Graduate Story

Joe Palmer, BA (Hons) Social Work

I chose to study at the university of Suffolk as the university offered something different to the larger universities around the area. The Suffolk campus was compact and easy to access, and as a mature student, the teaching programme for the social work course appeared to offer a streamlined university experience where I was only spending the time that was necessary on campus. This meant that my learning was not impacted by the fact that I did not live on campus or in the local area.  

Since graduating, I have accepted a role withing Essex County Council working as a Children and Families social worker, joining the team that I worked with in my first placement year. My degree helped me to develop the theoretical and academic skills to take this type of role, whilst my placements have given me valuable practical experience that has enabled me to choose the area of social work that was best suited to me. Throughout the course, I found that lecturers were excellent at preparing me for challenging nature of social work, and I feel that I have the confidence to succeed in my new role thanks to the learning and support I received throughout the course.  

The university strikes the balance between offering an excellent facility for academic study whilst recognising that their students often live busy lives outside of university. For example, the timetables for my course were well designed, ensuring that days on campus were full days of teaching, and lecturers were receptive to and understanding of my needs outside of university. Furthermore, the quality of teaching was generally of a very high standard, particularly in second and third year. The blended learning approach with placement alongside academic learning, was well-thought out, and I found the lectures helped to consolidate and strengthen my learning on placement. 

Overall, I had a great experience across my three years at the university. When I joined the course, I was doubtful of my own capabilities and questioned whether I have made the right choice of course. My lecturers were friendly, open and supportive throughout my time on the course, and they were excellent at nurturing my skills and building my confidence. Looking back, I feel I have developed significantly in a personal and academic sense thanks to my time at Suffolk. 

I found that the university had excellent facilities, in particular the library, which was spacious and had plenty of resources and materials that helped me greatly throughout the three years, and particularly for my dissertation. The supervision and support I received during my dissertation was also outstanding and the frequent guest lecturers and the inclusion of social work voices in the degree create a diverse university experience which I found exciting and rewarding. 

Related Courses

BA (Hons) Social Work (Degree Apprenticeship)

A Social Work Degree Apprenticeship opens the door to a profession which is varied and aims to improve people’s lives.

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Post Graduate Certificate in Social Work Practice Education

This course aims to produce high quality social work practice educators who are able to produce evidence-informed assessments of social work students and newly qualified social workers.