MA Social Work alumnus

James Gibson

I chose to study at the University of Leeds, as I wanted to study at a university with a well-rounded course with a good balance between practice and theory. I was lead to Leeds because it had a fantastic record of developing and promoting research and evidence based practice in Social Work as well as providing great opportunities for interesting statutory practice placements. I had also studied in Leeds for my first degree and I really enjoyed living in the city because it had a great atmosphere.

I heard about the course through researching what the best courses for Social Worker were in the University guides and league tables.

The highlight of the course was that I had the opportunity to take part in two wonderful placements. The first placement was at an Alcohol rehabilitation unit that specialised in Cognitive Behavioural therapy. The second placement was at a Community Mental Health Team. These placements had a really great mix of practical experience and gave me space and opportunity to utilise the theoretical knowledge that I had built up over the course.

I finished the course feeling really confident because I felt that I had the balance between practical skills and broad theoretical knowledge. It also gave me academic skills such as being able to independently research as well as critique existing research which is really useful. 

This course has helped my career as Leeds has a great reputation, so there is no doubt that attending Leeds University has helped me to secure a job that I really wanted to do.  However, the course was broad enough to allow me to choose what I wanted to and so I wasn’t forced into any particular route. I'm positive that the skills, experience and academic grounding that the course gave me would lend itself to lots of jobs, so it definitely broadened my career options.

I would recommend the course as it was a well-run course with really friendly and supportive staff. The MA gave me the opportunity to tailor my own education, letting me choose what to research, what topics to focus on. It is also a great city.