Postgraduate Diploma Social Work & Social Care Senior Leadership

Course fact file

Course type

Postgraduate, taught


PGDip 2 years part time

Fees and funding

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

Start date

January 2022

Study options

Postgraduate part time



Contact Details

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



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

The Department for Social Work and Social Care (SWSC) 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. Our work in leadership includes a close collaboration with the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC), one of the UK’s leading centres for health care policy, management and quality improvement research and teaching. HSMC has pioneered innovative approaches to personal and professional education, delivering multi award winning national leadership programmes.

Drawing on theory, research, and comparative analysis of international health and care systems, the Social Work & Social Care Senior Leadership Level 7 Apprenticeship programme provides 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. Participants will be 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 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.

Why study this course?

  • Flexible mode of delivery to suit both learner and employer needs through a blend of online and on-campus delivery
  • Modular delivery limits the impact of study on work commitments, with each module containing face-to-face learning and supported online learning
  • Action learning sets provide opportunity for reflection on real world issues and the development of new approaches to long standing challenges
  • Enrolment on the programme enables learners to build new networks and connections, develop as system leaders, and work with new ideas and approaches to solve organisational challenges
  • In addition to their Apprenticeship, the University provides apprentices 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
  • As a Russell Group University our levy-funded Apprenticeship programmes are developed with research- informed teaching at their heart

Modules and teaching

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


  • 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)

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. 

On successful completion of the PDGip, you will have the opportunity to gain a MSc. Please contact us for further details. 

Fees and funding

The Executive 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.

Entry 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.

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 Degree Apprenticeship programme please contact our Degree Apprenticeships Manager:

Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4271
Mob: +44 (0)7976230204