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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences Postgraduate study

Camilla Denneth MSc Social Work, 2010

Social Worker

Camilla Denneth's Photo

The course has fully challenged my academic capabilities and skills in practice. I have achieved more than I thought possible and have been stretched

Choosing Southampton
I chose to undertake my studies at the University of Southampton due to the excellent reputation of the University as a whole and particularly the social work programme. I love the geographical area of Southampton because of its proximity to family in the New Forest and excellent transport links to my partner in Winchester and other family members in London.

There is a lot of competition for social work student placements with employers in the geographical region. Southampton's reputation, along with the dedication of particular staff members, means that students tend to get priority and more choice compared with other universities.

The NHS Business Services Authority provides most students with a social work bursary and I was also fortunate to secure a disabled student's allowance. The financial assistance was invaluable in getting through the course. The University also has an Assistive Technology Service which delivers IT training and support for disabled students, which was extremely useful.

Studying postgraduate social work
The masters in social work is extremely challenging and has tested every part of my individual character. I would recommend studying this course at the University of Southampton to those who are prepared to work hard and carefully balance other parts of their life in the process. The course requires full use of time management and organisational skills plus patience and resilience. Anybody who is prepared to face the challenge will realise it is worth it.

The postgraduate degree in social work is predominantly spent in the field, with an emphasis on relating theory and academia to practice. The support provided by lecturers and academic supervisors could be viewed as minimal and quite generic, perhaps due to the nature of the course. Independent study and development is central. However, students need to work closely with their allocated practice teachers, work-based supervisors, service users and colleagues. I personally found that my field tutor, enabling services mentor and dissertation tutor offered particularly high-quality and extremely valuable individualised support and guidance.

After graduation
What I have enjoyed most about studying at Southampton is the real sense of achievement I have experienced in completing my studies. The course has fully challenged my academic capabilities and skills in practice. I have achieved more than I thought possible and have been stretched. The course has also enabled me to demonstrate that I can adapt and apply my skills in a new direction.

In the future, I would like to be exposed to a wide range of service user groups, organisations, systems and cultures to develop my confidence and skills further. My aspirations are to apply for and secure a qualified social worker position somewhere in the Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey region. My current preference is to work with adults. I would like to use my experience working with homeless people, disabled people and people with mental health problems, and perhaps get involved with service development projects.

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