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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study

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Social Work: Rachael

My name is Rachael and I’m in my 4th year of a BSc in Social Work. 

I’m taking Working with Risk, Trust and Complexity, Professional Practice in Social Work 2 and Social Work Dissertation.

Edinburgh is one of the most prestigious universities in the UK and I was aware of the impact this has on future employment so I was keen to come here. I felt I would also enjoy moving to a different city. 

I chose to study social work as I am passionate about working alongside individuals and groups, enabling them to make positive changes to their lives. I have enjoyed being able to go on placement in two different sectors as well as the variety of courses offered which can be studied alongside required courses.

Honours degeres are designed to give you a broader and more flexible education. They allow you to try a range of subjects before specialising in your final two years. 

I would encourage students to get as much experience of volunteering as they can. Get a range of experiences working with children and young people, the elderly and other user groups as this is central to informing learning and practice.

I chose courses which would complement my degree whilst gaining experience in community education, working with groups and also health and society. I have really enjoyed the Professional Practice in Social Work course as this has allowed me to put my learning into practice and gain invaluable experience.

Living in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a beautiful and diverse city. It’s great for shopping, sightseeing and also having visitors and friends over to stay. It has a great choice of restaurants and bars and there is always something to do. 

I love the hustle and bustle of the Meadows, especially at weekends and during the festival. I also love the ability to be able to walk everywhere and enjoy the scenery.

I initially struggled moving to Edinburgh as this was the first time I had been away from home for more than one week! I had never seen halls before and therefore it took a bit of adjusting to but I soon began to settle in and now wouldn’t look back. 

I stayed in Pollock Halls in first year. Having meals prepared for me and having my room cleaned really helped with the transition from home to university.

I have a part time job where I work anything betweeen 6 and 20 hours per week. I could manage to fit this around my studies in first and second year but since going into honours years I have found it more difficult. 

There are plenty of ways to get involved in the social scene at Edinburgh. I am a member of Children’s Holiday Venture which I joined in first year. I started out as a volunteer and then quickly took on the role of group leader. For the past two years I have also been on the group committee and have found this a really beneficial experience.

Rachael Carson