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Timeline :: Edinburgh Diploma in Social Work begins

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The Seebohm Committee had reported in 1968 that for social work to be provided in a more effective and holistic way it should be done through generic Social Service Departments.  This meant that generic social work courses were required to meet the needs of the workforce who would staff these new departments.  Edinburgh had previously had a number of courses including the Diploma of Social Study, and Certificates in Psychiatric Social Work, Medical Social Work and Child Care.  However, in order to meet the new needs of the social work workforce they moved to providing one generic social work qualification in 1970.

The Diploma in Social Work required that students have a degree, or comparable qualification, for example in social administration, sociology and psychology; and to had completed at least eight weeks appropriate supervised fieldwork in an approved department or agency.  

The course had two elements - theoretical courses and fieldwork.  Students were required to attend the following course:

*  Human Growth and Behaviour;

*  Psychiatry;

*  Personal and Social Aspects of Illness;

*  Social Policy and Administration;

*  Social Work Method

Students were also required to choose one of the following courses:

* Special Aspects of Child Care;

*  Medical Information and Social Work in the Medical Field;

*  Social Aspects of Mental Disorder

Candidates were examined orally and in writing and they needed to meet "a satisfactory standard in fieldwork".

More detail is given about fieldwork requirements in the University Calendar for 1971/72 which states that the equivalent of three days a week will be spent in fieldwork or residential work, depending on the student's interest.  A further six weeks of full-time fieldwork will be undertaken upon completion of the theoretical courses.  

Over the next few years the specialist elements which had remained in the course (the specific courses for child care, medical social work and mental disorders) were initially added to in 1971/72 when another course for Social Work in Residential Care was added, however by 1974/75 specialist courses were no longer available.  

Source:  University of Edinburgh Calendars 1969/60 - 1974/75