University course choice - Social Work or other (s)

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Sparkesr
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Report Thread starter 3 years ago
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Hello to all at TSR,

I'm new here and thought I'd start my first topic with a dilemma I'm in.

I'm 29, soon to be a mature student doing an access to HE course in social sciences, with the intention of going to uni next year.

My passion lies in mental health. I'd initially planned to do my degree in social work, to then specialise in mental health in the future in the social work field. Although after browsing through some university courses and where they can lead, I've become very intrigued by other courses which I hadn't thought about before. One being 'counselling with psychotherapy', the other being 'psychology with counselling and psychotherapy'. Looking at where it could take me I'm interested in the fairly new role of psychological well-being practitioner, or something similar.

I will need to do more research and discuss my options at uni, but my question is for anyone that has done either of these courses and any feedback they may have? Or any general advice about which course to go for and why (social work, counselling with psychotherapy, or psychology with counselling and psychology).

I don't want to go for just psychology as I think its too specialised and maybe not suitable for what I want to do.

Cheers in advance.
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BenTheBlue
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In terms of career progression and satisfaction, I would put Social Work up there, but it's hard to get in as employers prefer people with experience who are able to handle multiple caseloads. Do you have any friends or family that work in Social Work? They could perhaps get you in the door or you could look at other relevant work experience leading up to a degree such as Support Worker (carer)? There's nothing stopping you doing this part time (16 hours a week or so) whilst you study, because it'll help in whatever you choose.

I'm very much in the same boat as you, because I want to work with people with mental health issues. I've decided to go into Psychology, because of the unique aspects of Psychology you can develop. No two psychologists will be the same. I also fancy myself as a bit of an academic going into the future.

Maybe you could look at being a mental health nurse also? There are so many routes into roles supporting mental health patients.
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Sparkesr
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Thanks for the response!

To answer your question no I don't know anybody personally who is a social worker just yet. Although I do know people who have other roles in mental health. I'm actually a full time support worker right now working with people with learning disabilities/mental health issues. Although I will be dropping to part time hours once I start my course.

I'm also a volunteer for a mental health advocacy company that advocate for people under section in hospital, so I can definitely look to put more time in there for the relevant experience.

You're right about there being many opportunities and routes into mental health from what I've seen so far. I'm certainly interested in psychology and already have some experience studying it. I'm leaning towards the psychology with counselling course at the moment.
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