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Social Work and Social Care Leadership Level 7 Apprenticeship

Start date
September 2023
2 years
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught
The Apprenticeship will be paid for through your employer, there will be no costs incurred by you.

Our aim at the University of Birmingham is to support you with the practical knowledge and understanding required for leading across a range of social care systems.

Drawing on theory, research, and comparative analysis of international health and care systems, this apprenticeship programme will provide you with a unique opportunity to develop the values and skills necessary for impactful leadership. These focus on the ‘building blocks’ of high-quality care: well-trained and motivated staff, efficient use of resources, a culture of improvement, and an ability to integrate care. Learners are supported to develop a community of practice with others from the social work and social care sector and to engage directly with senior figures from policy and practice.

The programme will take you through the development processes intended to equip you with the theoretical knowledge and personal skills to understand the health and social care environment, improve integrated working on the frontline, and achieve more efficient and person-centred services.

The Department of Social Work and Social Care at the University of Birmingham is recognised across the UK and internationally for its pioneering research and teaching of professional practice across the social care sector. This includes the contribution of leadership to improving the planning and delivery of services to better reflect the aspirations of individuals, families and communities. The programme has been developed in collaboration with the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) at the University, one of the UK’s leading centres for health care policy, management and quality improvement research and education, and you will undertake modules jointly delivered with apprentices undertaking the Health and Care System Leadership Apprenticeship.

Our Social Work and Social Care Leadership Level 7 Apprenticeship, aligned to the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard, will allow you to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work and Social Care Leadership funded by the Apprenticeship Levy. On successful completion of the PDGip, you will have the opportunity to gain a MSc. Please contact us for further details. 

Why study this course?

  • Modular structure limits the impact of study on work commitments with a flexible mode of delivery to suit both learner and employer needs through a hybrid of online and on-campus delivery
  • Opportunity to learn with and from colleagues from different professional backgrounds and across children and adult social work and social care services
  • Enables you to build new networks and connections to achieve influence as system leaders
  • Action learning sets provide opportunity for reflection on real world issues and the development of new approaches to long-standing challenges
  • In addition to your Apprenticeship, the University provides you with membership of the Chartered Management Institute for the duration of the programme and one year afterwards as either Chartered Managers or Chartered Fellows
  • Fully levy-funding compliant with advice and guidance from our Apprenticeships team


  • Strategic planning (20 credits)
  • Quality and safety (20 credits)
  • Participation, Involvement and Engagement (20 credits)
  • Leadership and Change (20 credits)
  • Innovation and Improvement (20 credits)
  • Health Service Management (20 credits)


The Apprenticeship will be paid for through your employer, there will be no costs incurred by you.

All employers who have a payroll over £3 million pay an Apprenticeship Levy. They can use this levy to fund your enrolment on the programme.

How To Apply

You will need to apply for the Apprenticeship through your employer, who will have their own selection criteria.

For all enquiries relating to this Apprenticeship programme please contact our Degree Apprenticeships Team:


Our Standard Requirements

The normal admission requirement for our taught postgraduate programmes is a good first degree or an equivalent professional qualification. Subject to interview (and sometimes to a special test) candidates without a first degree may be admitted onto this programme. It will also be at the discretion of your employer whether you meet their requirements for the course.


International Requirements

The different modules will examine the strategic, political and policy context of systems leadership in health and social care. A range of areas will be covered, including assessing need and demand for services; improving quality and safety; innovation and change; leading and developing people; and integrating care. You will also be introduced to key national and international research including lessons from other areas of public service.

Participants will be members of a social work and social care learning group which will provide action learning sets, insights from senior figures in social work and social care, and opportunity to debate topical leadership issues in practice and policy. 


Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship we offer the opportunity for you to achieve a full Masters level qualification via completion of a 60 credit dissertation. The cost of completing the Masters will be £4,000 which can be funded by the employer or individual, or a combination of both. Discounts and scholarships may be applied in certain circumstances, please contact us to discuss.