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Topic: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work  (Read 2998 times)

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2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« on: August 04, 2014, 03:23:12 PM »
Hey guys I've got a question. I'm graduating this May with a degree in anthropology. But lately I've been doing a lot of volunteer type work especially with adults with disabilities and I'm really thinking this is something I want to do. So I'm thinking getting a degree in social work.
I'm stuck on the issue of whether I should get another bachelors or whether I should go ahead and get my masters. I'm not sure there's much crossover between my current degree and a degree in social work. So if I took the masters approach I'd end up taking a lot of undergrad courses anyways, but I'd like to do this in as short a time a possible.
I'm wanting to study in the UK to be closer to my girlfriend and I know that Social Work  is one of the occupations that commonly is on the shortage list. So staying after graduation is more likely. Its also a pretty in demand occupation here in the states so getting employment on both sides of the pond should be easy.
Any thoughts?
Thanks guys.


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2014, 04:17:20 PM »
My best advice is to start looking at specific programs in the area you want to move to.  Check the requirements and email the people who are the head of the program so clarify the requirements. You might find the require my to be different from what is required in the US. UK students specialize early so sometimes the requirements are more specific than you might think. But they also might be fluxing enquiry international students. So the best use of your time is probably going to be researching specific universities and programs.  While I was visiting the UK I was actually able to sit in on a seminar in my program and meet students and the was of the program which was really nice. So if you're planing a visit anytime soon that might be something to think about.
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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 04:19:48 PM »
Also, I could be totally off base, and ksand can probably clarify, but I know tier 4's are sometimes tricky if you are trying to go study at the same level you just finished. So you may be limited only to doing a masters anyway. Also keep in mind you have to be a full time student. They don't give tier 4's for part time students.
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Aug 2014-present- Tier 4
Oct 2015-Wedding!!! and spouse visa sometime after that and before the Tier 4 expires


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 07:42:23 PM »
You're going to have a hard time getting into a masters programme in the UK without a first degree that is in some way related to it. The UK is different than the US in that they expect students to be able to jump straight in to Masters work with no basic or refresher courses. A few years ago, I was discouraged from applying for a MPhil/PhD in Applied Linguistics even though I have an MA in French Language and ten years' experience as a language teacher. I don't have a degree in Linguistics, so they don't consider me qualified. You may need to take a few courses in Social Work in the US before applying to UK programmes, just to get that background and experience that they will require.
On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
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Tu seras mon unique projet.

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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 07:53:35 PM »
You're going to have a hard time getting into a masters programme in the UK without a first degree that is in some way related to it. The UK is different than the US in that they expect students to be able to jump straight in to Masters work with no basic or refresher courses. A few years ago, I was discouraged from applying for a MPhil/PhD in Applied Linguistics even though I have an MA in French Language and ten years' experience as a language teacher. I don't have a degree in Linguistics, so they don't consider me qualified. You may need to take a few courses in Social Work in the US before applying to UK programmes, just to get that background and experience that they will require.

This is a good point but still be sure to research specific programs. I got into my social care law LLM program solely on my 2 bachelors degrees, which are in religion and English. While it was good that I was in law school when I applied, my law degree didn't have any bearing in my acceptance, as I was given as unconditional offer a full year before I finished law school. So it may just depend on the particular program you're applying to.
April 11, 2012-Began talking online
June 2012-Officially dating
August 2012-Met in person
Aug 2012-Nov 2012-Tier 4 (General)
Aug 2014-present- Tier 4
Oct 2015-Wedding!!! and spouse visa sometime after that and before the Tier 4 expires


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 07:57:10 PM »
Also, I could be totally off base, and ksand can probably clarify, but I know tier 4's are sometimes tricky if you are trying to go study at the same level you just finished. So you may be limited only to doing a masters anyway.

No, this won't be the case for the OP. They can study for a second bachelors in the UK if they can get accepted onto a course and qualify for a Tier 4 visa.

I just checked the policy guidance for Tier 4 and it looks like what you're talking about only applies if you have already had a Tier 4 visa before and wish to go back to study for a second course.

