Care as Currency

We recognise the value that care experience brings. It can provide a strong foundation for your success on our Health and Social Care courses and help you flourish in your chosen career.  

Using care experience towards your university application

Whether you have existing care experience or haven't yet been in a caring role, you can further develop your skills and experience through our ‘Care as Currency’ initiative. 

Care as Currency provides the opportunity to gain care experience, offers support to help you make your existing or new experiences count in your University application, and progress on your journey to becoming a qualified health and social care professional

We have established partnerships with leading social care providers across South Wales to enable prospective students to gain the following benefits: 

  • Support to gain paid experiences of providing care
  • Access to a range of supporting resources to enhance your care experience
  • Expert advice and guidance from qualified staff within the profession
  • Help in understanding how to reflect on your experiences in your university application
  • An opportunity for ongoing employment during your course and beyond.

How does this work?

All applicants can benefit from the Care as Currency initiative. How you can benefit depends on whether you already have existing experience, and need support to apply its relevance in your university application, or you would like to gain work experience but are not sure where to start.

Already have existing experience?

Existing care experience refers to those who have already gained experience in a caring role. This could be through volunteering, work placements, looking after someone in your personal life or a combination of these. When we say ‘experience’ we mean the opportunity to provide different types of care, to different types of people. This will help develop insight to ‘person-centered care’.

Using experience to strengthen your application:

When you apply to your chosen course, it is important you provide good quality information, with supporting examples, of how you satisfy the entry requirements in your personal statement, detailing the relevant skills, behaviours, qualities and values you demonstrated in your caring role. This will help strengthen your application, making it the best it can be. 

To help you achieve this, we consider you follow our three step guidance to writing your personal statement:


1. Refer to and describe the activity or experience.
What did you do, achieve or experience?
2. Explain how this benefitted you.
What skills did you develop? What did you learn?
3. How does this relate to the course you are applying for?
How can this be applied to your chosen healthcare profession?

It’s also important to think about how your skills and experiences relate and reflect the core values of the NHS. Your experience of care can be a great source of insight to your values and how you have demonstrated them. For more information, advice and guidance around your application, download our healthcare pocket guide or check out our top tips on our application advice page

Care As Currency Promo

Looking to gain experience?

For those without any care experience, we can support you to secure paid work within the health and social care sector. Working in care is an incredibly rewarding experience and will give you a head start on your journey at university. We work closely with a number of organisations who offer a range of opportunities which are bespoke to students, meaning you can flexibly work around your studies and other commitments whilst being mentored and supported by professionals. 

Partner Organisations

My Care My Home are a domiciliary care agency providing care in the community. As part of the Care as Currency initiative, they offer paid work as a Community Support Worker. 

You can flexibly work around your commitments whilst being mentored and supported by professionals to gain valuable, first-hand care experience.

Established in 2001, Radis is a community based provider of social care and support, focussed on supporting people to live independently in their own homes.

The University of South Wales is currently working with Radis to finalise arrangements and opportunities for prospective students to gain care experience.

Shaw Healthcare deliver a wide spectrum of care ranging from elderly residential and dementia to complex care specialities such as Mental Health and Acquired Brain Injuries.

The University of South Wales is currently working with Shaw Healthcare to finalise arrangements and opportunities for prospective students to gain care experience.

What do we mean by care experience?

As a care worker, you are responsible for providing ‘physical, emotional and social support to help people develop and maintain independence, dignity and control in their lives.’ (NHS; Working in social care | Health Careers). Care workers can be based in different settings including care homes, individuals’ own homes and out in the community. You may work with a variety of people including adults with mental health conditions, substance and alcohol dependencies, physical disabilities, learning disabilities and the elderly. 

In the health and social care sector, you need to be: 

Motivated to help others
Able to take responsibility
Be a team worker
Be good at listening
Good communicator
Keep learning
Have a positive attitude
Be trustworthy

Pursuing an opportunity working in care not only enhances these skills, but also contributes to the development of your confidence as an applicant, student and practitioner.