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Intersted in a career in Social Work but only have GCSEs - where can I begin?

(20 Posts)
ASecretLemonadeDrinker Wed 15-Jun-11 15:12:04

I have average ish GCSE grades - Bs and Cs, a few Ds in Art and 3D art hmm blush but haven' studied for about.... 9 years shock I have seen OU do starter courses leading onto the bigger ones, leading onto degrees but I am unsure I have the motivation to home study blush I don't really know what I am looking for (course wise) but I do know I really don't want to do A-levels, I'd rather do a relevant course. Anyone have any idea where to start? Thanks

webwiz Wed 15-Jun-11 16:58:03

Why don't you try one of the OU starter courses and see how you get on.

Something like "Understanding Children" or "Understanding Health" would be a good starting point and look quite interesting.

ASecretLemonadeDrinker Wed 15-Jun-11 17:06:49

I think those are the ones I saw. You're right, I think I'll just book onto one and see how I go. It's very nerve wracking after so many years off, but I can't find any local colleges that do anything. smile

nicespam Wed 15-Jun-11 17:08:17

do any local universities/colleges have access or foundation degrees? you could start by looking at some of those.

ASecretLemonadeDrinker Wed 15-Jun-11 17:46:24

OMG, found some courses at weirdy London colleges and it's about £4000-5000 a year for BTEC HND type things! So around 10k for a blooming diploma! I am shocked shock We have a local uni (used to be TVU) but they offer nothing as far as I can see. I'll keep looking...

BearBehavingBadly Wed 15-Jun-11 17:54:53

Have you thought about an Access to Higher Education course?

Gives you an equivalency to 2 A levels & can be used as entry to a degree course.

Some info here:

triskaidekaphile Wed 15-Jun-11 19:08:54

Access course is the way to go if you are ready to plunge back into education full time. If you're not ready yet maybe try an evening class as a taster.

Lorenz Fri 17-Jun-11 07:16:51

Will second Access Course. I left school with 2 GCSEs in English and Art. No uni would look at me. I've just finished my access course however and start University on a nursing degree in September.

Half of the people on my course are going into social work.

ASecretLemonadeDrinker Fri 17-Jun-11 09:49:28

Lorenz - what course are you doing & where? smile

Besom Fri 17-Jun-11 09:53:01

Also good to have practical experience - volunteering if you don't already.

ASecretLemonadeDrinker Fri 17-Jun-11 10:12:07

Volunteering is hard because of DHs work hours and I have an assessment coming up for a...sort of unpaid position in a public service (fingers crossed). I do work with children (only now 2 hours a week, not really hands on role either) but it's something I guess?

I was wondering if I will get any sort of childcare help if I go to a college/uni. One DS is at school, another gets his 15 hours in Sept but I still have a 11 m mo hmm Not sure if DHs income comes into it (he is on 28k ish, but we still are so so skint sad)

Lorenz Fri 17-Jun-11 10:22:39

SecretLemonade - I'm doing the nursing degree at Hull University. smile

jellybeans Fri 17-Jun-11 11:55:09

I have done both 60 pt level 1 OU courses and an Access course. Depends if you can access a college really but i found the OU ones were just as rigourous, sociable and respected as the brick college ones. I know lots of people who got into nursing and social work after a 60pt OU certificate and also 5 who got in after an Access. So either is fine. The level 1 courses are supposed to be 16hrs a week but most people do less than that apart from exams etc. It's about 1 essay a month. The 10 pt ones are Ok, i did one of those too but really it would have been fine to go straight to level 1. You need 60/90/120 pts to apply to uni (dif ones accept dif levels, some don't accept OU automatically). So 10pts wouldn't get you very far unless you do lots of them. I would give the Ou a ring and see what they advise.

slipperandpjsmum Fri 17-Jun-11 19:01:27

I am a social worker and I got almost all my childcare paid for.

The unis don't look for hands on experience like they used to its more about academic achievement now (although clearly experience is still valued) with all the changes in sw as they have tried to improve the "status".

When I was at uni most people had come straight from college with A levels, a few access courses and me with my NVQ.

Choose the uni you want to go to and see what they want you to have and work from there.

We seemed to have more money when I was at uni than working!!

Ineedacleaneriamalazyslattern Sat 25-Jun-11 08:22:11

I am starting my Access course in September. At my Uni if you pass the course you are guaranteed a place at the University next year on a degree course. I am doing 2 classes a week for the next year.

You can also do HND courses at the local college with allow you entry into 2nd year Hons degrees as well.
It is definitely worth a chat to the local college or Uni someone should have some advice for you.

ASecretLemonadeDrinker Sat 25-Jun-11 09:35:19

Can I ask where you are doing your access course please? And is it in SW?

I should have an interview soon for West Thames College (nearish) but childcare is going to be more expensive than I thought! If it's only 2 classes a week I should manage though...

Hard to know if it's the right time, or if ever there is a right time. DS2 has his 15h funded hours in Sept, so if timings are good, I may only need childcare for DS3. But next Sept DS2 is in fulltime school with DS1, so won't have to worry about him, but then the next Sept DS3 gets his 15h so possibly have totally 'free childcare' then, but then the next Sept he is at fulltime school too. But then that's 2014, I'm 28, so looking at Unis in the my 30's, qualified getting on for mid 30s... which is 10 years time!

Wilts Sat 25-Jun-11 09:45:12

I'm a social worker and completed an Access course before university. Most of my class had come in via the Access route- but we were mostly mature students.

I had childcare help and college and at university. I think at university 85% of my childcare was paid.

A bit like slipperandpjsmum I think I was probably better off financially at university than I am now!

mosschops30 Sat 25-Jun-11 09:50:36

Access courses are fab, very tailored to adult learning and those who havent studied for ages.
I did mine in the evenings whilst working full time then did a nursing degree smile

noir Sat 25-Jun-11 09:59:58

The only two routes into social work at present are a 3 year undergard degree or a 2 year masters (which is what I did). You should be able to get a place on the undergrad if you complete an access course first. Good luck!

Ineedacleaneriamalazyslattern Sat 25-Jun-11 10:55:53

I am doing my course in Scotland but like mosschops said they are very tailored to adult learning and are often in the evening and have more than one option for time per week, mine you can do as a 10 week intensive summer school or the 2 classes a week and others are often like that as they know it is more often than not adults often with full time jobs that use them.

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