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General Social Care Council progression study: Phase II


The General Social Care Council (GSCC) commissioned SCWRU to analyse progression rates amongst students registering for a Diploma in Social Work (DipSW) between 1998-2004 and compare them to the progression of the new degree students 2003-2005. 

Research team

Shereen Hussein, SCWRU
Jo Moriarty, SCWRU
Jill Manthorpe, SCWRU


General Social Care Council (GSCC)


The first phase of research showed that social work students with certain characteristics, such as those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and who reported having any form of disability, were significantly more likely to be deferred or referred and thus take longer to complete their study on time. Building on this work, the GSCC is continuing collaboration with SCWRU and other stakeholders to further investigate different progression patterns among social work students with different characteristics in England.


The GSCC provided SCWRU with over 50,000 social work students’ records from 1998 to 2007, offering longitudinal progression information on over 43,000 social work students. These longitudinal data include demographic information on students who were registered for the previous DipSW programmes along with their progress records and similarly for students enrolled for the new social work degree since 2003 in England.

The data provide a wealth of longitudinal information and offer opportunities to investigate how the findings and patterns concluded from the analysis of previous cohorts (1995-1997) changed. The data also pose some technical challenges as they contained censored information. After processing and validating the data will be analysed using MLwiN to examine the hierarchical effect of higher education institutions’ and students’ characteristics observed in the previous analysis. The objective is to identify the relative contribution in the variation of the probability of passing on time in relation to the students’ and HEIs’ characteristics. The results of the quantitative analysis will be put in context and fed into the more qualitative piece of research in collaboration with Goldsmiths and the GSCC through its Diversity and Progression Group.


April 2007 – July 2009


Hussein, S., Moriarty, J. & Manthorpe, J., (2009), 'Variations in Progression of Social Work Students in England: Using student data to help promote achievement: Undergraduate full-time students' progression on the social work degree' [pdf, 875 KB], London: Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London; General Social Care Council.

Hussein, S., Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J. & Huxley, P., (2006), 'Diversity and Progression in Social Work Education in England. A report on progression rates among DipSW students', London: General Social Care Council.
Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J. & Hussein, S., (in press), 'Earning and learning: the influence of secondment on retention rates in part-time social work qualifying education in England', Studies in Higher Education.

Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., Chauhan, B., Jones, G., Wenman, H. & Hussein, S., (2009), '"Hanging on a little thin line": Barriers to progression and retention in social work education', Social Work Education, 28(4): 363-379.

Hussein, S., Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J. & Huxley, P., (2008), 'Diversity and progression among students starting social work qualifying programmes in England between 1995 and 1998: a quantitative study', British Journal of Social Work, 38(8): 1588-1609.
Hussein, S., Moriarty, J. & Manthorpe, J., (2008), 'The Progression of Social Work Students from Diverse Backgrounds: New Trends and Old Issues', Race Equality Foundation / SSRG / SCIE Inclusion and Exclusion Conference, 20 November, School for Oriental and African Studies, London.
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