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Social Work (Apprenticeship) BA (Honours)

Key details

Start date September 2022
Duration
3 years
Fees
UK: fees paid by employer
Course leader
Sioban O’Farrell-Pearce
Related courses

Find out more

Get in touch for more information about apprenticeships at Middlesex University:

Email: business@mdx.ac.uk

Overview

With the social work sector expanding rapidly, there’s never been a better time to develop your communication, resilience and organisation skills to enter a career that will make a positive impact on some of society’s most vulnerable people. Undertaking an apprenticeship in social work will enable you to enter a crucial sector, supported by your sponsoring agency.

Why study Social Work at Middlesex University?

Middlesex University has extensive experience of serving the local communities in London. We are committed to making a positive impact within the local community and nationally.

The apprentice programme gives us the opportunity to develop local people. Our vision is to transform individuals to reach their full potential. We work in partnership to bring together local employers, potential social workers and the wider community to create solutions to complex problems. These concepts are fundamental to the Social Work Apprenticeship Programme at Middlesex.

Our social work integrated apprenticeship degree – which is fully accredited by the Social Work England (SWE) – has been designed and revised to give you the knowledge and professional skills to succeed in social work. Through a mixture of teaching sessions, interactive workshops and e-learning resources, you’ll familiarise yourself with current policies and practices. The programme will build your skills and knowledge to collaborate confidently and effectively with a range of service providers, service users and their carers.

You will learn how to utilise evidence informed knowledge to make effective assessments, assess risk and to write professional reports. You will develop effective communication skills. You will learn how to reflect on your learning and practice in a supportive environment.

We value the relationship between your current work role and knowledge and that of your academic studies.  The Apprenticeship Programme includes a minimum of 20% off the job learning. You will undertake two periods of assessed work place learning. This will help to deepen your knowledge on how to apply theoretical frameworks, legislation and research and to develop your professional skills.

The Programme will develop your understanding of the role of a social worker. You will undertake statutory tasks where you will learn what you need to know to practice as a professional social worker within your sponsoring organisation. Apprentices joins us from all areas of the sector including local authorities, NHS and independent organisations in social care. This provides a rich learning experience and a solid foundation for your career. Our programmes are very well thought of by employers and we have valued and enduring partnerships which enhance our teaching.

Course highlights

  • Working in a supported environment to apply knowledge and skills learnt on the programme with your mentor, peers and tutors
  • Excellent tutorial support both individual and group sessions
  • Two periods of assessed work place learning in years’ two and three
  • Flexible, knowledgeable and experienced social work academics
  • Collaborative teaching with people with lived experience
  • Close partnership between employer and university
  • Excellent wellbeing and academic support services
  • Build your hands-on practical skills

    Our staff are research active, with several holding Middlesex University or National Teaching Fellowship status that recognises their innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment – so you can rest assured you’ll get the support you need to succeed in your studies.

    Our excellent relationships with a range of local authorities, and voluntary and independent sector organisations across London means you’ll have access to a range of valuable work placements and internship opportunities.

    We’ve recently gained a prestigious teaching partnership with four local authority partners and a voluntary agency – so you’ll be able to take advantage of a range of new work placement opportunities.

    You will be located in the School of Health, Social Care and Education and will have the opportunity for some inter professional learning, this will enable you to develop crucial skills in multi-professional work, learning to work collaboratively with colleagues from other disciplines.

  • Get the support you need to succeed

    You’ll get plenty of support throughout your course from your Personal Tutor to your mentor in your employing organisation Everyone in the university team has studied your subject and will provide the support you need based on their own experience. If you need a little help with writing, numeracy or library skills, we can help with that too.

    With a career that gives you excellent salary progression, our graduates have an average starting salary of £29k, and have gone on to work in a wide variety of roles for the likes of London Borough of Brent, Islington, Hounslow, Barnet, Enfield, Haringey, Hackney Council, and East Sussex County Council.

    As an apprentice sponsored by an organisation you will have an excellent route into a qualified social work role, supported by your employer.

Course content

What will you study on the BA Social Work?

Your studies will be focused towards enabling people at risk to live fulfilled and independent lives. In the first year you will build the professional acumen and communication skills required for effective social work and lay the foundations for the second and third years' academic study and practice-based learning.

You will be employed and will be spending at least 20% of your time in “off the job learning” Your programme will support your role in your employing organisation whilst bringing new learning into the workplace. The holistic experience will equip you to become a skilled and successful social worker.

All modules, and the programme as a whole, are clearly structured to meet the Social Work England standards. You will undertake two professional placements within relevant agencies. These usually run concurrently with academic study. You will complete 170 days of assessed practice learning within two approved and contrasting settings. These will be arranged for you by your employer in partnership with the university. In at least one of these, you will gain experience of statutory roles and tasks.

