In this chapter we will explore the essential and central role of social work placements within the social work education process. Many students coming onto pre-qualifying social work programmes approach social work placements with both trepidation and excitement. Indeed, it has been indicated that social work students value their placements above other aspects of their social work training (Shardlow and Doel, 1996). Students see their practice learning as essential to their development and to the transition into employment and being employable (Tham and Lynch, 2014). Some commentators have argued that learning on placement has a greater impact than classroom teaching (Bellinger, 2010). This chapter explores the connections between learning at university and learning in practice. It adopts a linear approach to this process from prior to entering social work training to the transition into qualified practice and employment.
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