There is a clear progression from the social work programme to professional practice. A significant number of our graduate students find work in the agency or authority where they have been placed and many others are successful in gaining employment within the region - many in a statutory setting, others in voluntary organisations or the private sector. Where our graduate social work students have sought employment outside of the region or overseas they have been in the advantageous position of having a qualification from a university which is well recognised, both in the UK and abroad. At the University of Birmingham there are opportunities for continuing professional and academic development through other programmes in the Institute of Applied Social Studies.
Developing social work skills for employment
Students at Birmingham are provided with a broad range of learning and teaching approaches to develop their knowledge around their discipline as well as learning team working, problem solving and critical thinking skills in a safe environment. What this distinctive approach also demonstrates is the commitment Birmingham has to ensure that social work students are as well prepared as possible for the reality of a 21st Century work environment. The following film demonstrates this enquiry-based learning approach:
What makes a good social worker?
The Social Work staff group work very hard to ensure our programme enables students to develop the attributes of a Social Worker, alongside some very valuable transferrable skills for practical application in the workplace.
All final year students attend sessions to give them specific knowledge and skills around applying for social work posts. This specific input, together with the academic teaching and high quality practice learning, means that we develop social work graduates, whom we know employers find very attractive even when competing against social workers with several years post-qualifying experience.