Katja Nicholson’s passion for social work began at a young age - her parents are foster parents, giving her an insight into the world of looked-after young people.
“I was eager to learn about the social work role with other service-user groups,” she said. “I was drawn to the University of Stirling for many reasons, including the beautiful surroundings and campus facilities.
“Also, I was particularly interested in the modules and course structure, as well as the opportunity to undertake empirical research.”
As part of her studies, Katja undertook a placement within a statutory older people’s service and later, completed her final placement at the Multi-Cultural Family Base. She also volunteered as a social work course ambassador.
“It was extremely beneficial that all lecturers were qualified social workers and brought a vast amount of knowledge and experience of different areas of social work to teaching,” she said. “Our lecturers ensured that the teaching and assessment reflected different learning styles. We were taught through role play, video materials and group work where we used case studies to enhance our learning and develop our knowledge, skills and values.
“Most importantly, we had regular input from UNITY, Stirling University’s service user and carer group. This was a very unique and powerful learning experience which I will take with me and reflect upon in my future career.”
She said the support of the teaching staff and her peers helped her overcome the challenges she faced throughout her studies.
As a reward for all her hard work Katja, who describes her time at Stirling as stimulating, worthwhile and memorable, has been offered her dream job in Fife Council as a Children and Families social worker.