Caroline King

Recent MSW Social Work graduate, Caroline King, talks about handing over a long-term career to start fresh in a new field

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Caroline King, I was an MSW Social Work full-time student, and I graduated in January of 2021.

What was your background before doing your Master’s?Social work student Caroline King

Leaving school at the age of 16 with eight O Grades, I was keen to start my working life and never considered higher education. I passed the entrance exam for the Bank of Scotland, and worked for them for 26 years, during this period I had many interesting roles and opportunities and progressed in my career.

However, I was becoming restless, and I was looking for a new challenge.  A conversation with a friend, encouraged me to study a Criminology & Psychology Honours degree with the Open University. This opened a whole new world of learning for me. I balanced my studies with a demanding job and raising a family.

What encouraged you to study at postgraduate level?

After completing my undergraduate studies, I got the bug and wanted to do further studies.  The world of academia was fascinating to me. I wanted to surround myself with like-minded people and absorb all their knowledge.

Why did you choose to study at Edinburgh Napier University?

I chose to apply to Edinburgh Napier University as I liked the concept of collaborative study.  I also felt that the content of the course was well researched and very current to what was happening in health and social care.

What are your favourite parts of the course? 

My favourite parts of the course were going out on placement, prep for practice class, visits in the community and working in the skills lab.

I was offered a job following my first placement, this benefited me by providing much needed experience and some new lifelong friends.

Any challenges during your studies and what you did to overcome these?

Of course, there were challenges along the way. Sometimes it felt like an insurmountable mountain to climb, and there were some dark moments when you question your decision.  My own grit and determination got me through, along with the support of my amazing student social work pals, my Personal Development Tutor and lecturers, and my wonderful, loving and supporting family, who picked up the slack.

How did you find the transition between undergraduate studies to doing your Masters?

There is a big jump academically from undergraduate to masters. However, I feel if you have systems in place to keep you focused and organised then it is achievable. Remember you are not alone, ask for help and use the resources that are on offer to you.

What did you do after completing your Master’s?

I have secured a social work post working for the City of Edinburgh Council, Adult Social Work, Residential Review Team. 

My future aspirations are to be involved in the shaping of new policies and procedures for social work. I envisage working with the Scottish Government in some capacity. I also plan to secure an overseas position possibly in Australia to gain a broad knowledge of social work both locally, nationally, and globally.

Would you recommend the course? If so, why?

I would highly recommend this course. This course prepares you, challenges you to think critically and empowers you with a level of education and confidence to enter the profession of social work.