Bachelor of Social Work

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

Employment prospects for social workers are excellent. Accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers and recognised internationally, this program will prepare you for employment in a complex, diverse and changing field where your capacity to transfer knowledge and skills across contexts is essential.



Social workers use many different types of intervention such as community work, individual and family counselling, group work, policy development, advocacy and research. They can work in varied contexts such as health services, aged care, women’s services, disability services, child and family services, international development, and migration and refugee services.

Graduates are sought after from this program with careers available in health, aged care, children and families, programs for people with disabilities, services for migrant and refugee communities and all areas of social policy and international development with future senior roles including government (local, state and federal) and community-based and human rights organisations.

Course outline

Study plan for students enrolling from 2016 onwards

Year 1

Semester 1 CP
SCLG1001 Introduction to Sociology 1 6
3 x Junior units of study from Arts (Table A or B) 18
Semester 2 CP
SCLG1002 Introduction to Sociology 2 6
3 x Junior units of study from Arts (Table A or B) 18

Year 2

Semester 1 CP
KOCR2603 Indigenous Health and Communities 6
SCPL2601 Australian Social Policy 6
SCWK2007 Life Course Perspectives on Development 6
1 Intermediate or Senior Arts unit of study (Table A or B) 6
Semester 2 CP
SCWK2008 Social Work and Mental Health 6
SCWK2006 Research Skills for Social Work 6
2 x Intermediate or Senior units of study from Arts (Table A or B) 12

Year 3

Semester 1 CP
SCWK3006 Issue-Based Learning Unit 1 8
SCWK3007 Issue-Based Learning Unit 2 8
SCWK3008 Professional Practice 8
Semester 2 CP

SCWK3005 Field Education 1

24
For Honours Students only:
SCWK3009 Social Work Preliminary Honours 6
SCWK3010 Field Education 1 Honours 18

Year 4

Semester 1 CP
SCWK4003 Issue-Based Learning Unit 3 9
SCWK4005 Field Education 2A 15
Semester 2 CP
SCWK4002 Integrative Studies 402 6
SCWK4004 Issue-Based Learning Unit 4 9
SCWK4006 Field Education 2B* 9
*For Honours Students, instead of SCWK4006:
SCWK4007 Field Education 2B Honours 3
SCWK4008 Social Work Research Dissertation 6

For the award of the Bachelor of Social Work, students complete 192 credit points (cp). In the first year, you will undertake two core sociology units of study (12cp) and six units of study from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (36cp). The second year comprises core studies in sociology, research, psychology and Indigenous studies, with three elective units of study to be chosen from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The third and fourth years of the course involve extensive field education placements (60 days in Year 3 and 80 days in Year 4) and issue-based learning (IBL) units of study.

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study. Except with the permission of the Dean, a candidate must complete all unit of study requirements specified for each year, including field education units, before proceeding to the next year.

What is an elective?

An elective is a unit of study within a degree, usually an option within a course. Electives allow more detailed study of a particular subject. In the first and second years of the course, you are able to choose from a wide variety of electives from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences which provides a strong foundation for subsequent studies in social work and social policy in the third and fourth years.

Course opportunities

Bachelor of Social Work candidates complete 60 days of fieldwork in Year 3 and 80 days in Year 4. Field education is a core component of the University of Sydney Social Work program. The field education learning expectations are developed across the program aiming to develop values, skills and knowledge from a beginner to a practitioner capable of meeting the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Practice Standards.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

The Bachelor of Social Work provides an internationally recognised degree which allows graduates to work in varied contexts such as health services, aged care, women's services, disability services, child and family services, international development, migration and refugee services. Graduates may also be involved in community work, individual and family counselling, group work, policy development, advocacy and research.

Course accreditation

The Bachelor of Social Work is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

Further study

Eligible candidates may apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program with the Faculty of Education and Social Work comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master's degrees include capstone independent research projects, supervised by experts in the field of study, which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

About honours

Honours is available to meritorious candidates in the Bachelor of Social Work. Admission to Honours in Social Work requires a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of at least 75 across particular units of study. To be eligible for the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) award, students must complete the requirements for the pass degree but include the alternative 24 credit point Honours pathway described in the table of units of study for the degree.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to this course is on the basis of a secondary school leaving qualification such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (including national and international equivalents), tertiary study or an approved preparation program. English language requirements must be met where these are not demonstrated by sufficient qualifications taught in English. Special admission pathways are open for domestic mature-aged applicants who do not possess a school leaving qualification, educationally disadvantaged applicants and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Applicants are ranked by merit and offers for available places are issued according to the ranking.

Applicants who already have a degree in the social or behavioural sciences, or a two-year TAFE Welfare Diploma may receive credit for prior studies, which will enable students to complete the four-year Bachelor of Social Work degree more quickly.

Credit for the first year of the Bachelor of Social Work is given for a full year of undergraduate study in any field or for a two-year TAFE Diploma in Community Services. Further credit is assessed individually.

The maximum credit available for previous study is two years.

Inherent requirements for programs in social work

To assist students to make informed choices about their study, the Faculty of Education and Social Work has identified inherent requirements for coursework-award courses in social work. In order to successfully complete such a course, students must possess the qualities and skills listed in the document below.

http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/future_students/resources/inherent-requirements/IR-EC-230915.pdf (pdf, 68kB)

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Prospective domestic students apply through the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for a Commonwealth Supported Place. Refer to the UAC website for key dates.

Current students applying to transfer from one bachelor degree to another, apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the transferring courses page.

Current students applying to transfer from a diploma to a bachelor degree must apply through UAC.

For other useful information, visit our How to Apply page.

International students

How to apply

Visit the How to Apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply Now’ button on the right hand side of this course page.

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Undergraduate Student Contribution Amount

The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the 2017 amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study in the course, and the specific units of study in which you enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Students

The tuition fee for international undergraduate students is an indication of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total tuition fees, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.