Margaret Duckhouse: Why I chose to study BSc (Hons) Social Work at BCU

Social workers are key in contributing a change to society, through helping the vulnerable, supporting individuals, and looking after the welfare of those in need. We spoke with Margaret Duckhouse, a current Social Work student, to find out why she chose to study a degree in BSc (Hons) Social Work at BCU.

Why study Social Work?

My decision to study Social Work came after working in the education sector for 18 years. I previously provided support to students with autism and/or learning disabilities and it wasn’t until I assisted the school’s safeguarding lead that I decided to change my career path. I thoroughly enjoyed the role and I knew from there that Social Work was an area that I wanted to pursue in a professional capacity.

 As a 44-year-old single mom with two children, I had many reservations about quitting my job and attending University but despite my excuses, I decided to take the plunge. I applied to study the course through Clearing and was able to use my credits from studying the Access to Higher Education course at Wolverhampton College four years earlier.

My first year on the course

I am now a year into the course and I have already learned so much about Social Work. I have had many opportunities, including the chance to be a part of a project called "Mend the Gap", which was facilitated by a member of staff. The purpose of the project was to gather information on the gaps that exist for learning disability carers and identify ways to fix them. This learning experience was truly invaluable as it provided a great opportunity to discuss and work alongside parents, academics, and Social Workers.

 Other opportunities include shadowing a Social Worker/team in Birmingham. I spent three days with the Mental Health Team, an area I had never previously considered working in but found this very worthwhile. It gave me great insight into the work and commitment that Social Workers undertake every day to ensure the best service and outcomes for their users.

My plans for the future

After I graduate, I would like to work for the Children and Families Court Advisory and Support Service, but I am open to change as I am still learning more about the areas of work available to me with a degree in Social Work.

Opportunities to travel as a BSc (Hons) Social Work student at BCU

Pre-pandemic we regularly visited universities in other countries to take part in conferences and learn about social work practice outside of the UK. Find out what our students got up on our last visit.

Our trip to the Netherlands

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