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This is a guest blog by current BA (Hons) Social Work student Shanley Bray.

Hiya, my name’s Shanley and I’m currently in my final year of my Social Work degree. Social Work at Bournemouth University has been ranked within the top 5 over the past 3 years in the Guardian League Tables. Personally, after carrying out research and undertaking my interview process at BU, I felt confident and comfortable with accepting my offer as a result of the reputation and unique opportunities offered. The social work staff at BU are very accommodating, supportive, and passionate in their own areas. All of the lecturers work very hard to arrange and deliver the best teaching quality and the Public Involvement in Education and Research (PIER) membership partners provide an in-depth insight into the lived experience, supporting the development of our ongoing practice. I have been a student rep during my 2nd and final year which has been a great opportunity, helping to develop my skills ready for placement and future practice. It has been a pleasure to advocate and uphold the voices of my colleagues throughout studying. Our wishes and preferences have always been acknowledged by the student forum team and addressed appropriately.Shanley is sitting in a boat with a life jacket on with water behind her. She is smiling and reaching for sunglasses on top of her head.

I undertook my first 70-day substantive placement in a provision undertaking safeguarding responsibilities and dealing with concerns for children’s welfare aged 11-16. This placement provided me with a range of opportunities which assisted my ongoing development and prepared me for my final year placement. The high-quality support I received from my Practice Supervisor, Practice Educator and Practice Tutor was outstanding. I received effective supervision weekly, allowing me to critically reflect and apply relevant theories and legislation to my interventions. My personal wellbeing was also considered, and this did not go unnoticed. Self-care and self-awareness are huge components contributing to the safe and effective practice that we deliver as social workers. I could not have successfully completed this placement without the support from the University teaching staff and the professional relationships I had developed during my placement.

I am currently undertaking my final 100-day statutory placement in a local authority, providing services to children and families. This placement so far has again, enabled me to apply relevant theories, models, and legislation to my practice. My Practice Tutor has remained the same and I have received exceptional support. My Practice Supervisor and Practice Educator also offer ongoing support.

Shanley is smiling at the camera wearing sun glasses with trees in the background.All the content covered over the 3-year period is crucial to your continued professional development. The different units are delivered by a range of the teaching staff which offer an engaging, knowledgeable, and safe learning environment. The unit content hand-in-hand is beneficial to placement as you employ all of the theory into practice.

I could not have completed this degree without the amazing support from all the staff listed above and my amazing colleagues in my cohort. As social work evolves, I would encourage students who are interested to accept as many opportunities as possible, as this will contribute to your future development. In my experience, studying social work at BU ensures a safe space for learning and progression. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of studying social work at BU. I am confident and feel prepared to continue with my practice as I approach my Assessed and Supported Year of Employment (ASYE) which is my first year post qualifying in employment, where you are assessed and supervised regularly by your employer. I am excited to continue to apply all of the learning I have received into my future practice and approach the next steps in my career.


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