Over 2,000 accredited courses from leading Australian universities, TAFEs and colleges

Bachelor of Social Work

  • Qualification:

    Bachelor's Degree

  • Study mode:

    On Campus

  • Payment options:

    HECS-HELP may be available
    Upfront payment

  • Duration:

    4 years full-time; up to 10 years part-time

  • Start date:

    Enquire now for upcoming start dates!

  • Awarded by:

    University of New England

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What you'll learn

Kelly talks about studying the Bachelor of Social Work on campus at UNE.

About this course

Are you passionate about people? With a career in social work, you'll help vulnerable groups address barriers to equality and improve quality of life for a range of individuals and communities.

With a focus on psychology, the examination of human behaviour and social interactions and social justice, this online or on-campus course at the University of New England (UNE) will equip you with the practical skills and resilience required to become a social worker.

With a strong focus on rural services, this course will enable you to develop a keen understanding of particular issues facing rural and Indigenous communities, and the tools to work in those areas.

Comprising studies in psychology, sociology, counselling, Indigenous studies and law, the comprehensive theoretical component of this course will equip you with the technical knowledge and skills for work - and you'll also get hands-on industry insight with 1000 hours of professional work experience.

Practical industry experience

This course includes a mandatory work placement component to ensure that you graduate with a strong mix of practical industry experience that complements your learning. You will be required to complete 1000 hours of placement, in consultation with the School.

Flexible exit options

If plans change, and you can no longer commit to the full Bachelor of Social Work, you could still be eligible to receive a qualification. Depending on the credit points you've completed, you could exit with the Diploma in Arts.


You must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Have completed Australian senior secondary studies with an ATAR equal to or above this year's admission cut-off; OR
  • Have completed an overseas secondary or tertiary qualification/s deemed equivalent; OR
  • Have completed, or partially completed, an approved Australian post-secondary or tertiary qualification; OR
  • Have completed an approved admission scheme or pathway; OR
  • Satisfied the requirements of an approved inter-institution agreement; OR
  • Obtained other equivalent qualifications and/or vocational experience; OR
  • Satisfied the requirements for non-standard admission.

English studies are recommended; international students must meet the University's English language requirements.

As you might be working with children, you will also be required to undertake a criminal record check and submit a Federal Police certificate. Additionally, you will be required to provide evidence of up-to-date vaccinations for fieldwork.

You may be eligible for advanced standing if your previous education and experience meet certain criteria.

Areas of study

In this social work course, the subjects you may study include:

Core units:

  • Learning in social movements
  • Professional communication practice
  • Foundations for mental health practice
  • Evidence in health and social care practice
  • Social work through the lifespan
  • Disadvantage and service provision
  • Social work direct practice skills
  • Law for social work
  • Rural social work
  • Juvenile justice and child protection
  • BSW fieldwork I
  • Groups and communities
  • Social work intervention models and skills
  • BSW fieldwork II
  • Human rights and social justice
  • Working with Aboriginal people
  • Beyond lies and spin: why politics matters
  • Introduction to philosophy A: the examined life
  • Introductory psychology I
  • Introductory psychology II
  • Introductions to sociology
  • Foundations in society
  • Social policy

Elective units:

  • Forensic science and criminal justice
  • Policing and social control
  • Crime prevention
  • Criminology and justice systems
  • Forensic criminology
  • Crime in rural communities
  • Health promotion in practice
  • Perspectives on ageing
  • Child and adolescent counselling
  • Counselling for loss and grief
  • Counselling for trauma
  • Social aspects of HIV/AIDS, education and community mobilisation
  • Living with disability in contemporary society
  • Principles of Indigenous community development
  • Communicating in culturally diverse contexts
  • Active resistance: contemporary nonviolence
  • Resolution or transformation of conflict
  • Building peace in post-conflict situations
  • Post-conflict justice and reconciliation processes
  • Social philosophy: issues in applied ethics
  • Globalisation, development and social change
  • Sociology of health and illness
  • Consumer society
  • The sociology of youth and delinquency
  • Mental health and society
  • Sex and pleasure in Western society
Established in 1938, the University of New England (UNE) is Australia’s longest standing provider of distance education and continues to be at the forefront of innovations in online learning. The university offers over 200 courses at the undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree research levels. UNE is committed to offering a variety of flexible study options so that students are able to manage their personal commitments while undertaking a university education.
The University of New England (UNE) prides itself on providing the highest quality student support to ensure that students have the necessary tools to pursue their goals. Students can easily access a plethora of dedicated services including counselling, disability needs, academic and study skills, Aboriginal affairs and career development.

With over 60 years of distance education experience, UNE has devised flexible online study options over 3 study periods a year so that students are able to utilise their time more effectively or even accelerate their degree. For courses that require hands-on experience, UNE offers Intensive School programs where students are exposed to vital practical components of their course.

To support ongoing learning, students can get the help they need via email, phone or online chat. You can expect a well-rounded and supported experience throughout your UNE study journey.

Career outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a nationally recognised Bachelor of Social Work from the University of New England.

This course has provisional accreditation with the Australian Association of Social Workers, and graduates will be well positioned to commence a career as a social worker.

UNE is committed to a holistic approach to education, ensuring that all graduates also possess the following transferable attributes:

  • Communication skills
  • Capacity for problem solving
  • Information literacy
  • Awareness of ethical conduct and social responsibility
  • Independence and collaboration
  • A thirst for lifelong learning

Curious about where a career in community services could take you? Potential job outcomes may include:

  • Youth Worker
  • Rehabilitation Counsellor
  • Parole Officer
  • Policy Analyst
  • Social Worker
  • Welfare Worker
  • Probation Officer

Payment options & support

Finance options

Eligible students can apply for HECS-HELP to cover the upfront costs of all or part of your fees. Alternatively, you can pay annually for the units you select to study in that year.

The University of New England also offers a number of scholarships to successful applicants.

You may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP government loan scheme. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.

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