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studying to become a social worker?

(14 Posts)
jollymollie Tue 10-Apr-12 15:28:17

I have had a series of low paid administration jobs in between having children and I know I have so much more to offer. Both dcs are at school now and I am longing to get into something worthwhile that will offer me a decent living in the long run. I have 5 GCSE's at grade C or above including Maths and English but that's about it! No A Levels etc. I am interested in finding out more about becoming a social worker. Is it possible with my standard of eduction and if so what would I need to study? Is there any point at my age, 40+? Any advice will be appreciated smile

ARightOldPickle Tue 10-Apr-12 17:52:45

Of course there's a point at your age, you have many years of working life ahead still! However, with the qualifications you have I don't think you would be able to get on a course so you might like to have a look into Access courses at your local college. The other main thing is experience - my local uni won't even interview anyone if they have don't have social care experience, which can be paid or voluntary. If you are committed to the idea then go for it - I was a 'mature' student who started off with an Access course at the age of 39 and went on to complete a degree (not in social work) and now work in a job I love. The pay isn't bad either:-)

NeedToDoDusting Tue 10-Apr-12 19:30:24

Yes, you need a Level 3 qualification, like an Access course, and a social work degree. And experience! My DP didn't qualify as a teacher until he was 40, and I also know two nurses who qualified in their 40s, age is no barrier to these things. I personally think in social work particularly life experience helps a lot (I don't think I'd trust a social worker who didn't have children themselves).

CharlotteBronteSaurus Tue 10-Apr-12 19:34:55

entry into Social Work is now by a 3 year degree course, or two year MA if you already have a degree. You need an access course, a-levels or equivalent, plus work or life experience in the field.

i would bear in mind however that Local Authorities are laying off staff left, right, and centre, and the cuts are projected to continue for at least 2 more years. there are very few jobs out there at the moment, and most of these are in child protection, so if that's not where your interest lies perhaps explore other options.

getagoldtoof Fri 13-Apr-12 20:35:38

Charlotte has hit the nail on the head. Bursaries to study MA also getting the slash it looks like, although wouldn't affect BA financing. Jobs extremely scant everywhere - even CP. Just spent the most difficult two years of my life training for a job that I may never do sad.

jaquelinehyde Fri 13-Apr-12 20:46:06

If you really know that this is what you want to do then go for it but you must be sure.

I started back in education 5 years ago, now have a BA (Hons) in Education and Eng Lit (like you I had to top up my lower level qualifications before Uni) and am in the process of applying for my MA in Social Work which will be another 2 years studying.

It is hard work but well worth it if you are sure it is what you want to do, you can't be put off by all the cuts and shortage of jobs etc not if it is what you are truely passionate about.

Good luck studying smile

purple15 Fri 13-Apr-12 21:08:01

if you already have a degree can you apply for a nhs bursury to help towards the fees for the ma

purple15 Fri 13-Apr-12 21:12:21

Sorry I posted without finishing, Iam currently doing a degree in Early years and social work is looking like something I could be interested in. Although, after studying for one degree, I wouldnt want to start right at the beginning again. I believe there is an NHS Bursary, would I get it or not because I already have a degree ? Would it cover the fees, and leave me something to live on ?
Thanks x

slipperandpjsmum Sun 15-Apr-12 18:59:22

Of course there is a point! Being mature as a social worker is a real asset. I am a social worker for a larger inner city authority and we always have loads of jobs going. Social work is a vocation and certainly isn't for everyone but I love it and after working for 10 years as a support worker I went to uni - I had an NVQ 3. I turned 40 when I was there and had 4 dc as well. I loved being at uni and love being a social worker. It was one of the best choices I ever made.

Have a look at what the uni you want to go to is looking for. Get yourself some experience eg homestart (dep on which area you are interested in) at the same time enroll at your local college for either an access course or A Levels. Its also worth looking at the OU. I was at uni with a few people who had done it that way and had a really positive experience studying with the OU.

Its easy to sit at home and think of all the things that are a barrier to getting to where you want to be. But if I can do it having been out of education for 23 years and with 4 dc anyone can!! Good Luck.

BranchingOut Mon 16-Apr-12 06:39:46

I think start with the Access course or A Levels and then take it from there. You never know, your eventual aims might shift as time passes.

AlexanderSkarsgardIWould Thu 19-Apr-12 15:32:04

Purple, yes, for the MA you get an NHS bursary and your fees paid.

slipperandpjsmum Thu 19-Apr-12 19:43:18

I didn't get my fees paid!! Have I missed out - maybe I am best not knowing!

Litta Tue 15-Nov-16 17:14:31

Hello all,

So I narrowly missed out on the Frontline course for social work as a career changer/mature student.

Looking at the normal degree route and I now need to do the access course for September start next year.

Are there any tutors or could anyone recommend a private tutor in SW London for this?

A million thanks in advance

hatgirl Tue 15-Nov-16 17:32:42

There used to be a bursary that everyone used to get to study SW. I believe that isn't the case any more and the funding that is available is very competitive and difficult to get. You would probably be eligible for ordinary student finance if you haven't done a degree before.

SW at undergraduate degree level is a three year course. So based on your current qualifications you will have to complete some kind of access course first. You will also need to demonstrate some experience in the sector. During the course you will have to complete long unpaid placements.

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