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Why do student social workers do placements?

Abigail Davey

Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Allied Health and Social Care
Course: BA (Hons) Social Work
Category: Social sciences and social care

23 February 2023

If you're interested in studying Social Work, you'll find that placements are an important part of your degree course. Here's why they matter from a student's perspective.

It’s a requirement

This may seem obvious, but it's important to know that to register as a Social Worker, practice placement experiences are a requirement of your registration. For the degree courses, both MA (Masters) and BA (Undergraduate), there is a requirement from Social Work England, the regulatory body in social work, that students will complete:

  • 30 skill days- these are usually university skill days.
  • 70 days on initial placement and 100 days on final placement.

Confirmation that you have completed all of these is needed from the University or Social Work England for you to both graduate and register as a social worker!

It’s the best learning tool

Being in placement and working with real people is the best learning tool you could get. Your time on placement will support you to make links between what you learned at university and what you’ll practice. Aside from this, there are some things you need to learn as a social worker, like how to communicate and practical tasks, that just cannot be taught in the classroom. You are fully supported on your time in placement and your experience is centered around your learning.

It’s a journey

The journey to becoming a social worker is not to be underestimated. In taking part in two contrasting placements, you will not only be developing skills that will equip you to practice as a social worker, but you will also be developing as a person. On these contrasting placements you will be finding out about the types of work you might do in different areas of social work, such as work with children, adults, or older people. Social work has so many areas that you can work in, part of your journey is finding out where that will be for you. Don’t be surprised if your placement completely changes your view on where you want to work when you qualify!

Want to find out more information? Find out more about social work placements here.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.