During the two-year Social Work MA course I was presented with many challenges which strengthened my character and emotional resilience. I completed placements in establishments that support homelessness and drug abuse whilst simultaneously completing Master’s level assessments, professional portfolio assignments and a 15,000 word research dissertation project.
Members of staff such as Dr. Yohai Hakak and Dr. Michael Thomas were always willing to provide advice and support to help complete these tasks. Once I successfully finished the MA, not only was I awarded an additional Mary Seacole Prize, I was equipped with the confidence to overcome any challenge.
I am currently starting my ASYE whilst working in a hospital DART team: responsible for safe patient discharges and mental capacity assessments. In the future I aim to establish my own foundation which will provide social support and guidance to those hoping to regain control over their lives.
I would highly recommend Brunel's Social Work MA to anyone that wants a taste of both the rewards and pressures of a career in social services.
Having graduated from Brunel Business School in 2015 with a BSc in Business and Management (Hons), I went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work the very same year. Brunel University London welcomes individuals from all different backgrounds, and this is what I feel truly represents the vision of the university.
As the social work department is very close-knitted, and flat structured, studying at Brunel means you will be supported by lecturers, tutors, and most important to me: friends/colleagues. If I ever do decide to complete a PhD in future, Brunel would certainly be my first choice again.
The MA Social Work degree at Brunel requires students to complete two placements over the two-year duration of the course. My first placement was in the Children with Disabilities Team, London Borough of Hillingdon, and my final placement was in the Hospital Assessment Team, London Borough of Ealing.
I’m now in a position where I have gained extensive experience in both adult and children services, which has given me the opportunity to demonstrate to potential recruiters my ability to perform as a future practitioner, as well as applying the theories, and new inventive research I have learned on the course into real, hands-on practice which inspires creativity, and outside-the-box thinking.
In this competitive market, hands-on experience is becoming increasingly important to recruiting agencies. This would not have been possible without the skills I have developed at Brunel, which date back to my BSc degree, to now completing my MA degree in Social Work.
This degree is an intensive course, which combines coursework, exams, placement, and the final hurdle of the course - completing a dissertation project. Everybody has something positive to bring to the social work table, and Brunel will encourage people from all walks of life, but only if you are prepared to take on the task, to be part of a growing profession.
Brunel offers so much more than just high-quality education. Namely the student life and amenities. The town centre in Uxbridge is located nearby, and the campus is purpose built so you can access any part of the university easily. There are regular events held on campus, and a wealth of clubs and interesting societies to join – there is even a Zombie Society that I was a part of.
After working as an unqualified social worker for London Borough of Ealing for three years, I was extremely lucky to qualify for a work secondment to the MA in Social Work course at Brunel.
The two year course offered at Brunel provided me with background knowledge in a huge variety of subjects including law, psychology, linking practice to current research findings and ethical considerations. Along with the academic knowledge, the two practice placements provided me with unprecedented opportunities to see social work in practice in very different settings, namely end of life and palliative, and dementia social work. This direct experience has improved my confidence in working with other professionals. Completing my own research was challenging but also taught me determination and persistence. My dissertation tutor, Rachana Patni, supported me through the process tremendously, encouraging me to ‘find my own voice’. This piece of advice continues to help me daily now I am currently employed full time as a social worker in a Community Mental Health team.
This course permitted me to understand the values and ethics of working as a social worker in a world of limited resources, and to uphold these values when working with vulnerable people in need.
Read about our graduates practising social work abroad
The MA in Social Work programme at Brunel University London allowed me to gain a good knowledge base across areas such as mental health, child protection and palliative care. As practitioners, the staff on the programme had a huge amount of experience. This meant that theoretical applications came from their own experiences of using strengths-based models and assessment frameworks all within relevant legal frameworks.
My first work placement was in a third-sector adult mental health setting and the second, in a statutory Looked After Children (LAC) team. The statutory LAC placement was also very useful because it prepared me to do the work I am doing now.
After working for a fostering agency in Brighton, I decided to move to Auckland, New Zealand. Luckily the core social work theories and models in areas such as child-focused practice and non-judgmental approach are applicable internationally. The child and families pathway, although it had a British focus, was still really helpful for my transition into child protection social work in New Zealand. The UK child protection system in general is internationally recognized and respected as being one of the safest in the world.
The New Zealand Social Work Registration Board accepted my MA in Social Work from Brunel University London without any additional training or exams and I now work as a social worker at the Ministry of Social Development.
Delia, Social Work BA
Since graduating with an BA in Social Work from Brunel University London in 2009, I have had some incredible work opportunities. I created and developed a Children’s Services department for The Dash Charity (Domestic Abuse Stops Here, www.thedashcharity.org.uk) where I had previously undertaken my 100 day placement. Under my leadership, they implemented a range of therapeutic services for children and young people across schools, local safe-houses and those living within the community. Just one year after inception we received national acclaim winning the ‘Children and Young People Now’ Award at Westminster and were recognised as the first domestic abuse service for children of its kind.
In 2014 I was nominated for the National Charity Times Awards as a ‘Rising CEO Star’ – although I didn’t win, to be a finalist was truly humbling and a moment I’ll never forget!
After five incredible years at The Dash Charity I made the decision to fulfil a lifelong goal and move to Australia. I now work as a Senior Executive overseeing the Community Engagement & Development team at White Ribbon Australia (www.whiteribbon.org.au). White Ribbon is a worldwide primary prevention movement engaging men and boys to end violence against women.
Without my BA in Social Work I wouldn’t have been able to get my role in Australia nor would I have been placed on the Australia Skills List. Brunel University London has given me the foundations to break into a creative and responsive social work sector.