Graduate Management programme

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Graduate roles in social care

There are hundreds of different career paths for people from all kinds of academic backgrounds.

So if you’re looking to start a rewarding and challenging career helping people, there’s a social care job for you.

As well as the skills and knowledge you learnt at University, your values and attitude towards working with people is really important.

For some social care roles such as social work, occupational therapy or nursing, you might need a specific degree to start practicing.

If you don’t have a social care related degree there are lots of roles you could do with plenty of opportunities to work towards professional qualifications throughout your career.

You could also apply for the Graduate Management programme to fast track you into a leadership role. Applications are now closed for the 2019/20 programme. 



You might not need a specific degree to do lots of social care roles, but the values, skills and knowledge you learned at university might help you when applying for a job.

There are lots of opportunities to progress from entry level care roles into management positions, and your degree might help you to do this.

A degree in social sciences or legal background might come in useful if you’d like to work in an advocacy role.

A degree in a related subject such as nursing, psychology or social work may support you in your career, as well previous counselling experience.

A degree in a related subject such as social policy or community studies may support you in your career, as well as previous experience working with people who need care and support.

A degree in a related subject such as careers guidance, advocacy or teaching may support you in your career. 

  • Support roles such as administration, HR, marketing or finance

There are also lots of support roles that you could do, such as a HR, marketing, sales or finance worker. Depending on the role you apply for, a degree in a relevant subject area may be needed.

For some social care roles, you might need a specific degree such as:

  • Social work – as a social worker you’ll offer counselling and advocacy to individuals and families, and intervene where vulnerable people need safeguarding. Find out more about becoming a social worker.
  • Occupational therapist – as an occupational therapist you’ll work with people with physical disabilities or mental ill-health to help do everyday activities such as physical rehabilitation or equipment for daily living. Find out more about becoming an occupational therapist.
  • Nursing – as a social care nurse you’ll perform clinical tasks to people in a nursing home or in the community. Find out more about becoming a nurse

In adult social care you could be working with a range of people who need care and support, in a wide range of roles.

This could include people with learning disabilities and/ or autism, physical disabilities, ex-offenders, recovering addicts or older people. You could support them with a range of tasks including social activities, going to work, advocacy, finding a job and personal care.

This could be in the community, in their own home, at a day centre, from an office, in a care home or a hospice. Before you start looking for jobs think about the type of role you’d like to apply for.

When you’re ready, there’s lots of advice about getting into social care on the Starting a career page

It doesn’t matter what you studied or whether you have experience of working in care, if you have the right values and a passion for taking care of others, you can apply.

The programme is run in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy and gives ambitious graduates the opportunity to gain invaluable experience with forward-thinking social care and health employers.

On the programme you’ll be supported by a designated placement supervisor from Skills for Care and gives you the chance to network with other graduates on the programme.

The 12 month programme is designed to fast-track graduates into leadership roles, and you’ll develop the skills and knowledge to become an effective leader so you can make a real impact on the lives of others. You’ll also achieve a fully funded management qualification and a health and social care leadership qualification.

Applications for the 2019/20 programme are now closed. Please register your interest using the form at the top of this page.

Subject to funding, we hope applications will open in January 2020 for the start of the programme in October 2020. 

If you applied for the programme this year, download the information about the Graduate Management programme to support your application and interview. 

Contact us 

If you would like to find out more about applying for the programme please email