Social Worker Integrated Degree Apprenticeship BA (Hons)

Part-time, work-based, degree apprenticeship undergraduate (3 years)

Chelmsford, Blended learning, Cambridge

January, September

Subject to viable numbers for both campuses and start dates.


Unlock the door to a rewarding career working with vulnerable adults and children. Gain a BA (Hons) Social Worker Integrated degree while you work, with fees funded by your employer and the Government.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description
Social work is the career to pursue if you enjoy empowering people to make positive changes. I often receive positive feedback from families sharing how supportive I have been which affirms the work you do is making positive changes to people’s lives.
ARU Social Work Alumna


The Apprenticeship will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to practice as a social worker. You will be skilled in case management and able to work safely within the law.

The social work profession offers a wide range of job opportunities and increasingly involves working with colleagues from other disciplines. Services our graduates work in include adoption, fostering, child protection, adult safeguarding and youth offenders. Places of work could be county or city councils, family centres, learning disability charities, YMCA and many more.

Modules & assessment

  • Ethics, Values and the Legal Context of Social Work
    Gain a broad base understanding of the centrality of ethics and values to the profession, and the tensions and conflicts inherent in consideration of the legal context within which the profession must operate. Assessments: 30-minute group presentation and a 3,000 word assignment.
  • Knowledge, Evidence and Practice
    Examine how knowledge is created and applied in the activity of social work. You will evaluate the quality of knowledge whether as evidence, research or in the interpretation of professional practice. Assessments: Poster presentation to demonstrate critical appraisal of a piece of social work research, and a 1000 word essay.
  • The Application of Theory to Social Work Practice
    You will be introduced to core theories and concepts including those relating to human development, which will provide essential theoretical underpinnings for various social work interventions. Building on the concept of the reflective practitioner, you will also develop your observational skills and apply relevant theories, so that you can better interpret diverse behaviours, experiences and practices. Assessment: Patchwork Texts of 3000 words.
  • Social Work in Society
    Understand how service user's lives are influenced by their social and policy context. Assessment: Patchwork texts demonstrating how the student can apply relevant social theories to the specifics of social work practice.
  • Social Work with Children and Families
    Gain an understanding of the context of child and family intervention and how to recognise signs, symptoms and consequences of child abuse. You will consider the complexities of balancing parents’ rights and responsibilities within the dynamics of respectful partnership working, wellbeing and social justice whilst upholding the safety and protection of children. Assessments: Group Presentation of 20 minutes outlining and evaluating a case assessment and intervention plan; 3000-word reflective assignment on collaborative processes, linking advantages and challenges to practice.
  • Social Work with Adults
    Gain an overview of the life transition cycle and the ageing process, and critically examine five key areas, mental health, disability, age, gender and culture and examine the inter-relationships between these dimensions and the notion of safeguarding of vulnerable adults. Assessment: Written Assignment of 3500 words.
  • Power, Duties and Accountability in Social Work
    Examine the legal and professional context that underpins the role of the social worker in a variety of settings. You will examine and evaluate the sources of professional power, structures of accountability and your duties when making professional decisions and judgements. The module will give priority and emphasis to duties relating to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. Assessment: A case report and a written assignment.
  • Practice 1: Communication Skills and Partnership Working
    You will learn how to critically analyse facilitative and protective activities and develop communication skills in practice to maximise the choices available to people who have faced difficulties in society, including abuse, disadvantage, discrimination, marginalisation and poverty. Assessments: A written case study and practice portfolio. Year 3 commences with a 60-day placement that you will undertake in a new setting, and not in your usual team, to give you depth and breadth to your experience. You will spend three days each week in this setting, during which time there will be no face-to-face learning delivered on campus, as you will be supported in practice. Campus-based teaching will resume for Module 9.
  • Well-being Across the Life Course
    Examine different dimensions of well-being, in particular, mental health and social inequalities in health, using a life course perspective in analysing well-being, not least because this approach can be used to highlight factors that influence human growth and development from birth through to old age. Assessment: Patchwork texts focusing (1) on the theoretical aspects and (2) on applying the theory to social work practice.
  • Practice 2: Analytical Thinking and Decision Making
    Develop your understanding and skills needed to undertake effective assessments and care plans that lead to appropriate interventions, and to critique and analyse different approaches to assessment and intervention. Explore topics such as 'need', 'risk', professional judgement, decision - making, and the factors that inhibit and facilitate change. Assessment: Coursework and a practical assessment. At this point, if you have successfully passed all modules you will have met the gateway criteria of passing 300 credits to proceed to the EPA (the final 60 credits).


In addition to the on-programme assessments for each module as detailed above, the End Point Assessment must be undertaken to complete the Apprenticeship. The EPA consists of four distinct assessment methods grouped within two strands, which form the final two 30-credit modules: Strand 1 and Strand 2.

Strand 1: Case Study, for which the assessment will consist of:

  • Written Critical Case Study of a minimum of 4,500 words
  • An Executive Presentation

Strand 2: Scenario Exercise, for which the assessment will consist of:

  • Initial analysis, a response to two further written data/questions, a case record
  • Assessment (professional) discussion

Where you'll study

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

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Blended learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our learning management system.

More about blended learning

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

Degree apprenticeships are fully funded by your employer and the Government


Entry requirements

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In addition to the personal specifications that have been set out by your employer, these are the entry requirements for the BA (Hons) Social Work Course. If you have any questions about these entry requirements, please speak to your employer first.

You are required to provide evidence of these requirements on submission of your application to be invited to interview:

  • Employment in a suitable social work team role/ environment on a permanent contract exceeding 30 hours per week
  • Employer support to undertake this course
  • Confirmed eligibility to be funded as an Apprentice as set out within the ESFA’s Funding Rules
  • Evidence of Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A levels, BTEC, L3 NVQ)*
  • Evidence of Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English accepted by the ESFA e.g. GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (or equivalent- see ESFA guidance for more information)
  • Evidence of an enhanced DBS for the Adult and Child workforce.

*Applicants with extensive relevant practical experience will be considered for entry onto the pathway, subject to employer agreement. You will be required to provide one reference to identify your attitude to study and learning.

Studying during COVID-19

Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face teaching on campus for a limited number of courses. Visit our restrictions page for details.

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic the majority of our apprenticeship courses are being delivered online only using our established online learning systems. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however the University remains committed to delivering teaching and ensuring a COVID-19 secure environment for those that are on campus.

View the impact of the current restrictions.

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