The Bachelor of Social Work requires four years of full-time study (or equivalent part-time). (Note that field work topics must be taken full-time.)

The Honours degree of the Bachelor of Social Work can be completed by taking an alternative Fourth Year Program. Enrolment in the honours program may be offered to a student who meets certain academic criteria and subject to the school/department being able to provide appropriate resources and staff to supervise the program of study.

The course is offered by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Admission requirements

The minimum requirements for consideration for entry to all undergraduate courses are specified in detail in the University Entry Requirements. 

Course aims

The Bachelor of Social Work aims to:

  • Prepare students for professional work as a social worker and social planner in a range of settings (i.e. local government, state and national government, not for profit, community based environment groups, and private organisations)
  • Graduate students that have a core body of knowledge, skills, values and methods in social work and social planning in preparation for a range of career opportunities and in their role as global citizens
  • Graduate students with a sound understanding of the multiple cultural and institutional contexts and challenges of practice
  •  Develop in graduates of this degree, the values and skills for effective relations between people, organisations and professions in public service
  • Graduate students with knowledge of the colonial history of Australia and its long term effects on Indigenous Australians, especially in relation to social work.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes which the Bachelor of Social Work aims to produce and develop in graduates are:

  • an understanding of Australian social, political and welfare systems and institutions in a global context
  • an understanding of Australian social issues, change and challenges in their global and historical context
  • an understanding of identity, agency and self in culturally diverse contexts
  • an understanding of dominant and alternative paradigms of international social work and social planning
  • skills in the ability to analyse complexity and understand the implications for practice
  • leading edge abilities in a range of methods, techniques and applications of social work and social planning
  • skills in community participation and engagement in a variety of settings
  • collaborative skills and abilities to lead integrative social planning practices
  • high order communication skills (written and oral)
  • critical independent thinking skills and abilities to apply research to a study of social dilemmas
  • a sound values and human rights base to practice
  • a commitment to life learning and reflexive practice
  • qualities to enable graduates to be eligible for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Program of study

To qualify for the degrees of Bachelor of Social Work, a student must complete 144 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the program of study below.

Not all topics are necessarily available in a given year.

Except with permission of the Faculty Board the course must be completed within 10 consecutive years.

The award of a grade of Fail (F) in the same topic on more than one occasion may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress for the purposes of the University's policy on Student Progress.

Core - Year 1 topics

Semester 1

POLI1003  An Introduction to Democracy and Government  (4.5 units)
SOAD1008  Reasons for Social Work  (4.5 units)
SOAD1010  Mental Health and Public Participation  (4.5 units)

One of:

SOCI1001  Issues in Sociology  (4.5 units)
SOCI1010   Sociology of Everyday Life  (4.5 units)

Semester 2

AUST1004  Introduction to Aboriginal Studies  (4.5 units)
SOAD1006  Social Planning Theory (4.5 units)
SOAD1009  Critical Thinking and Communication  (4.5 units)
SOAD1013  Practice with Individuals  (4.5 units)

Core - Year 2 topics

Semester 1

SOAD2002  Human Social Development  (4.5 units)
SOAD2006  Community Development  (4.5 units)
SOAD2007  Social Policy Practice  (4.5 units)

AND choose either:

POLI2020  Australian Indigenous Politics  (4.5 units) OR
WMST2016  Indigenous Women's Voices: Race, Gender and Colonialism  (4.5 units)

Semester 2

GEOG1002  Human Geography: Geographies of Oppression  (4.5 units)
SOAD2003
  Social Work with Groups  (4.5 units)
SOAD2010  Social Work with Diverse Populations (4.5 units)
SOAD2011  Social Work and Reflective Practice (4.5 units)

Core - Year 3 topics

Semester 1

SOAD3102  Field Education 1  (13.5 units)
SOAD3013  Children & Families: Well-being and Protection  (4.5 units)

Semester 2

SOAD3006  Practice Research (4.5 units)
SOAD3008  Loss and Grief in Social Work Practice  (4.5 units)
SOAD3016  Understanding Addictions (4.5 units)
SOAD3017  Identity, Self and Agency (4.5 units)

Core - Year 4 topics

Semester 1

SOAD4001  Human Rights Based Social Work Practice  (4.5 units)
SOAD4008  Ethical Issues and Critical Reflexivity  (4.5 units)
SOAD4011  Mental Health Across the Lifecourse (4.5 units)

Plus one option topic

Semester 2

SOAD4002  Complexities of Contemporary Social Work Practice  (4.5 units)
SOAD4007  Field Education 2  (13.5 units)

Option - Year 4 topics

Select one of the following topics:

AUST2612  Reconciliation and Indigenous Knowledges (4.5 units)
POLI2020  Australian Indigenous Politics (4.5 units)
POLI2025  The Politics of the Australian Welfare State (4.5 units)
SOAD4223  Global Child Welfare (4.5 units)
SOAD4224  Interventions with Children and Young People (4.5 units)
WMST2016  Indigenous Women's Voices: Race, Gender and Colonialism (4.5 units)
WMST3009  Sexualities: Perspectives, Pleasures, Politics (4.5 units)

Honours Fourth Year Program

Honours - Year 4 topics

Students undertake 13.5 units of thesis and 22.5 units of core topics.

Select 13.5 units from the topics listed below:

SOAD7012A  Social Work Honours Thesis  (4.5 units) AND
SOAD7012B  Social Work Honours Thesis  (4.5 units) AND
SOAD7012C  Social Work Honours Thesis  (4.5 units)

and 22.5 units of the core topics:

SOAD4001 Human Rights Based Social Work Practice (4.5 units)
SOAD4007  Field Education 2  (13.5 units)
SOAD7031  Research Principles and Practices  (4.5 units)