A week in the life of a Social Work student

Monday

This week started with a 9am lecture on social policy, discussing marketisation on our welfare state. This lecture was an hour long so making notes was quite easy and my lecturer was clear and informative!

Within the course I have 4 modules including social policy, sociology and psychology, social work and social justice. All modules improve our understanding of social work as a whole and ensure we have that broad knowledge under our belt.

At 1pm, I then had another lecture on sociology and psychology, which was also an hour long. I then left to get on the bus and reached Campus East where I got back to my lovely flatmates!

What’s a seminar?

As well as lectures, seminars are also key to university life. They give you the opportunity to discuss what was said in your lecture and can open up a debate. Seminars are extremely useful when the lecture was more complex as you are able to ask questions in a much smaller group. Seminars also require preparation work which differs each week and for each module. This work usually involves reading or watching video clips to take notes on.

I gain vast knowledge from my seminar leaders. They are informative and give you questions that make you think and realise certain aspects of the topic that you wouldn’t initially think about.

Tuesday

On Tuesday, I had a lovely lie in and then left for my 11am lecture. After this lecture, me and several people from the social work course go to Courtyard (a popular students union bar that you will 100% hear about when you arrive) for lunch. This is a great opportunity to socialise with course-mates and catch up!

A social policy seminar then approaches me at 1pm so I quickly leave my friends and make sure my attendance is taken! This seminar involved how NHS privatisation will impact our healthcare, opening up debate and giving us the opportunity to share our views and differences.

Wednesday

Wednesday is a very relaxed day for me as my 10am lecture is all I have. This gives me an opportunity to prepare for my seminars for the rest of the week by reading and note taking so I am able to share my knowledge with the group.

I can also socialise with my flatmates and enjoy their company! We cook meals together and go shopping at the famous ‘Nisa’ (again, something you will 100% know about when you arrive and also a saving grace for when you’ve run out of orange juice).

Wednesdays also involve going to watch sports events such as rugby or football to support our campus, college or overall university! This provides us with a competitive spirit, even when it’s freezing.

Thursday

My Thursday seminar focuses purely on social work. It gives us an opportunity to meet other social workers and for them to tell us about their experiences. We have also had visits from the ‘supergroup’, a group of people who have had experiences of the welfare state through, for example, their own mental health problems or caring for others. They share their stories about the welfare state and how they have been beneficial or not.

After the seminar, I am able to go into York with my flatmates. York is a beautiful city (as I’m sure everyone who you’ve told about applying here has mentioned) and has everything you’ll ever need! Shopping is incredible here and there is a vast array of restaurants that everyone will enjoy. It is also a safe environment, making people who are new in the area feel very comfortable.

Friday

Fridays, for me, start with a 9am seminar (that I do sometimes struggle with). Thankfully my seminar leader is a delight and understands it is the end of the week. Our seminar leader is informative and tells us about her experiences and knowledge she has gained relating to our topic. This helps us get our heads around the ideas put forward to us.

I also have another seminar at 1pm but before the afternoon seminar, I usually meet up with my friend to grab a coffee on campus so we can get our energy and prepare for any questions our seminar leader may throw at us!

Saturday

Me and my flatmates sometimes have a night out on a Friday, making Saturday mornings very lazy. This is the day I attempt to do a weekly shop online and get it delivered to campus in order to be stocked up for the rest of the week.

Saturdays may also be a time where I would plan or write essays that I have been given by my seminar leaders that go towards my grade. These essays need to be planned and referenced well in order to obtain the best grade possible.

Sunday

Campus East, University of York
The view from my flat on Campus East

On Sundays, I like to prepare for seminars for my next week to reduce my workload. If anything is needed in town I will go in with my friends and possibly have lunch as well!

Sunday nights we like to have a movie night. So we all either go into the kitchen or all squeeze into our flatmate’s room (she has a massive TV…) to watch Netflix! This helps us bond even more and reminds us all how close we are and how comfortable we are around one another, improving our university experience!


Overall, the social work course at York is enjoyable, broad and captivating. It gives students a well-rounded idea of the profession and what we need to know in order to exceed in what we want to do in the future.

I have settled in so well and it has been a pleasure to meet everyone I now know here. The course has suited me perfectly and been exactly what I wanted. I have not once regretted my decision in joining the University of York and I highly doubt you will either!

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Olivia

Hi! I’m Olivia and I’m a student studying Social Work at York. I’m loving my time here and making the most out of what the course provides.