The Certificate in Psychiatric Social Work began in Edinburgh in 1944, and was only the second course which offered specific mental health training for social workers in the UK (the first was the LSE in 1929; Machester was the third university to offer such training).
Application requirements in the first year were that: students needed to be approved by a selection committee after interview and were also required to be over the age of 22 and hold a Diploma or Certificate in Social Studies, or a degree in Sociology which had been supplemented by practical experience. In addition, the University Calendar notes that it was assumed students would have previously studied psychology for their diploma or certificate. In the first year of the course (1944/45) the curriculum was as follows:
- (i) Introductory course: functions of the psychiatric social worker in relation to mental health (ii) General case work and administration
- Applied normal psychology and elementary psychiatry
- Psychiatry: (i) attendance at the Royal Infirmary out-patient department (ii) attendance at demonstrations at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for nervous and mental disorders.
- Sociological aspects of psychiatric social work
- Introduction to statistics
- Social biology
- Discussion class
- Practical work which will occupy half of the student’s time.
Miss Nora Milnes was Director of the course at its onset. Stella Waldron taught on the course from 1946 until 1951; Megan Browne took over this teaching. Marjorie Brown took over as Director in 1951/2 after Nora Milnes retired.
Source: Edinburgh University Calendars 1944/45-1951/52. Further information here - Academic Learning.