University College Jersey develops a new Social Work degree model
Islanders preparing for a career in social work will soon be able to study a new model of social work degree through University College Jersey (UCJ) at Highlands College. This new model has received stage one approval already and is on track to launch in September 2023 (subject to final approvals).
The new model will better address the skill shortages in Jersey and has been designed specifically with the Jersey context in mind.
In October 2022, UCJ celebrated the graduation of the first ever cohort of students on the Social Work (Jersey) degree. The cohort graduated with an incredible pass rate of 100% with all graduates achieving either a first class honours degree or a 2:1.
Despite the phenomenal level of success, programme lead, Laura Simpson, reviewed the offering to ensure it best met the needs of islanders. The review process was undertaken with the support and collaboration of key sector partners, including, Childrens Social Care Services, Adults Social Services, Les Amis, Adult Mental Health Services, Enable, Institute of Law, Jersey Probation and Aftercare Services.
Laura said ‘Although the orginal model, delivered in partnership with the University of Sussex, was incredibly successful, feedback from across the island highlighted that the full-time commitment prohibited many from accessing the course. This new model, which is being validated by the University of Plymouth, will allow students to achieve their degree over a three year period, with a mix of block weeks and one day a week spent in UCJ. This hybrid model, utilising the best of online and in person learning, will allow future social workers to earn while they learn and subsequently will make the course accesible to a greater number of people.
‘By developing this new model we have also been afforded the opportunity to review the content of the degree. We have selected the best parts of the current model and are introducing new modules that will focus the learning specifically in the context of Jersey.’
Jo Terry Marchant, Principal of Highlands College and University College Jersey explained, ‘We are constantly reviewing, and evolving our course offer to align with the needs of Jersey and to address skills shortages. Our priority is to transform lives through education and so we work to ensure that all our courses not only enhance the future prospects of students who choose to study with us but also have a positive impact on the wider community.’
The application window is open for enrolment in September (subject to final approvals), and will close on 22 March.
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