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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school

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Student Testimonial 1

With a BA in arts and social studies and a post-graduate degree in social work at Dundee university, I have worked in a voluntary and professional capacity with children and young people with learning disabilities their parents and carers for 23 years. I have been involved in developing resources for children (playschemes) and respite provision for adults. I have supported parents to access Open University learning. I have also worked in a multi-disciplinary team for children and adults with learning disabilities as a qualified social worker carrying a caseload. I was active in developing family based respite care in a local authority in Scotland and now work for a voluntary organisation as its children's officer in policy, developing young peoples self advocacy groups and supporting parents to have an impact at a local and national level.

I chose to do the MSc in childhood studies because I felt personally that I needed to put my practical experience in a theoretical framework. I wanted to bring together the many thoughts I have had over the years. Particularly in this post as children's officer I have had to formulate arguments and critique policy and planning. I wanted to write personally about what I thought about things in my working life. This course seemed to offer what I was looking for.

The good things about the course were learning in more detail about things I already was aware of and understood and often used in my everyday work. Building upon my own knowledge base and accessing reading material. Listening to people who have researched both at home and abroad. Putting theory, practice, policy and law into a contemporary context. Thinking through an argument or a process stage by stage. Taking the time out from a busy life and a busy job to think and consolidate on my practice. A real luxury. On the negative side, combining the course with work meant that sometimes there wasn't enough time to do all the reading.

When I finish the course I would like to remain linked to the university in some way to enable me to keep up to date with new thinking and new written material. I need to think about increasing my hours of work so I hope that this course will open some doors for me to do this. I will just be really proud of myself when I finish this that I will have achieved a MSc in Childhood Studies.

Edinburgh Students