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Healthcare and Society

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Children and Young People's Workforce jobs


Teachers must have GCSEs (A*-C) in English and maths and, in the case of primary teaching, a science subject. To teach in a state-maintained school (or other teaching establishment) candidates must have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). There are several options, including combining a degree with QTS or taking a post graduate qualification.

Teaching/Learning Assistants

There are no set entry requirements although some entrants have GCSEs, A levels or degrees. Applicants need to be over 18 with an aptitude for English and maths, in order to support classroom literacy and numeracy. Volunteering is usually necessary to gain experience.

Early Years practitioners/nursery nurses

It is possible to become a nursery worker without formal qualifications. However many entrants have at least three or four GCSEs (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications and most have specific nursery qualfications. Some Early Years practitioners' jobs are graduate-level positions.  


Most vacancies for playworkers ask for experience of working with children, either paid or voluntary, rather than academic qualifications. The most common way to qualify as a playworker is to gain nationally-recognised vocational qualifications whilst working in a play setting.

Youth work

Professional youth workers need an honours degree in Youth work. Graduates with degrees in subjects other than youth work can qualify by doing a postgraduate qualification. Youth Support Worker qualifications are also available.  Students on these courses are generally employed in or work as a volunteer in youth work and study part-time.

Community Justice

Community Safety officer

Individual employers tend to set their own entry requirements for community safety officers. Some employers ask for a degree. Degree subjects such as community studies, community justice, criminology and sociology may be particularly helpful.

Police Community Support Officer

Police Community Support Officers must be at least 17½ and a British, EU or Commonwealth citizen, or a foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK No specific qualifications are required, and people with a range of backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply. Employers may prefer people with an experience of community service, which may be paid or voluntary.

Probation Officers

Entry requirements have recently changed. Proabtion Officers now need a degree in Community Justice or a post graduate qualification in Probation Practice.  Before becoming a Probation Officer, it is necessary to have spent time as a Probation service officer.  


There are opportunities at all levels. Some jobs do not require formal qualifications whilst others, such as medicine, nursing, allied health professions (such as radiography and physiotherapy) require a specific degree/post graduate qualification. Entry requirements for some courses (such as medicine) are high, and will often require particular A levels.

Social Care

Social Work

For entry you need an accredited honours degree or postgraduate degree in social work followed by registration with the General Social Care Council. There are also social work postgraduate courses, Applicants for courses need to have had some relevant experience, e.g. paid or voluntary work with carers and service users.

Social Care Worker

For many social care roles there are no minimum entry requirements. Qualifications in health and social care or society, health and development and experience of working with people are useful. Increasingly vocational qualifications at level 3 are required.


For courses in higher education, see UCAS

For courses in schools and colleges, see UCAS Progress

For Apprenticeship information, including vacancies, see the National Apprenticeship Service