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Changes in admissions work arising from the new social work degree in England

Manthope, Jill and Moriarty, Jo and Hussein, Shereen and Sharpe, Endellion and Stevens, Martin and Orme, Joan and MacIntyre, Gillian and Green Lister, Pam and Crisp, Beth R. (2010) Changes in admissions work arising from the new social work degree in England. Social Work Education, 29 (7). pp. 1-14. ISSN 0261-5479

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The business of admissions to higher education in England is a significant task for academic and support staff. This paper draws on the Evaluation of the New Social Work Degree Qualification in England (2004-2008) to describe the changes in admissions work for social work staff in higher education associated with the change from diploma to a degree level qualification for entry to the profession; to report how staff involved in admissions work are managing these changes; and to identify elements of admissions processes that are perceived to be fulfilling the new requirements of the degree and those which are identified as more problematic. The article draws on two telephone/email surveys of a national sample of social work programmes and on face-to-face in-depth interviews with a sample of teaching staff from nine social work programmes in six higher education institutions undertaken during 2005-2007. The work of admissions staff is rarely scrutinised in studies of higher education or specifically in social work programmes: this article discusses the spectrum of approaches. It recommends monitoring of the outcomes of practices in admissions work that are recasting Department of Health Requirements as the minimum