Studying for a social work degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including social work.
At the heart of the delivery of the degree in social work in Northern Ireland is the sense of partnership between academic institutions, practice learning providers, organisations employing social workers, NISCC, students, and service users and carers. At Queen’s University this is given expression through a standing committee, the Collaborative Partnership at Queen’s (CPAQ).
The role of CPAQ is to:
- assist in supporting regional partnership arrangements for the delivery of qualifying social work education
- monitor the profile of applicants to the degree in social work at Queen’s University
- provide advice on the content of the undergraduate social work curriculum
- monitor the provision and quality of practice learning opportunities for students
- support the involvement as required of service users and carers, and professional staff in the delivery of the social work programmes
- keep the University appraised of developments in social care in Northern Ireland and elsewhere that may have implications for the content of the curriculum
- review the outcomes of the social work programmes quality assurance mechanisms to ensure compliance with NISCC standards and requirements
- keep NISCC informed of all significant matters related to the social work programmes at undergraduate level”
Placement Employers: We have excellent links with a large number of employers across the statutory, voluntary and community sectors including, for example, Health and Social Care Trusts, the Probation Board Northern Ireland and voluntary organisations such as NSPCC, Barnardos, Bryson House, Women’s Aid and Positive Futures.
Our past students have also gained work placement with a wide range of organisations such as:
- Health and Social Care Trusts
- Positive Futures
- Probation Service Northern Ireland
Employers Forum: We also have an active and engaged Employers Forum - a panel comprising senior figures from some high ranking organisations in fields directly relevant to our degree programmes including Craigavon District Council and NI Community and Voluntary Association. The members of this panel, like CPAQ, advise staff in incorporating employability skills in the development of the social work degree programme. They also contribute to advisory sessions for students on careers and employability.
Graduate Careers and Achievements
Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in social work, some do develop careers in a wide range of other sectors.
Social workers are employed throughout the statutory and voluntary social services. There are many career development opportunities leading to specialist posts and to the highest levels of management within statutory and voluntary social services agencies.
You should also take a look at www.prospects.ac.uk and www.niscc.info for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract social work graduates.
Further study is also an option open to social work graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, see: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofSociologySocialPolicySocialWork/ProspectiveStudents/
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. As a Queen’s student, you will be advised and guided about career choice and through the Degree Plus initiative, you will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.
Our full employability statement can be viewed at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/filestore/Filetoupload,284878,en.pdf
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, promoting employability enhancements and other interests is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe and learning development supports as well as involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers. Further information is available at www.qub.ac.uk/degreeplus