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New degree tackles social worker shortage


One of the country’s leading centres for social work research is launching a new BA in Social Work.

The new degree will be offered at the University of East Anglia from September 2006, helping to tackle the current national and local shortage of trained social workers.

There will be 27 places available on the full-time three-year course and each comes with an automatic, non-means tested bursary of £2500 per year, funded by the General Social Care Council.

The University of East Anglia has built an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching over the last 30 years and already trains social workers on its popular and highly-regarded MA in Social Work.

Taught by UEA academics at the forefront of social work research, the emphasis of the new bachelor level degree will be on research-based teaching, focussing on cutting edge developments in the field. Students will gain 200 days of practical experience in a variety of placement settings throughout the Eastern region, including social services departments and voluntary organisations such as MIND, Age Concern and the NSPCC.

“We are thrilled to offer the opportunity for people to study social work at bachelor level,” said Ann McDonald, head of qualifying social work programmes at UEA.

“We anticipate almost all of our graduates will go into careers in social work, so this is a significant step in addressing the national and local shortage of qualified social workers.”

The new BA will be a dual qualification – both academic and professional – enabling graduates to become registered social workers. All those offered a place on the course will be interviewed and subject to enhanced Criminal Records Bureau checks.

Social work is an expanding area of employment and graduates will enjoy a wide range of exciting career opportunities working in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Harold Bodmer, director of adult social services at Norfolk County Council said:

“We welcome this exciting development from the University of East Anglia because it stands to benefit people locally as well as nationally.

“Like all other social service authorities, Norfolk County Council faces a continuous uphill struggle to recruit and retain qualified social workers. So a new degree course on our doorstep provided by such a respected and well- regarded university, will be a very helpful contribution to our efforts.”

Applications are via UCAS and applicants of all ages and backgrounds are welcome.

Simon Dunford | alfa
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