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Sandra Engstrom 2016

Sandra Engstrom

PhD in Social Work 2016

Graduated: 2016

I was living in Southampton and practising as a child and family social worker. I had recently completed my Masters in International Social Work in Canada and was looking for more international experience. I applied for my PhD at Edinburgh after discussions with Viv Cree. I had heard wonderful things about the University and had been to Edinburgh twice before as a visitor and jumped at the chance to experience the city and the university. Sacrifices needed to be made, but it was entirely worth it. I learned so much about not only social work, but also myself and the kind of academic I wanted to be.

I was fortunate to have some incredible supervisors at the University and was welcomed into the faculty as an early career researcher. My favourite times however, were spent running tutorials for the new undergraduate students. I still remain in touch with some of them and it is inspiring to see them take the skills we taught them into practice.

I am currently a social work lecturer at the University of Stirling. I teach on the undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as the post-qualifying programme. I am involved in interesting multi-national research and have had some great development opportunities. I remain in touch with my fellow social work PhD students and colleagues and consider them some of my closest friends.

Looking ahead, I think social work education is at a crossroads. There are external forces that strongly influence the content and quality of the teaching and research being conducted. That being said, I think there will be an increased opportunity for creativity and innovation within social work education as a response to the changing socio-political landscape it is found in.