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Queen Mary Pioneers UK’s First Degree in Social Change

Described as “the first of its kind in the UK”, Queen Mary’s Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship was launched last week with the aim of fostering “future leaders of thought and creativity, to explore career opportunities in the social sector and tackle the global challenges that lie ahead”.

Over 500 applicants competed for a mere 13 select places with apprenticeships from a range of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Students will split their time between a curriculum co-designed with Queen Mary and charity employers to facilitate academic study as well as gaining work experience in a practical placement.

Made up of 80% BAME students and a 50/50 gender split, the course complements Queen Mary’s pledge to provide “an environment where everyone is supported to flourish and fulfil their potential, irrespective of their background” from the university’s 2018 Equality and Diversity Annual Report.

In response to how the course addresses the current political climate, Vice-Principal Dr Phillipa Lloyd said: “You have generations growing up now, the Greta Thunbergs of this world who want to take action to make the world a better place. They want to make a social impact as well as an economic impact. That is what this is tapping into.”

Queen Mary posits that the degree “helps to encourage talent to the social sector, and gives apprentices zero student debt, up to four year’s work experience, a competitive salary and a potentially guaranteed job at the end of their degree”.

The apprenticeships also enable the students’ charities to contribute case studies and masterclasses open to all Queen Mary students, helping to build connections with employers and supplement the research of other pupils.

Degree Apprenticeship Manager at Queen Mary, Jamie Hilder, has said: “The opportunity to earn, learn and change the world has proved an attractive proposition for young learners and you only have to look at our first cohort of apprentices to see the calibre of the candidates we have attracted.”

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