Social Work is a serious field of study and so I wanted to feel confident that I was being taught in the best place.
More about Andrea
What inspired you to study your subject?
"I have worked alongside social workers for several years and seeing the work that they did to help better people’s lives was inspiring."
Why did you choose your course and NTU?
"I chose the course of Social Work as it is the qualification that I need to be a social worker.
I had been offered places at other universities but that was without speaking with me or interviewing me. NTU wanted a 500-word essay prior to being offered an interview. Then once the interview was completed, a case study would be sent giving twenty minutes to complete and e-mail back. I was impressed with this process and was of the belief that if I wanted the best education then I would get it at NTU.
Social Work is a serious field of study and so I wanted to feel confident that I was being taught in the best place."
What’s your experience been like of your course so far?
"I have enjoyed the course so far as it has taught me a wide breadth of knowledge. Some highlights have been spending time with advocates, and practising communication and listening skills. Another experience has been having the opportunity to go out on placement and gain an incredible amount of experience in the field."
Have you been involved in any projects or extra-curricular activities that have supplemented your studies run through NTU?
"I went on a trip to the criminal justice museum and a group of social work students from Germany joined our trip. The trip involved enacting a real case that we played out in one of the museum courts. This trip also gave me the opportunity to speak with the students from Germany about what student life is like for them.
I will shortly be taking a trip to Germany through NTU to attend the university where the social work students study. This is about gaining social work perspectives from another country, considering the issues social workers are faced with, and what issues are coming up for communities and societies in Germany."
What does Social Sciences mean to you?
"To me, this means working with people, families, communities and societies to effect change for people feeling oppressed or marginalised and so to make life easier or better."
Have you completed any work placements on your course?
"I have completed a placement with an early help team working with children and families who are in need of support. This was about supporting people to avoid situations escalating to crisis levels and so avoiding social work intervention.
I experienced working with children and parents working with behavioural issues. Teaching parenting skills to parents and coping strategies with children. I had the experience of carrying out assessments and arranging and chairing team around the family meetings. I was able to experience being on duty and carrying out interviews with children who had been missing or carrying out welfare checks at the family home and schools.
I especially enjoyed working with children and having to find new ways of communicating through play, and the experience of duty work and not always knowing what I will be met with and having to think on my feet and use the communications skills I have been taught."
Do you have any memorable moments from your placement?
"One of the most memorable moments was when I started to look at life from the perspective of the child. I would take drawings that were pertinent to the likes of the child to work with as communication aids and was met with such positivity from the child.
Another memorable moment was when I made an unannounced visit to a home and so was met with animosity. Using my communication skills, knowledge, and personality to calm the situation so as to be able to continue the visit was an accomplishment that I took great learning from."
What do you think of the support available from tutors and staff at NTU?
"The support is very good. Students are allocated a personal tutor who can be contacted for support. All the staff are approachable and offer additional support if needed. There is also the Student Support Service that is very good for offering assistance."
Outside of the Lecture Theatre
Did you find it easy to make friends and settle in at NTU?
"Yes, it was easy to make friends. During my first year, I stayed in NTU student accommodation and found the staff to be really supportive and friendly too."
The Next Steps
What’s next for you after NTU?
"After NTU I hope to secure work as a social worker. Once I have gained enough experience I hope to train to become an approved mental health professional."
How is NTU helping you to achieve your career goals?
"NTU are helping by equipping me with the knowledge and skills and giving me the opportunities to work in the field in varying placements."
What top tips would you give anyone thinking about studying your course at NTU?
"Explore the NTU website.
Attend an open day at NTU, it is an opportunity to find out more about the course.
Read about the subject to gain more knowledge about the social work profession."