Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work

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

The information on this page relates to the 2018 intake.

This five-year degree offers a comprehensive and flexible combined degree program that qualifies you as an accredited social worker, while also allowing you to enhance your qualification with majors and minors that complement the Bachelor of Social Work.

These include sociology, social policy, diversity studies, gender studies or philosophy, offered through the Bachelor of Arts.

You’ll undertake integrated studies in social sciences, social policy and social work theory and practice, with a strong emphasis on Australian and comparative social welfare studies.

In the last two years of the degree all students undertake the professional social work program, which includes two fieldwork placements supervised by highly skilled and experienced practitioners in a variety of settings.

We develop field education learning expectations across the program and aim to develop values, skills and knowledge for levels from beginner to a practitioner capable of meeting the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Practice Standards.

Why study with us?

1. With our Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences ranked 15th in the world*, you will learn from leading experts across more than 45 areas of study.

2. Our internationally recognised social work program is led by faculty members who are experts in their fields.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017


What is a major?

A major is a specialisation in a chosen area of study and is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in a particular area. Majors are included on students' testamurs. The Bachelor of Arts requires that students complete at least one major from the subject areas taught by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In most cases, a major consists of at least 48 credit points (cp) of units of study (six credit points each) from a single subject area of study. Senior units of study can only be used to meet the requirements for one major. Units cannot be 'double counted' or 'counted twice'. For example, FRNC2622 may be counted to either a major in French studies or a major in European studies major, but cannot be counted towards both. The exact requirements for majors may differ between subject areas. Most majors require the completion of at least two junior (1000-level) prerequisite units of study (six credit points each). These junior units may be prerequisites for the major itself and/or for senior units within the major's subject area. 1000-level units of study, in most cases, are required to progress on to higher level units.

Further course information

Course opportunities

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Social Work candidates will complete 60 days of fieldwork in year 4 and 80 days in year 5. Field education is a core component of our Social Work program. Field education learning expectations are developed across the program and aim to develop values, skills and knowledge for levels from beginner to a practitioner capable of meeting the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Practice Standards.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Our Bachelor of Social Work graduates have a wide range of career opportunities available to them in fields such as housing, health, social security, aged care, family welfare, programs for people with disabilities and services for migrant communities.

Possible career pathways include: Aged care worker, children and families support worker, community worker in programs for people with disabilities, migrant and refugee liaison officer, international development worker, social policy adviser.

Course accreditation

The Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Social Work is a professional qualification that is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

Further study

Eligible candidates may proceed to an honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master's degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas to opportunities for independent research projects. These projects prepare students for higher degrees by research.


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.

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 Handbooks Online 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 Admissions Centre (UAC) for a Commonwealth supported place. Refer to the UAC website for key dates.

Current students applying to transfer from one bachelor's 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's degree need to apply through UAC.

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

Assumed knowledge

For Bachelor of Arts: Depends on Arts subjects chosen. Most subject areas in Arts require no previous knowledge. For Languages program: Prior language learning experience is not required but recommended.
For Bachelor of Social Work: Depends on subjects chosen.

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.