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Social Work Degree - age now 51. Please help! watch

    • Thread Starter

    I would really like to study for a social work degree. I am 51 and most of my life I've done various administration based jobs. The only involvement I had with social services was 21 years ago when I was a support worker for 2 years with Lewisham Council.

    The only qualifications I have are an A level in English Literature (A), a GCSE in Human Biology (A) and a GCSE in Maths (C) which I passed when I was 29.

    If I wanted to do the degree would I have to study first as in take more A levels? I also have a certificate from Oxford University from a short course about BRIC's countries which is work 10 points - yes, I am scraping the barrel!!!!

    I really don't mind this as I love studying and learning but I'm thinking of it more from a time aspect. I also don't mind getting a support worker job now if that's what it takes but again it's time that concerns me.

    Though I am 51 I have tons of ambition and do not even really ever want to retire.

    I should have taken done a degree years ago but there's a number of reasons that I just haven't done it which I won't bore you with, but it's something that keeps bugging me even though I keep telling myself to forget it.

    I can't even say I just want to take it for my own interest or for something to do! I want to take so I can get a job in Social Services, my main interest being on the adoption assessment side. In fact I would like to eventually get my PhD.

    So would I need to take some more A levels or is there something else I should be doing? And would those 2 years as a support worker count even though they were so many years ago?

    There are a million questions I have about this but these are the main starting points. I would be really grateful for any useful advice. So many thanks, thanks for reading my post. :-)

    Depends on where you want to study, think about that and then have a look at what the entry requirements are. There may be an access course you could do.

    I went to med school and 2 of the students I graduated with were in their 50s, if they can do it then there's no reason you can't!

    Good luck!

    I may not be helpful but good on you for continuing learning 😊

    Hopefully someone can help you with regards to courses and if not contact your local social services to see what they would recommend

    Good luck!

    Hi Jemmy. Most universities will want to see evidence of recent study. Taking a one-year Access to HE course is probably the easiest and quickest way to do this, but you should contact some universities and ask about their requirements for mature students, as these are generally different from those advertised for younger students. Contact the admissions tutor for your course, rather than the general admissions department, as policies regarding mature students may vary by department. It is also becoming a standard requirement with most universities that all students should have GCSEs in maths and English at grade C or better. Although you have an A level in English, they may still insist that you take English GCSE. If this is the case, you could easily take it alongside your Access course.

    Hi. As someone considering returning to education as a mature student, you're on a fairly well trodden path, so first thing is don't feel discouraged or embarrassed about your aspirations, no matter how "odd" they may seem out there in the real world to you at this point. However, I should point out that I'm not too au fait with the specific path to becoming a social worker, so that's something you'd need to research (and hopefully you may get some more detailed input on that on here).

    My short and simple answer is that if you really want to do this, and you can financially, emotionally and logistically manage it, prepare yourself... and then throw yourself into it 100%. If you can make it work for you, it could be tremendously fulfilling.

    I'd suggest starting to look into what options are available at universities - don't get too put off if it seems like you haven't got the right entry qualifications at the moment. During this last year I completed an Access to HE course, which is (typically) a 1yr full-time course that enables mature students (aged 19+) without the standard qualifications to get into university. It's a Level 3 qualification, which means it's at the same level as A-Levels, but unlike A-Levels, it's pitched much more specifically at getting you ready for university rather than as a standalone qualification. As a result of successfully passing that, I received offers from universities that I'd have had no chance of getting into prior to doing the Access course.

    As doing Access is almost certainly going to be the requirement for you, while you're researching your options, you may also want to simultaneously look into the financial side of things. If you've not done a degree or HE course of study before, you should be eligible for SFE support for your degree. In that case, the Access course might be the most challenging period, since you can't get SFE support for your living expenses while you're studying it (although you can get a loan to cover your course fees; it's non-repayable if you go on to complete your degree). So the big issue is how to keep body and soul together while meeting the demands of the course. I believe some institutions may offer a part-time Access option over 2 years, thereby easing the workload pressure, which makes it easier to manage paid work commitments alongside it. However, as I indicated above, the 1 yr ft option is the more typical version most students choose to do (there was no pt option at my college).

    Hope that helps. If you have any more specific questions, do ask.
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