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People :: Alumni :: Deirdre Fitzpatrick


Deirdre Fitzpatrick

Master of Social Work 1996

Graduated: 1996

Prior to studying social work at Edinburgh University, I had worked within social care/social work for over 10 years. Having worked in the probation service in London and then moved back to Edinburgh to manage services for a voluntary sector agency working in Criminal Justice, it was important to develop my knowledge base of social work to complement my practice experience. The Master's at Edinburgh University was a logical choice given my desire for a high quality learning environment with leaders in the field of criminal justice social work.

The Master's was extremely stimulating and challenging. Having three statutory placements was a great learning experience given my extensive experience in the voluntary sector. My 2nd placement at the old Royal Infirmary older adults' team with Marie Irwin as practice teacher was a massive eye opener to the oppression faced by older people within society.

After university I went back to my post as a manager of a couple of criminal justice projects. I used my understanding of research and theory to develop a proposal to expand the service. I was able to set up a steering group for the new services which were granted funding, and included Bill Whyte in the development of the projects. After giving birth to my two daughters I shifted my focus to social work education where I used my practice teaching qualification to teach in a range of sectors. Thereafter, I began working with the Open university as an associate lecturer teaching on the social work programme and have now progressed to a full staff member and am currently interim head of the social work programme in Scotland.

Source: own contribution, 23/1/18