Robert Gordon’s Technical College’s first full-time lecturer in ‘Liberal Studies' was appointed in 1962. Over the next six years, the teaching of ’Genera1Studies’ (as the subject came to be known) spread to an increasing number of courses. In 1968, RGIT established a new School of Social Studies at Schoolhill, and appointed Dr. John Highet as its Head. The School had a dual function - to bring all the Institute’s General Studies teaching together under one provider, and to set up new courses in Social Work and Child Care.
Since RGIT had run no courses in Social Work or Child Care prior to 1968, it was necessary to appoint a new team of specialist staff to teach these subjects. Two courses were immediately developed. The first was a two-year, full-time course leading to the award of a Certificate in Social Work by the Council for Training in Social Work. The second was a two-year, full-time course leading to recognition as a qualified Child-Care Officer by the Central Council for Training in Child Care. One year later, a similar course leading to recognition as a qualified Probation Officer by the Scottish Probation Advisory Council was added to the portfolio. All three courses involved a mixture of theoretical study in RGIT and supervised placement ’in the field’. Further courses were added later, including a one-year course leading to the Certificate of Qualification in the ’Residential Care of Children and Young People’ that was transferred from Aberdeen Corporation to RGIT in 1972.
During the early 1970’s, the School started to develop a BA in Social Studies with options in Social Work and in Social and Public Administration, and, during session 1975-76, this proposal was approved in principle by the Scottish Education Department. The title was subsequently changed to a BA in Social and Public Administration with an option in Social Work. This began in 1978. At the start of the 1980’s, however, the decision was taken to award separate BA degrees in Public Administration, and Public Administration and Applied Social Studies.
In 1981, Dr. Highet retired as Head of School and was replaced by Mr. Charles W. (Bill) Ellis, who had taught General and Social Studies in RGIT since before the School was formed. In September 1983, staff of the School of Health Visiting became part of the School of Social Studies, operating as an identifiable unit with a Senior Lecturer in Charge. This move paved the way for a major expansion of nursing education in RGIT during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
RGU is a major provider of sociasl work education today, with a rnage of full and part time degree programmes on offer.
Souce: information supplied by Janine Bolger, Head of Social Work.