You will be allocated a tutor at the beginning of your course who you will meet regularly in tutor groups and who will also act as a link to your employer and will oversee and support the learning in your periods of assessed work place learning.

Please visit Social Work England for further information about the social work profession.

What you will gain?

Upon graduation, you will be able to communicate effectively with a range of service users and professionals in a variety of contexts and confidently present arguments based on available academic and practice evidence in specialist areas of social work practice. You will be able to confidently use advanced IT skills to carry out professional social work practice and demonstrate an advanced ability to solve problems and to apply this skill to professional practice. You will also critically analyse the latest research findings and apply them to practice.

  • Year 1

    • Life-course Developments (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduce the broad theories of human growth and development across the life course. It facilitate your understanding of the application and relevance of theories of human growth and development to social work practice and explore the influences of early life experiences in later life. It supports you to critically review and appraise the impact of diversity, differences and structural inequalities on people over the life course, focusing particularly on key transitional processes from birth to late adulthood.

    • Community Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module equips you with an understanding of the social problems you may encounter in your practice placements in years two and three of the programme. It offers the opportunity to develop a range of direct skills through active enquiry, synthesis and evaluation of information about the socio-economic and political realities in your chosen community. You will be encouraged to be creative by using innovative approaches to enhance your understanding of issues important to contemporary social work practice.

    • Preparation for Professional Practice: Foundation Knowledge and Skills (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module gives an overview of the purpose, complexity and breadth of social work knowledge and practice from three perspectives: service users/carers, professional colleagues and the requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as the statutory regulator. It provides a foundation level of knowledge and skills, enabling you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to demonstrate readiness for practice. This includes an introduction to safeguarding, legislation, social work theory, assessment and intervention models and organisational contexts. It supports you in developing an understanding of diversity and equality in social work practice and the integration of social work values in working with disadvantage, poverty and sustainability. You will explore the interface between one's own values and those of the profession.

    • Preparation for Professional Practice: Professional Development and Communication (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops communication skills relevant for professional practice and promotes your potential for lifelong learning at the beginning of your career as a social worker by introducing the Professional Capabilities Framework and the concept of personal development planning.

  • Year 2

    • Law for Social Workers (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with an understanding of the structure, organisation and processes of the English legal system including comprehensive knowledge and understanding of all four major areas of law for social work practice (children and families, mental health, community care and youth justice). You will begin to learn how to differentiate and to work with absolute, qualified and competing rights, and the differing needs and perspectives that arise during social work assessment and interventions alongside their first practice learning placement. You will also gain skills in understanding how to use the law positively and effectively and in selecting relevant aspects of the legislation to practice situations whilst promoting people's rights and begin to identify some of the ethical dilemmas that inevitably arise with legal interventions.

    • Social Work Theories, Interventions and Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to explore the nature of social work knowledge, critically analysing contemporary practice theories and their interrelationships to social work assessment and intervention. It supports you in further developing your practice skills and intervention techniques, and assists you in developing insightful, exploratory and creative practice approaches. It also supports you to enhance and develop your direct communication skills and begin to apply professional ethical standards and values, incorporating service user/carer perspectives.

    • Approaches to Health and Social Care Research (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This interprofessional module introduces those from health and social care related subjects to the process of health and social care research. It is a professional requirement for those working in health and social care related disciplines to underpin your knowledge with research and evidence-based practice. Professionals need to be able to access research findings, and through an understanding of the research process and methodology, be able to critique research and apply this knowledge to practice.

    • Assessed Workplace Learning (70 days)

      This module supports your first experience of assessed work place learning (70 days) where you will be required to work collaboratively with service users/carers and other professionals. These experiences will be used as material to assess your progress. You will be given carefully chosen work opportunities that will enable you to demonstrate how you meet the Professional Standards (Social Work England 2019), BASW (2018) the IFA apprenticeship standards (2021) Assessed work place learning at this level is designed to give you a broad experience and understanding of how to engage in social work casework using your knowledge of theory, legislation and interventions which will facilitate your learning of practice skills and help you develop as a reflective practitioner. You will be supported in the task by  your university tutor, your practice educator and mentor.

In the third year you must choose between Specialist Adults’ Social Work Practice And Interventions and Specialist Children and Families’ Social Work Practice and Interventions. Which are your specialist elective modules and will teach you specialist knowledge and skills for your area of social work. They also prepare you for the End Point Assessment which is the final assessment of the Programme and is taken only after you have successfully completed all other modules.

