Helen Wood, Lecturer in Social Work and Admissions Tutor Department of Social Work and Social Care, University of Birmingham and Maqsoodah Ashraf (Mac), Head of Social Work, University of Wolverhampton have come together as part of the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership to discuss what makes a good personal statement when applying to qualifying social work courses. View the video to hear their presentation and download the PDF of the questions at the end of this article.
1. Tell us about your motivation to pursue social work as a career – why are you interesting in entering the profession.
2. Tell us about yourself, your personal characteristics, skills and talents which make you a good candidate for social work.
3. To do the above you will need to familiarise yourselves before applying with what social work is as a profession. It is a very varied career which involves working with a variety of individuals. We recommend you spend time exploring the British Association of Social Work website, particularly the entry requirements, values and ethics and professional capabilities framework. Also, have a look at the website for social work England, our regulatory body.
4. We want to know about any personal experiences you may have had and be willing to share which may relate to social work and social care skills, for example acting as a carer, perhaps accessing social work or social care services.
5. We want to know about your professional or voluntary experience. It is important to spend some time on this, and tell us in some details what experience you have of working or volunteering with people in a social care or education capacity for example. Tell us what you did and the skills you gained. What impression did these experiences make on you? Demonstrate your professional skills and talents.
6. We want to hear about your current and previous learning – what studies you are or have been engaged in, how you are doing, what you enjoy and excell at, and how this will support you in studying social work. What knowledge do you have, what have you learned and how might you apply this? What are you like as a student, for example how have you managed to succeed so far.
7. What are your personal and professional values and how do these values and ethics support a career working with vulnerable people?
In addition to the above, you may wish to contact the Admissions Team at the University of your choice with any further queries. We wish you success in your application.
Download the questions and useful links: