Rhian Thomas, BSc Social Work
What did you do prior to studying at Swansea University?
Before coming to Swansea University to study BSc Social Work, I studied BTEC level 3 Advanced Diploma in Health and Social Care in Gower College, Swansea. The experience was good preparation for students who wanted to progress to studying similar courses in various universities. I completed several placements during my time in college and this has helped me prepare for the first year. I also completed voluntary work with the homeless. I now work as a mental health support worker in order to gain as much experience as possible.
Why did you choose to study at Swansea University?
Swansea University is popular as it offers various courses which are suitable for students’ varying careers. I had the opportunity to attend an open day in 2015 and had a taste of the course content. I learned a lot about the modules and about the opportunities available over the three years. Swansea is an interesting place and I really like the campus.
Can you tell us about your course?
The course is interesting; it offers a mix of academic modules and work placements. During the first year you have an opportunity to see social workers at work whilst attending a statutory placement for 20 days. You have the opportunity to complete 80 days in the second year and 100 days in the third year.
Why did you decide to study parts of your course through the medium of Welsh?
Although I speak Welsh daily at home and sometimes with friends, I hadn’t written in Welsh since my schooldays therefore it was a good opportunity to improve both my oral and written skills. I have the opportunity to use my skills on every placement, speaking with service users and colleagues and this encourages them to express their feelings and experiences in their first language. I had the opportunity to use my Welsh during my placement which was of benefit to the service users as I was able to listen to their needs.
What part of the course do you enjoy the most?
The academic work is my favourite element of the course; the course is full of varying and interesting modules which prepare students for their careers. I have enjoyed my first experience on statutory placement and this has encouraged me to pursue my dream of being a social worker.
What’s been your highlight whilst studying at Swansea University?
The opportunity to meet new people who have similar interests and the opportunity to go out on placement and experience what social workers achieve on a daily basis. The academic work has also been fun and I’ve learned about relevant matters and linked academic work with practice.
What are your plans/hopes for the future?
After three years I will be a qualified social worker. I hope to specialise in the field of mental health or safeguarding adults. Having said that, I’m keeping my options open as this could change over the next two years.
How will your studies (and studying in Welsh) help you pursue your chosen profession?
This course opens the door for me to have the opportunity to be a qualified social worker. Also, having the opportunity to study some modules through the medium of Welsh encourages me to use my Welsh language skills in a formal and positive way by helping others.
Would you recommend Swansea University to other students?
Swansea University has high success rates and I would recommend this course to anyone who is ready for a new challenge. Social work is a very special field and there are plenty of opportunities for you to expand your education over the three years and at postgraduate level.
Please detail any additional information you would like to include.
The course is a good opportunity for anyone who has an interest in social work and I would encourage anyone who’s interested to make an application as you won’t regret it!