Arts, Social Work

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: 5 years full time
Assumed Knowledge: Depends on subjects chosen

2017 ATAR cut-off: 80.00
UAC Code: 511615

This degree prepares students for employment in an environment which is complex, diverse and changing. Candidates for the double degree must first complete a Bachelor of Arts, studying sociology, Indigenous studies and psychology. After completing the Arts component, students proceed to the third and fourth years of the Bachelor of Social Work program.

Social workers may use many different types of intervention such as:

  • community work
  • individual and family counselling
  • group work
  • policy development
  • advocacy
  • research.

Why study at the University of Sydney?

Human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work, according to the International Federation of Social Work definition of the profession. In response to this, the school's program is designed to produce graduates who are reflective, versatile and skilful in a range of practice areas and to be able to translate professional values into action.

The combined degree makes it possible to obtain a qualification as a professional social worker while undertaking in-depth tertiary study in other areas of interest. It is even possible to complete honours in the Bachelor of Arts before proceeding to the final two years of the Bachelor of Social Work.

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 Arts, Bachelor of Social Work combined degree program 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.