The Social Work degree teaches you to understand people, giving you the skills to help them through challenging times such as homelessness, addiction, abuse, mental illness, poverty, ageing and discrimination.
Studies in the areas of social work practice and social and behavioural sciences equip you to find practical solutions to help people reduce stress and improve their quality of life.
There is a strong emphasis on practical skills, with professional-practice courses running from the first year, while field placements provide opportunities to apply classroom learning to real-life situations, either in Australia or overseas.
The Bachelor of Social Work draws on the extensive expertise and experience of qualified Social Work practitioners to deliver a unique combination of scholarly and practise-based courses.
Core courses in the Social Work program include:
- Introduction to Social Work
- Communication and Social Work
- Sociology and Anthropology
- Social Work Practice: Individuals/Families and Groups
- Research for Social Work
- Aboriginal People and Social Work
- Social Work Practice: Field Placement
- Socio-Legal Practice
- Social Work Practice in Organisations
As a Social Work student, you have the opportunity to focus on particular contexts or methods of practice, directed by the elective courses and placements you chose.
You will undertake two field placements during your degree:
- The first Social Work placement is in Terms 1 and 2 of third year and involves 70 days placement in an agency.
- The second is in Term 2 and 3 of fourth year and involves 70 days of placement in an agency.
Each placement also involves compulsory seminars on campus.
Pathways from TAFE NSW
Our undergraduate Social Work program has a formal agreement with TAFE NSW regarding the articulation of students from the Community Services program.
Students admitted to Bachelor of Social Work who have completed the relevant diplomas under the TAFE Community Services Training Package will receive TAFE Credit Transfer for 48 units of credit, which is equivalent to one year full-time study.
Double degree options
Dual mode (168 UOC) made up of:
1. Program Core (168 UOC - 23 courses)
Dual mode is available in 4045 Social Work (Honours)/Arts, 4034 Social Work (Honours)/Criminology & Criminal Justice, 4044 Social Work (Honours)/Social Research & Policy, and 4787 Social Work (Honours)/Law.
- Policy analyst and adviser
- Research officer
- Project manager
- Social worker
The UNSW Bachelor of Social Work degree qualifies graduates for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) which is required by many employers.
Our Social Work graduates can be found in the following organisations:
- public hospitals including general and mental health services
- community health services
- state and federal government departments including Commonwealth Rehabilitation Services, Health, Social Security, Community Services, Probation and Parole
- local government organisations focused on social-planning and delivery of services for local residents
- United Nations (UN) agencies such as UN Development Programme, UN Refugee Agency and UNICEF
- Save the Children, International Red Cross and AusAid
- community, peak (representative) councils, private, charitable and religious organisations
- corporate settings including unions, state transport services, banks, the armed services and private industry
- counsellors, psychotherapists, planning and social policy
Overseas placements and exchange program
When you study Social Work at UNSW, you will have the opportunity to complete your final Social Work placement in India, Canada or Sweden.
You can also spend a term overseas at a partner university and receive credit towards your degree at UNSW.
UNSW has over 200 partner universities in over 38 countries.
In the fourth year of your Social Work degree you will enter one of two Honours streams:
Honours Stream One - You will complete an enquiry based professional portfolio undertaken alongside your fourth year of study which integrates scholarship with your professional social work course and placement context.
Honours Stream Two - You will conduct your own small practice, or conceptual research project, and have the opportunity to produce a research-based thesis.
Accreditation / Professional Recognition
Graduates qualify for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).