So, if you did your bachelors in the UK on a Tier 4 visa and you want to get another Tier 4 for a new course, it must be a progression of studies (i.e. a masters degree). So your second Tier 4 visa couldn't be for another bachelors degree.

As the OP is getting their bachelors in the US, and has not had a Tier 4 visa before, this won't apply to them.

From the Tier 4 Policy Guidance:
Quote

Academic Progress

68. If you have a CAS and you previously had permission to stay as a Student or a Tier 4 (General) Student then your Tier 4 Sponsor can only give you a CAS for a new course, if your new course represents academic progress from your previous studies.

The only exception to this is where you are:
• re-sitting examinations or repeating modules, or
• making a first application to move to a new institution to complete a course commenced elsewhere, for example, you began a Bachelor’s degree course at a Sponsor whose licence was revoked and you wish to move to a new fully licensed Tier 4 sponsor to complete the same degree course.

69. In order for your new course to represent academic progress from your previous studies, it must:
• be above the level of your previous course for which you were granted leave as a Tier 4 (General) Student or as a Student, or
• involve further study at the same level, which your Tier 4 Sponsor has confirmed complements the previous course for which you were granted leave as a Tier 4 (General) Student or as a Student, for example, you may be moving from a taught masters degree to an MBA or research-based masters degree.

An example of academic progress would be a Tier 4 student who completes a one year Higher National Diploma at a HEI (NQF Level 5) and who then moves on to study a 3 year Bachelors Degree programme (NQF Level 6).

70. In exceptional circumstances only, involve the further study at a lower level but we expect these cases to be rare.


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 08:00:12 PM »
Thanks for that ksand!   

So i found a quick link for you to the entry requirements for the MSW program at Kingston in London. They require a first degree in a social science, and anthro is a social science, so youd apparently have a good first degree, at least for this school.
http://www.kingston.ac.uk/postgraduate-course/social-work-msw/entry-requirements.html
April 11, 2012-Began talking online
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Aug 2012-Nov 2012-Tier 4 (General)
Aug 2014-present- Tier 4
Oct 2015-Wedding!!! and spouse visa sometime after that and before the Tier 4 expires


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2014, 08:03:13 PM »
Or here, the requirements for Cardiff Uni's MSW just say a 2:2 degree.
http://www.cf.ac.uk/socsi/degreeprogrammes/postgraduate/taughtmasters/degreeprogrammes/socialwork/
April 11, 2012-Began talking online
June 2012-Officially dating
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Aug 2012-Nov 2012-Tier 4 (General)
Aug 2014-present- Tier 4
Oct 2015-Wedding!!! and spouse visa sometime after that and before the Tier 4 expires


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2014, 08:27:10 PM »
Yeah, the programme I wanted to apply to also specified just a 2:1 degree in a related field, but since I hadn't done any specific linguistic study, I was told (by the professor in charge of the programme) that I likely wouldn't be accepted. YMMV. UK unis love (love love love) the exorbitant fees they charge overseas students, so they often overlook lack of qualifications (I say this as someone who has taught pre-sessional courses for non-English speaking foreign students), however, you (the OP) may want to consider whether your background actually does prepare you for the course you want to undertake.
On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
Pour cette vie et celle d'après
Tu seras mon unique projet.

Je t'aimais, je t'aime, et je t'aimerai.

--Francis Cabrel


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2014, 08:37:16 PM »
Yeah, the programme I wanted to apply to also specified just a 2:1 degree in a related field, but since I hadn't done any specific linguistic study, I was told (by the professor in charge of the programme) that I likely wouldn't be accepted. YMMV. UK unis love (love love love) the exorbitant fees they charge overseas students, so they often overlook lack of qualifications (I say this as someone who has taught pre-sessional courses for non-English speaking foreign students), however, you (the OP) may want to consider whether your background actually does prepare you for the course you want to undertake.

I agree with this for sure. The best way to find this out, like historyenne said, is to talk to the professor in charge of the program and find out what kind of students are actually in the program. Mine in particular has a wide background of people, anywhere from social workers to people with first degrees in law, to people with just social science type bachelors degrees.

