if and how becoming a Social Worker Degree Apprentice may affect the terms and conditions of their employment.
  • Applicants will also need to demonstrate basic IT skills including word processing, internet browsing and use of email.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a joint interview conducted by the University and the employer.
  • We offer places to applicants whose qualifications, experience, references and quality of application (including the personal statement) persuade us of their excellence.
  • Applicants that are successful at the interview stage will be asked to undergo occupational health screening and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Applicants will be required to satisfactorily pass occupational health screening.
  • Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are of good health and good character prior to enrolment and on an on-going basis throughout their studies and career. They will be required to complete a confidential self-declaration form outlining any medical or health conditions that may affect their ability to undertake academic or social work practice tasks.
  • This course involves regulated activity so applicants must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting their studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Please note that the DBS must have been completed within three years of the course start date.Update Service.
  • Admission to this programme is only available to applicants who meet ESFA eligibility criteria, including the following: 1) They are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a role relevant to the apprenticeship. 2) They have the right to live and work in the UK. 3) Their employer is willing to sponsor them to spend a minimum of six hours per week of their time in off-the-job training, including attending the University (times and dates to be determined) for the duration of their course. Please note that an apprentice cannot be self-employed. ESFA eligibility criteria may change so please contact for up-to-date information.
  • If English isn’t the applicant's first language, they will also need IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.
  • To be eligible for tuition fee funding through the Apprenticeship Levy, candidates should not normally have already completed a qualification at the same level as the proposed apprenticeship, unless that qualification was gained in a completely unrelated discipline.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

The BA (Hons) Social Work (Degree Apprenticeship) is designed to meet the integrated degree apprenticeship standard for Social Workers (ST0510). Developed by employers, the standard underpins a highly relevant qualification and professional development pathway that educates social workers to provide help and support directly to individuals, couples, families and groups, and support people who face a range of challenges such as poverty, mental health issues, addiction and family problems. Social workers may provide one-to-one support such as therapy and counselling or connect people with community resources to help them overcome their problems.

Employers can expect graduate apprentices to possess a wide range of transferable skills, such as resilience, advanced communication and negotiation skills, as well as the ability to manage conflict and exercise authority in complex situations, manage risk to self, service users and colleagues, and enable others to achieve their goals.

What can I do with this qualification?

Graduate apprentices from this programme should prove valuable to local authority children's or adult services, as well as to private fostering agencies, voluntary organisations and charities. When they successfully complete the course, apprentices will be well prepared for a career in social work and to work their way up to positions of greater responsibility in the sector.

They will also be ready to progress to postgraduate-level study in subjects such as community justice, social policy and counselling. Studying for a PhD or professional doctorate is another option, or they could pursue a career in teaching by undertaking the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Course fees

Apprentices will need to be employed by your organisation for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Your organisation will also need to commit to sponsoring apprentices to complete this qualification.

For further information on how your organisation can access funds to support apprentices, please e-mail

Whether you’re an employer, employee or school leaver, please visit our Apprenticeship web page for support and advice regarding apprenticeships.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Useful information

Apprentices will not be expected to pay tuition fees towards this programme. If your organisation has a wage bill of more than £3 million per annum, then it may be able to fund this apprenticeship through its Apprenticeship Levy contributions. If your organisation does not pay the levy, it will be eligible for government support to fund apprenticeships. This support, called co-investment, covers 95% of the apprenticeship's tuition fees, with your organisation funding the remaining 5% of the fees.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

Additional costs

There may be some additional or optional costs associated with this course. These will be published after approval of the programme.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Course application details are unavailable at present

Course application details are unavailable at present

Course application details are unavailable at present

To make this course as beneficial as possible for you and your apprentices, we apply a range of learning, teaching and assessment methods, including online delivery and engagement where appropriate. These are designed to fully engage apprentices, helping them to develop the skills, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviours essential to become a social worker, with particular reference to your organisation and their place within it.

Learning focuses on your workplace environment and builds the transferable body of knowledge and skills demanded to achieve professional registration with Social Work England as a social worker and apply this expertise within your organisation. Your apprentices will spend the majority of their time gaining on-the-job knowledge and experience. They will also complete at least six hours per week in off-the-job learning, including studying at the university.

To complement lectures that introduce the course content, seminars and group-based activities allow apprentices to explore subjects in greater detail. Tutorials allow them to clarify their understanding of the topics we cover in lectures and seminars. We use case studies and practical scenarios to help apprentices apply their newly acquired academic knowledge to real-life problems and gain valuable insights into contemporary practice in social work. Apprentices will also be expected to undertake considerable guided independent study; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for seminar and tutorial activities, and working on assignments.

Inter-professional practitioners from the health and social care field will contribute as guest speakers offering your apprentices the chance to further develop their knowledge and understanding.

Our assessment methods are designed to reflect what will be required of social workers in the field. For example, the course requires apprentices to submit written reports, give presentations, develop their portfolio, complete a work-based project, and practice interviewing skills. We also expect them to take written exams, write essays and reflective accounts, and participate actively in group discussions. Some assessments contribute to their final module marks, while others are designed to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and where they need to seek extra support from course tutors.

PLEASE NOTE: 100% attendance for practice-based learning is required, and absences or missed components of practice-based learning will have to be completed at a later date.

A minimum of 80% attendance is required for programme modules in order to progress and achieve the award for which an apprentice is registered. Apprentices must attend scheduled sessions. Please note that attendance is taken into account when making Assessment Board decisions. Apprentices may be withdrawn due to poor attendance.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Martina Kirlew
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903782

Natasha Hassan
Lecturer in Social Work

+44 (0)1204 903437

Apprenticeship Enquiries
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903940


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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant