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Durham University

Department of Sociology

What Our Students Say



In my first year, I have had an enjoyable experience with great support from tutors, whose personal support and imaginative approach to teaching sessions have contributed to a challenging and enlightening educational journey. The variety of teaching prepares students for any aspects of social work.

Mary Hind, Current Student


Social work is a multi-disciplinary profession and good social workers need to have a well-rounded knowledge of theory and legislation but also be equipped to work directly with a large cross section of people with differing needs. Not all social work courses will prepare you for the real world of social work, Durham’s programme does. Not only was my time on the MSW academically rewarding, the extended placements also helped me develop good people skills that ensured when I entered social work, for real, there were no surprises. These are skills I still use today.

Emma Lewell-Buck, Former Student, Current Shadow Minister (Education / Children and Families)


The MSW programme was instrumental in making me the practitioner I am today. As a community mental health worker in a joint LA/NHS service for several years I believed social work training might have less to offer me than it would those with less vocational experience. I was wrong. The course provided the necessary learning opportunities for me to understand the importance of theory and theoretical approaches in social work practice. It also gave me insights into the political dimensions of the role and of the challenges faced by those we hope to and aim to support. Having opportunities and support to bring together the theoretical and practical components of social practice in the two diverse and suitably challenging practice placements was a key part of my development which I have carried forward through my career so far.

Christian Kerr, Former Student, 2011-2013