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This HE Certificate in Policy Studies apprenticeship (Level 4) is an 18 month program (including end point assessment)
The HE Certificate in Policy Studies aims to produce policy officers equipped with the skills to play an enhanced role within central and local government or within private and third sector organisations that interact and strive to influence government policy.
It has been developed with, and for employers and is delivered as a blended course. Most material is in the form of directed self-learning via the university’s e-learning platform, Moodle, on- and off-site academic support, and face to face block teaching throughout the length of apprenticeship.
The University of Kent is at the forefront of providing higher and degree apprenticeships. Our expertise in e-learning delivery, together with flexible entry points, means that the programme can be delivered with the least disruption to the business.
The University of Kent has delivered higher apprenticeships since 2011, working with industry-leading employers including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novartis and Unilever to name a few.
Kent launched the Centre for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in 2016 to build on this experience. The Centre works in partnership with regional and national employers to develop apprenticeships tailored to their needs. The Centre also has an important role to play within the University, supporting academic schools on all aspects of delivering apprenticeship training.
We help to devise a tailored programme of study that complements activity in your workplace, underpinned by our leading academic programmes.
You are more than your grades
At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.
Supported by the University of Kent, each employer decides on their entry requirements and selection process for the programme. In the case of applicants who do not meet the academic requirements listed below the employer may consider alternative qualifications or relevant work experience to be acceptable.
It is down to the employer to ultimately decide which grades they wish to accept for upskilling or recruiting to their websites. The typical offer/minimum that employers require is below:
To be eligible for an apprenticeship, you have to have the right to work in England.
2 x A Levels at grade D or above
5 x GCSEs including English Language and Maths (or level 2 equivalent) at grade C and above (or the new grade 4 and above).
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at grade PPP and above; or
Level 3 apprenticeship; or
Equivalent level 3 qualifications of at least 48 UCAS points.
Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average.
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
Duration: 24 months Part-time - Work-based learning
This 18 month part-time programme comprises 120 credits and an EPA (End Point Assessment) upon successful completion of the course.
Each apprenticeship is tailored to the needs of the employer, please contact Centre for Higher & Degree Apprenticeship for full costings.
The university is working with levy and non-levy employers to provide apprenticeships and welcome inquiries from interested organisations.
Read more about levy and non-paying levy information here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/apprenticeships/employers.html
The emphasis of the programme is to link the knowledge and learning to work-based learning and employment wherever possible.
Teaching and learning are delivered using a blended learning approach, primarily through the extensive use of e-learning materials, which include: videoed lectures; links to related reading; individual guided study; activities with feedback provided; and discussion forums.
Whilst most material is in the form of e-learning, apprentices have regular contact online and face-to-face with the lecturers through bimonthly review meetings, webinars; and Saturday intensives.
This Certificate of Higher Education is defined by the integration of employer involvement and having work-based learning at the core of the programme. A supervisor in the workplace provides on-job training and support for the apprentice. This allows the opportunity for apprentices to apply their knowledge and understanding in a work context.
Progress and attainment of learning outcomes are determined by a variety of methods of assessment including: portfolios; oral presentations; and short written assignments.
The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
This apprenticeship has been designed to develop policy officers’ knowledge and
understanding of government and how their role fits into the bigger picture of shaping the
policies which affect and impact the general public.
History of the policy area; policy aims, challenges and issues; how to engage relevant organisations; political context; relevant policy tests; legal implications; international aspects as applicable; consideration of sustainable development duties.
