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Social Work BA(Hons): What our students say

Student profiles

Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.

Name: Jane Woods
Course: Social Work BA(Hons)
Level: Year 3

"After a series of part-time jobs while bringing up my family (I had my children when I was 23), I decided to return to full-time work when the children went to secondary school. I have always been interested in people, and have been involved in the voluntary sector through youth work, bereavement counselling and working with those who are deaf and blind. These experiences gave me the confidence to apply for work in social care.

"My first job was in a private residential home for autistic men. This gave me the ideal opportunity to learn what life is like for people that cannot live independently and ignited my interest in how I could make a difference to people who were very often excluded from mainstream society.

"My next job was with Surrey Social Services. I was a community support worker for the learning disability team, working with a team of social workers to provide emotional and practical support to people with learning disabilities. Some of these people lived with their parents, some in residential homes and some lived alone. However, they all had a common need to be heard and understood and their opinions respected and valued.

"I was encouraged to apply for the Social Work BA(Hons) degree. Although apprehensive due to being in my late thirties and lacking academic qualifications, I was offered a place and then gained the required Maths and English qualifications from Learn Direct.

"I have never looked back. The course is as diverse and interesting as the people on it. I have learned so much from the lecturers, my fellow students and the various placements. The course is a journey for me. I have been inspired, I have cried, I have been sad but also elated. I have changed as an individual, challenging things I was unsure of and looking at situations from different angles. I have discovered I have an academic side and when things get difficult there are always people I can talk to. I consider it a privilege to work with people who are very often living on the fringes of society and I can't wait to finish my learning here and become a qualified social worker."

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