  • Year 3

    • Social Work Knowledge: Application and Critique (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to explore the nature of social work knowledge, critically analysing contemporary practice theories and their interrelationships to social work assessment and intervention. It supports you in further developing your practice skills and intervention techniques. It assists you in developing insightful, exploratory and creative practice approaches. It also facilitates your exploration of ethical models of decision making and relate these ideas to the enhancement of your own ethical social work practice.

    • Assessed Workplace Learning (100 days)

      This module is designed to offer a holistic approach to the identification of needs, circumstances, rights and strengths of service users within your final 100 days of assessed work place learning module. This will allow you to begin to work, in a supported way, with issues of risk and safeguarding practice. This learning is demonstrated by a critical understanding and application of the use of research, theory and knowledge from a wide range of disciplines and expert sources, adapting to changing contexts and ability to work safely in a challenging environment. You will be supported in the task by  your university tutor, your practice educator and mentor.

    • Specialist Adults’ Social Work Practice And Interventions (60 credits) - Optional

      The specialist social work practice module provides the opportunity to apply the specialist practice frameworks that inform and mandate social work practice in Adults Services Alongside the critical reflection module, it will increase your in-depth knowledge about a key area of social work practice. You will also be encouraged to explore your potential for leadership (PCF 9) which will help prepare you for your ‘Assessed and Supported Year in Employment’ where this is applicable.

      The module is designed to offer a holistic approach to the identification of needs, circumstances, rights and strengths of service users within your final 100 days of assessed work place learning module. This will allow you to begin to work in a supported way with issues of risk and safeguarding practice. This learning is demonstrated by a critical understanding and application of the use of research, theory and knowledge from a wide range of disciplines and expert sources, adapting to changing contexts and ability to work safely in a challenging environment.

    • Specialist Children and Families’ Social Work Practice and Interventions (60 credits) - Optional

      The specialist social work practice module provides the opportunity to apply the specialist practice frameworks that inform and mandate social work practice in Children and Families’ Services Alongside the critical reflection module, it will increase your in-depth knowledge about a key area of social work practice. You will also be encouraged to explore your potential for leadership (PCF 9) which will help prepare you for your ‘Assessed and Supported Year in Employment’ where this is applicable.

      The module is designed to offer a holistic approach to the identification of needs, circumstances, rights and strengths of service users within your final 100 days of assessed work place learning module. This will allow you to begin to work in a supported way with issues of risk and safeguarding practice. This learning is demonstrated by a critical understanding and application of the use of research, theory and knowledge from a wide range of disciplines and expert sources, adapting to changing contexts and ability to work safely in a challenging environment.

How is the BA Social Work Apprenticeship degree taught?

Teaching and learning will be interactive and blended; with the use of online platforms and where possible, on-campus, face to face skills classes.

You will learn through research, reading and critical reflection, workshops, tutorials and class discussions, and will work on written assignments and reports, presentations and group assignments. You will record your development and progress in a reflective journal and will work on a case study in your final year where you will demonstrate all the professional standards (2019) and the Apprenticeship Standards (2021) in your final year where you can research an area of particular interest. You will undertake a minimum of 20% off the job learning during your apprenticeship and you will be encouraged to actively use your learning whilst at work to reflect on the learning in university. The two strands of learning will enrich your understanding of the social work task so that you are well equipped to take your place as a social worker, helping often the most marginalised in our society.

Assessed Work Place learning

Whilst on your apprenticeship, you will be working but during this time You will also complete 170 days of assessed practice learning within an approved work based setting. This is spread over two formal periods of assessed learning – one for 100 days, and the other for 70 days.

Work experience greatly improve graduate employment prospects, and students who take part achieve excellent academic results through applying their learning in a professional setting. It also gives you the chance to gain a deeper relationship with your employer before qualifying.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a wide range of assignments, your placement portfolio, practical assessments, research tasks, presentations, class discussions, case study analyses, and observational visits. You will also submit written assignments, in which we will be looking both at your understanding of theory and your knowledge of its practical application, as well as your ability to communicate your ideas clearly.

Your final assessment is called the End Point Assessment. It is prescribed by the Institute of Apprenticeships. You undertake it once you have passed all other modules and gained 300 credits. It is a mixture of written course work, an unseen exam, a presentation and a case discussion. It is a very thorough assessment to determine the apprentices’ readiness to enter the profession. Your employer and the university support you in preparing to undertake this assessment throughout the programme and specifically in the third year.

  • Entry requirements

    • Sponsorship from your apprenticeship employer ( application is via the employer)
    • Grade 4 English and Maths/ level 2 functional skills
    • Level 3 certificates which could include vocational courses/ or two years relevant and verifiable work experience
  • Interviews, entrance tests, portfolios and auditions

    Applicants to the course will be invited to an interview.

    Fees and funding

    Fees are paid by your sponsoring apprenticeship employer drawn from the apprenticeship levy.

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