Organisational structure; strategy; purpose; activities; aims; values; visions; structures; how to support and achieve these through own role
Political Environment: Government and Parliament - history, structure, relationship and responsibilities; electoral systems and processes; the British constitution and legislative processes; parliamentary committees; local government; public sector bodies; groups and movements influencing policy
Contextual Factors: Economic; social; technological; legal and environmental factors and the subsequent impact of these on policy; internal and external barriers that exist and how to overcome them
Programme and Project Management: Basic concepts, language and principles; importance of effective project management including delivering to plan, on time and in budget; advantages and disadvantages of different planning methods; importance of identifying risks and issues upfront; importance of continuously reviewing and updating plans
Commercial Awareness: The steps involved in making commercial decisions; organisational procurement processes; the requirement to achieve value for money; how to achieve best value; engaging customers and suppliers; elements of risk; financial and reputational implications
Consultation Process: Purpose of consultation; the importance of taking into account stakeholder and public views; engagement with local communities; consultation planning; timescales and deadlines; sample size and quality; advantages and disadvantages of different consultation methods; legal requirements
Policy Delivery: Policy aims and intended outcomes; what successful implementation looks like; basic delivery systems available; the delivery environment including other organisations involved; user-centred design; reputational risks and public perception; how to measure success of the policy
Evaluation: Use research and trials to inform policy; consider evaluations of previous policies; read graphs and tables; understand simple descriptive statistics; consider advantages and disadvantages of evaluation methods including validity and reliability
Presentation Skills: Select and present information in a clear and effective manner; present information according to the audience; use correct grammar and punctuation; structure work in a logical order; write accurately, briefly and clearly; speak confidently and coherently; plan for and be able to answer questions
Communicating with Influence: Communicate confidently; be personable; ask insightful questions; recognise levels of authority; be able to influence others; be able to negotiate effectively and respectfully; confidently represent your organisation; recognise importance of objectivity and impartiality in policy-making
Time Management: Identify risks and issues; monitor progress of actions; demonstrate effective use of resources; manage conflicting priorities and pressures; work to agreed deadlines and timescales; dedicate time to specific activities
Evidence Gathering: Apply analytical techniques; make use of analytical support and key statistics related to policy area; work with experts outside of policy; apply the basics of economic appraisal; handle sensitive information securely
Evidence-based problem solving: Define the policy problem; demonstrate hypothesis-based thinking; seek advice from relevant experts; make decisions based on sound reasoning and evidence previously gathered; know when to escalate issues
Big Picture Thinking: Takes an active interest in understanding organisational priorities and strategy; looks beyond the immediate role; keeps abreast of wider issues which may impact on policy area; keeps a clear focus on the overall policy aim.
Continuous Learning and Agility: Takes responsibility for self-development; reflects on lessons learned and feedback to improve performance; champions continuous improvement; seeks out opportunities to improve ways of working; looks to create effective change
Looking to the future: Is mindful of future trends and influences; considers potential risks and opportunities and adapts working style accordingly; anticipates how the future can support actions in the present; considers multiple possible outcomes
Working Collaboratively: Shows consideration for others; seeks to develop trusting and effective relationships; shares knowledge; encourages collaboration; is a team player; promotes diversity; listens to others; appreciates different perspectives and respects alternative opinions
Resilience: Is proactive; has a ‘can do’ attitude; is open to receiving feedback from others; is tenacious and remains motivated under pressure; deals positively with setbacks
Self-Awareness: Reflects on own performance and feedback from others; is mindful of the impact of own actions on others; adapts style to suit circumstances; understands limitations of own knowledge and uses networks to inform own work
All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
Policy officers, regardless of sector or organisation, will typically be responsible for engaging and interacting with government policy. Policy officers in the public sector will likely be involved in the development, implementation and evaluation phases of policymaking.
Policy officers in private or third sector organisations will likely engage with policymakers including Government, Parliamentarians and industry groups to contribute to or influence policymaking. Typical job titles for this role could include policy officer, policy administrator, policy adviser, policy support, political affairs officer, public affairs officer, drafting officer and correspondence manager.
This forms part of an apprenticeship and cannot be applied for as a standalone programme - see the apprenticeships website for more info and a full list of current apprenticeships
Get in touch with team for support and advice on all aspects of employing, training and assessing an apprentice.
T: 01634 888459 or 888467