Activities per year
Practice learning is integral to the curriculum for qualifying social work students. Accreditation standards require regular student supervision and exposure to specific learning activities. Most agencies offer high quality placements but organisational cutbacks may affect supervision and restrict the development of competence and professional identity. Undergraduate social work students in Northern Ireland universities (n = 396) were surveyed about the usefulness of the learning activities they received on placement for developing practice competence and professional social work identity. Results suggest that students most valued regular supervision, constructive feedback, observing social workers and thinking critically about the social work role. Differences were reported across placements with students feeling disadvantaged in agencies where there was no clear social work role.