Social Work's New ‘Non-traditional' Students?Learning from the Experiences of Our Younger Students.

Cathryn Holmstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper begins by locating the (controversial) removal of the ‘minimum age atqualification' regulation in 2003 within the context of wider changes occurring withinsocial work education and the social work profession. This is followed by a report of asmall scale exploratory study designed to gather data regarding the experiences of youngerstudents within one undergraduate qualifying programme. The data are then discussed inrelation to literature from within social work and allied disciplines in order to considerthemes such as ‘identity', ‘othering' and ‘recognition'. It is suggested from data gatheredduring this project that although the gates to social work education have now been openedmore widely to school leaving students, they have in effect become social work's new ‘non-traditional' students and in some cases, inclusion is experienced as partial rather thancomplete. A discussion of the implications for further research as well as teaching, learningand group process issues on professional programmes concludes this paper.The initial phase of the research for this paper was funded by an HEA SWAP ‘smallprojects' grant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-286
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Social Work Education on 01/04/2011, available online:


  • Age
  • Identity
  • Social Work Student
  • Professional Identity
  • Transition
  • Diversity
  • Learning Groups


Dive into the research topics of 'Social Work's New ‘Non-traditional' Students?Learning from the Experiences of Our Younger Students.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this