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Timeline :: Edinburgh Medical Social Work course begins

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The Medical Social Work (MSW) Certificate course began at Edinburgh, and is accredited by the Institute of Almoners. This was the first such course in Scotland.  Jean Snelling and Stella Waldron had worked to make this happen; they also supported the development of probation officers training “extra-murally” (see Waldron’s obituary of Marjorie Brown).

The Certificate course was a one year course, requiring candidates to be over 21 years of age and to already hold a Social Study degree, diploma or certificate.  Students were advised that they were expected to have already attended classes about psychology in their previous qualification, and that an "elementary knowledge of anatomy and physiology must be aquired by the end of the first term".  Candidiates without an appropriate prior qualification, but relevant experience in social work, teaching or nursing, could undertake the first year of the Certificate in Social Study course, and then progress to the MSW course.

Students were required to have at least eight weeks experience on approved social casework before beginning the course.  The curriculum was made up of the following courses:

*  Introduction to Medical Studies;

*  The Health Human Being;

*  The Human Being in Sickness;

*  Personal Difficulties;

*  Theory of Medical Social Casework

The 'Theory of Medical Social Casework' course consisted of ten lectures, in the summer term.  In addition to teaching the students would also have casework discussions each week and individual tutorials with the Almoner-Tutors every fortnight.  Prescribed books for the course included:  Carl Binger 'The Doctor's Job', Flora Beck 'The Almoner', Sir James Stirling Ross 'National Health Service in Great Britain', Charlotte Towle 'Common Human Needs', and John Bowlby 'Maternal Care and Mental Health'

Source:  University of Edinburgh Calendar 1953/54