A study of successful applicants' views of a social work admissions process

james campbell, Anne Campbell, Chaitali Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Summary: There are substantial variations in the way that applicants are selected
for social work programmes in the UK and across the world. This article begins by reviewing the literature in this field, revealing debates about how effective and reliable are methods of assessment used during admission processes. It then describes a crosssectional survey of new social work applicants (n¼203) to two programme providers,describing demographic characteristics and their experiences of the admissions process.
Findings: A number of themes emerged from two sets of findings. There were variations in demographic characteristics, particularly in terms of gender and religion. The study was particularly interested in how students viewed the admissions process. Most students were satisfied with admissions processes, and there were some differences in views about the methods used. The article concludes by describing changes to the admissions system that were partly informed by the study. The article acknowledges the expected bias in the methodology, given that successful applicants were surveyed
and not those who were not successful.
Applications: The authors discuss the study findings in the context of national and international literature and suggest that more rigorous attention should be paid to such evaluations to enable this important area of education and workforce development to be better understood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-399
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number4
Early online date15 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • social work, admissions,
  • student
  • social work education,
  • Northern Ireland,

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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