Results are out! Find what you Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

from being a paralegal to a support worker/social worker

Announcements Posted on
  1. Offline

    Hi i am currently working as a paralegal in a recoveries department. I absolutely hate my job, its extremely stressful, unrewarding and very hardcore. I am thinking of changing my career to social work and want to do my masters in social work on a part time basis in september. I heard there is a big demand for social workers and its more rewarding.
  2. Offline


    What qualifications do you have at the moment?

    To get on a social work masters degree you will need at least a 2:2 in any degree subject, plus relevant work and life experience, as well as the ability to reflect on them appropriately.

    Social work courses are full-time but councils do have training schemes where you are employed by them and train as you work - that takes four years however.

    Have a look at - the forum there will have more information as it is for social workers and students so they will have more up-to-date knowledge
  3. Offline

    Further to Purple Rose's comments above, I'd like to add that a lot of councils are cutting back on their secondments for employees or graduate training schemes at the moment due to budget cuts, so I wouldn't rely on that as an in-route. Also, there are a lot of gripes and groans on the Community Care website mentioned above about newly qualified workers being unable to find work due to lack of experience. It seems to me like a similar thing is happening with social work as happened with law a few years back whereby people were getting their degrees but couldn't find training contracts. A few people I know who qualified recently are working in unqualified support worker roles to get more experience and to keep the money coming in while applying for qualified posts.

    I'm due to finish my Masters in September, and I've enjoyed it very much. However, your description of paralegal work as "stressful, unrewarding, and very hardcore" can just as easily apply to social work. I love what I do, but it's pretty thankless and most parents I work with aren't particularly pleased to have me involved (e.g. refusing to answer the phone or the door, leaving abusive anonymous voicemails or making threatening phone calls, threatening to call the police on me when I give an answer they don't like) . Even on placement, I've been working long hours, but not as long as some of my colleagues. I've worked with a fair few cases that aren't very pleasant and one of my tutors' favourite sayings is that social workers work with "the mad, the sad and the bad" of society. Balancing the academic side of things with my placement and living off of peanuts for two years has been really tough too.

    Sorry to sound a bit of a Debbie Downer there! Just thought I'd warn you that social work isn't all roses at the moment. Doing this course is still the best thing I've ever done though If I haven't moaned so much it's put you off, most unis require a 2:2 in a first degree (some unis request a relevant subject e.g. social sciences, childhood studies etc) and a minimum of 6 months' relevant experience. People do seem to find ways round the experience requirement though, but I think it's so important as preparation for what's in store. You've left it pretty late to apply to start for this September; I know my university's BA and MA courses are already full. I didn't think many unis offer the Masters part-time; where are you thinking of going? Read up on current issues in social work on the Community Care website and in the Society section of the Guardian.

    Feel free to ask more questions, and again sorry for being a misery!


Submit reply


Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: April 26, 2011
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Today on TSR
Do you write or type when taking notes in class?
Useful resources


A-Z of careers Advice on choosing a careerCV writing helpCovering letter helpInterview tips

Featured recruiter profiles:

HM Treasury logo

Policy adviser grad scheme

"Shape the UK’s future and your skills."

CGI logo

CGI is open for applications

"Offering a range of apprentice and sponsored degree positions."

Deutsche Bank logo

Deutsche Bank is recruiting

"Thrive in an international banking environment"

ICAEW logo


"Merck is a global leader in specialized pharma & chemicals – join us!"

Army logo

The Army is recruiting now

"With hundreds of roles available, there’s more than one way to be the best."

Quick links:

Unanswered career sector and employment threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups
Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.