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Title: An evaluation of the role of flexible methods of programme delivery in social work education in widening access to professional qualification
Author: Franklin, P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 1233
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2014
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This research evaluates the role of flexible methods of delivering social work education in widening access to professional qualification. It examines: • The personal profiles of applicants on flexible/part-time social work programmes and compares these with those of full-time students • Whether opportunities for flexible study increase the diversity of applicants to pre-registration Masters level programmes • The kinds of flexibility that increase the diversity of applicants to pre-registration social work programmes The research method is informed by reflexivity, incorporating all aspects of knowledge and experience providing depth to interpretation of data. Data on 162 social work students registered on a postgraduate pre-registration programme was collected over four years and examined using a sequential exploratory research design. Data was collected from three main sources: HEI cohort statistics, questionnaires and individual interviews with eight selected students. Findings suggest: Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students enter social work education through social care for career progression in the absence of alternative employment; knowledgeable and experienced practitioners study for qualifications that allow them to continue in their role; opportunity, rather than planning, facilitates access to study; and values promoted within social work education conflict with those experienced in the workplace. Limited diversity was identified within students on the flexible route associated with age, personal situation, disability and distance from the HEI. These students represented two distinct groups, polarised in terms of experience, knowledge and aspirations. Trends and patterns were identified across and within the whole student group: BME students were multiply-disadvantaged, travelling further, earning less, and facing limited opportunity; and numbers of younger, White students were increasing. Findings indicate a need to broaden notions of flexibility in programme structure and delivery. Recommendations include using a modular approach; delivery methods that facilitate local study; and establishing a “whole-career” approach to social work education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HV0040 Social service. Social work. Charity