I probably wouldn't be nearly as comfortable with my program if I hadn't attended a seminar, met the professor, and talked to another American on the course.
April 11, 2012-Began talking online
June 2012-Officially dating
August 2012-Met in person
Aug 2012-Nov 2012-Tier 4 (General)
Aug 2014-present- Tier 4
Oct 2015-Wedding!!! and spouse visa sometime after that and before the Tier 4 expires


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Re:
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2014, 11:03:13 PM »
Holy cow, you guys are awesome. That's a lot of material to go through. I'll keep digging. I graduate in May so I need to get this ball rolling as soon as I can. Thanks everyone :) you're the best. If I ever make it through this alive you're all invited over for beers. :)


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 05:12:18 PM »
Hey guys I've got a question. I'm graduating this May with a degree in anthropology. But lately I've been doing a lot of volunteer type work especially with adults with disabilities and I'm really thinking this is something I want to do. So I'm thinking getting a degree in social work.
I'm stuck on the issue of whether I should get another bachelors or whether I should go ahead and get my masters. I'm not sure there's much crossover between my current degree and a degree in social work. So if I took the masters approach I'd end up taking a lot of undergrad courses anyways, but I'd like to do this in as short a time a possible.
I'm wanting to study in the UK to be closer to my girlfriend and I know that Social Work  is one of the occupations that commonly is on the shortage list. So staying after graduation is more likely. Its also a pretty in demand occupation here in the states so getting employment on both sides of the pond should be easy.
Any thoughts?
Thanks guys.

I'm a Canadian qualified social worker with nearly 20 years experience in the disability field for children and adults in the UK and Canada.

Some things I would consider / look at are: 

Do you want to do child protection for 5+ years, assuming it remains on the shortage list for the required time to reach ILR (permanent residency), assuming the current immigration system remains the same? Posts in the learning disability field would be restricted to those with permanent residency or EU / EEA citizenship or on a path without restriction, like Tier 2 visas.

Child protection is the area that remains forever on the list, I'm afraid.  :-\\\\

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-2-shortage-occupation-list-from-6-april-2013

Do you have access to EU / EEA citizenship or are you considering marriage to your girlfriend?

Have you considered transferability from the UK country of training to the US state in which you live now, should you wish to return to the US?   

http://www.cswe.org/CentersInitiatives/22207.aspx

Find an approved course (England):

http://www.hcpc-uk.org/education/programmes/register/index.asp?EducationProviderID=all&StudyLevel=Postgraduate&ModeOfStudyID=all&IntakeStatus=Open&professionID=18&Submit.x=49&Submit.y=10#educationSearchResults

About social work in the UK:

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobprofiles/Pages/socialworker.aspx

I would do a Masters, if possible and if that is really what you want to do in the UK - shorter, thus cheaper.

Hope that helps and good luck.  :)


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2014, 05:26:35 PM »
Hey Mapleleafgirl, thanks for the links.
We haven't talked about marriage, it's still a little early for that to be honest.
I really just found about the possibility of moving to the UK Saturday, so I'm just now looking into the process. I've mostly been doing a lot of research. It's looking doable though.
As far as what field of social work, I guess I'm not too picky. I've been volunteering with mentally handicapped adults over the summer and that's been awesome, but I'm open to try just about anything.
Thanks for your help. I'm definitely thinking getting a masters is the way to go, but I find it's productive to have a plan B.
Thanks


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Re: 2nd Bachelors or a Masters in Social Work
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2014, 06:49:24 PM »
Find an approved course (England):

http://www.hcpc-uk.org/education/programmes/register/index.asp?EducationProviderID=all&StudyLevel=Postgraduate&ModeOfStudyID=all&IntakeStatus=Open&professionID=18&Submit.x=49&Submit.y=10#educationSearchResults [nofollow]



Also, this was really good. I found a list of schools that take US financial aid and cross referenced the two and I'm getting somewhere. Thanks so much.


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