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.

Program Code


UAC Code




Total units of credit (UOC)




Indicative Enrolments



  • Social Work

Degree Structure

Core courses

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
  • Psychology
  • 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

Field placements

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:

  1. The first Social Work placement is in Terms 1 and 2 of third year and involves 70 days placement in an agency.
  2. 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.

Degree Handbook

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.

Career Opportunities

  • Policy analyst and adviser
  • Research officer
  • Project manager
  • Social worker

Professional accreditation

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:

Health :

  • public hospitals including general and mental health services
  • community health services

Government :

  • 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

Non-government organisations :

  • 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

Private 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.

Honours streams

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.

Find Your Career Match

At UNSW Arts & Social Sciences we want you to love what you do - and that means choosing a degree that will help you secure a job you love.

Find out which careers suit your personality type best and how we can help you get there.

Learn more

Accreditation / Professional Recognition

Graduates qualify for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

Entry requirements

2020 Lowest Selection Rank 1


2021 Guaranteed Entry 2


2020 A levels 3


2020 IB Diploma 4


2020 Lowest ATAR 5


1. 2020 Lowest Selection Rank

The 2020 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2020.

2. 2021 Guaranteed Entry

Find more information on Guaranteed Entry here.

3. 2020 A levels

The 2020 A levels score is based on four Advanced Level (A2) subject. Entry scores are calculated from the best three or four A2 subjects (excluding repeated subjects) using the following values: A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1. At most one Applied A Level subject may be included in the best four subjects used to calculate the aggregate.

4. 2020 IB Diploma

The 2020 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2020. It is to be used as a guide only.

5. 2020 Lowest ATAR

The 2020 Lowest ATAR is the lowest ATAR (before adjustment factors were applied) to which an offer was made. Where <5 is listed, this indicates that less than 5 ATAR-based offers were made and so the score has not been published. N/A indicates no offers were made on the basis of ATAR.

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate study from domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Visit the Apply section of the UAC website and you can nominate up to five degrees in order of preference, with the first being your most desired degree and university.

On-time applications for admission usually close at the end of September each year for Term 1 admission. Late applications can be submitted, but a late fee will apply. For study starting in Term 1, the majority of offers are made in December and January.

Visit the UAC website for key dates for admission outside of Term 1.



2021 Indicative First Year Fee


Commonwealth Supported Place, Student Contribution Band 4

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at the start of each calendar year.

The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included.

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