Career pathway

Career pathway

We provide a clear and defined pathway to all our Social Workers at Gloucestershire. 

Routes into Social Work

A career in social work can challenge you but it is incredibly rewarding.  Everyday, social workers support some of our most vulnerable people through difficult times to help protect them from harm and make positive changes in their lives. 

Becoming a Social Worker within the UK requires you to have a recognised qualification and registration with Social Work England (

What qualifications and experience do I need to become a Social Worker?

You can get into social work through:

  • A university course
  • An apprenticeship
  • A graduate training scheme


You can undertake a degree or postgraduate qualification approved by Social Work England.  Some universities offer part-time study.  You can also do a 2 year postgraduate degree in social work, if you have a degree in another subject.

Entry requirements to gain your social work qualification via a university course usually include five GCSEs grade A* to C, including English and Maths, two to three A levels, or equivalent, for a degree course and a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course. However, these can differ depending on the university.

Experience also plays an important part in your social work qualifications. A work placement will form half of social work courses with academic learning focusing on legislation, ethics and theory. You’ll also need some experience of working with vulnerable groups or children when applying to study. This can be paid, voluntary or placement work, or even life experience.


You can complete a social worker degree apprenticeship, which takes around 3 years. Find out more about apprenticeships.

Graduate Training Schemes:

You can apply to undertake an intensive, fast track training programme for graduates with a 2:1 degree in a different subject.

Frontline is a two-year, funded, training course that enables you to become a qualified social worker and achieve a fully funded master’s degree. Find out more.

Step-Up to Social Work 14-month, funded, full-time programme for trainee social workers. Find out more.

Career development:

Interested? View our current vacancies

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