Social Work

Information about the five-year combined degree of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work is available on

This is an Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) -accredited qualification. It is an entry-level qualification into the social work profession and has been determined to meet the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS).
Inherent requirements for programs in social work

To assist students to make informed choices about their study, Sydney School 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.


Course Duration: 4 years full time
Assumed Knowledge: Depends on subjects chosen

Guaranteed ATAR/IB 2018: 80 / 28
UAC Code: 511615

This degree prepares students for employment in a complex, diverse and changing environment.

Human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work, according to the International Federation of Social Work definition of the profession. Graduates are expected to be reflective, versatile and skilled in a range of practice areas, and able to translate professional values into action.

Social workers may use many different types of intervention such as community work; individual and family counselling; group work; policy development; advocacy; and research.

They 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.

Why study at the University of Sydney

The unique "2 + 2" structure of the Bachelor of Social Work – two years' study in the Faculty of Arts plus two years' professional studies in social work and social policy with the Sydney School of Education and Social Work – allows students to combine qualifying as a professional social worker with two years' tertiary studies in other areas of interest such as languages or history.

Field education

Students must undertake two field-education placements during their degree. These provide a practice context for the campus learning.

The placements provide students with experience in different types of:

  • intervention (for example: work with individuals, communities, groups, policy development and research)

  • organisations (government and non-government)

  • population groups (indigenous Australians, refugees, families)

  • different contexts of practice (health, income security, disability and housing).

Field-education placements are designed to allow students to become familiar with the practice of critical reflection and, because they are undertaken in conjunction with ongoing classwork, they encourage students to appreciate the mutual dependence of theory and practice.

Year 3: 60 days' field education

Year 4: 80 days' field education

Course outcomes

The Bachelor of Social Work produces graduates who:

  • understand the contribution of social work and social policy in working towards social justice

  • have skills in communication, empathy, self-awareness in practice, providing resources, assessment and exercising professional judgment

  • have the ability to undertake research in practice

  • make appropriate and constructive responses at all levels of intervention and across the range of workplace contexts

  • understand the interdependence of theory, practice, policy and research

  • can critically and constructively reflect upon their own professional practice.

Accelerated entry

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 two-year TAFE Diploma in Community Services of one full year of undergraduate university study in any field. Further credit is assessed individually. The maximum credit available for previous study is two years, provided the previous degree has not been awarded.