A Qualitative Study of Marginalised Social Work Students' Views of Social Work Education and Learning

Bernard, Claudia A.; Fairtlough, Anna; Fletcher, Joan and Ahmet, Akile. 2014. A Qualitative Study of Marginalised Social Work Students' Views of Social Work Education and Learning. The British Journal of Social Work, 44(7), pp. 1934-1949. ISSN 0045-3102 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article explores the experiences of social work students who viewed themselves to be multiply marginalised in universities in England. It draws on data from a Department of Health-funded study into Diversity and Progression that investigated the particular circumstances of black and ethnic minority, disabled, and lesbian, gay and bisexual students. In-depth interviews (forty-one) and focus groups (nine) were conducted with students and a wide range of social work education providers in eight universities in England to identify how individual and institutional factors interact to affect learning experiences on social work programmes. The results show that subtle manifestations of marginalisation are at play in the learning environment for these groups of students. Overall, the findings highlight the ways in which various forms of discrimination coalesce to disempower particular groups of students. The article concludes by considering the implications and challenges for social work educators in minimising such discriminatory processes.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Social work education, discrimination, learning environment, social work educators

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


1 January 2013Accepted
25 March 2013Published Online
October 2014Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 11:23

Last Modified:

23 Apr 2021 13:09

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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