A degree in social work gives you the skills to enhance the wellbeing of people, taking into account the influence of policy, socio-economic factors and social justice issues. You will also become familiar with a range of social research methods and learn how to design and conduct research directly relevant to social work practice.
At Deakin, the Bachelor of Social Work has a particular emphasis on human rights, anti-oppressive practice and the importance of critical reflection.
You will graduate with the professional recognition and the training you need to launch a rewarding career.
With a strong emphasis on progressive, innovative and student-centred teaching practices, we aim to develop highly professional social workers who are able to work alongside individuals, groups and communities to enable social changes that support all people to have a good life.
Social work is part of a growing human services field. As a Social Work graduate you may be involved in activities as diverse as policy development and research, counselling, family therapy, drug and alcohol counselling, community development, refugee assistance and tribunal capacities. Social workers also work as program managers or coordinators, as advocates, facilitators, activists or consultants. You may work in specialist areas such as health, housing, education, or with groups such as the aged, women, youth or multicultural populations.
Deakin’s Bachelor of Social Work is an Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) accredited qualification. It is an entry qualification into the social work profession and has been determined to meet the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS).
The Bachelor of Social Work is offered at pass or Honours level. Students who meet eligibility requirements can apply to enrol in Honours at completion of their third year. The key eligibility criterion being a WAM of 70 or above in the Bachelor of Social Work. H430 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) is then completed in the fourth year where BSW students are expected to undertake a suite of research focused units. It is important to plan your pathway through the Bachelor of Social Work carefully to keep the option of Honours open for the final year. Please see Course Structure Level 4 H430 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) for more information.Read More
To complete the Bachelor of Social work students must attain 32 credit points. Units (think of units as 'subjects') may be worth 1, 2, 3 or 4 credit points - check each unit for its credit point value in the course structure below. Most students choose to study 4 credit points per trimester and usually undertake two trimesters each year.
The course comprises 32 credit points which must include the following:
- 29 core units (these are compulsory)
- 3 elective units (you can choose which ones to study)
H430 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours):
- 30 core units including HSW401, HSW402, HSW404, HSW416 and HSW417 (these are compulsory)
- 2 elective units (you can choose which ones to study)
Failure of a field education placement will normally lead to exclusion.
Students should also be aware of the inherent requirements of the course.
Level 1 - Trimester 1
Level 1 - Trimester 2
Level 2 - Trimester 1
plus one elective
Level 2 - Trimester 2
plus one elective
Level 3 - Trimester 1
Level 3 - Trimester 2
Level 4 - Pass stream
plus one elective
Level 4 - H430 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
(CRICOS code: 088319E)
Elective units may be chosen from any faculty in the University provided that prerequisites are met. A maximum of 2 elective units may be studied at level 1.
1400615431 - Cloud (online), Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
Campuses by intake
Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Waterfront (Geelong)
- Cloud Campus
Deakin splits the academic year into three terms, known as trimesters. Most students usually undertake two trimesters each year (March-June, July-November).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can apply directly through the Institute of Koorie Education
Additional course information
Department of Human Services policy and Working with Children Check
In accordance with Department of Human Services policy* all students are required to obtain a Police Records Check (PRC) each year prior to undertaking field placements. Students may also be required to obtain a Working with Children Check (WWC).
* Department of Human Services Policy on Working with Children Check and Police Records Checks can be found at:
** Department of Justice 2007, Working with Children Act 2005, Victoria, Australia retrieved April 2012.
Cloud (online) students are required to attend a minimum of 20 days of face to face time delivered during the four-year degree. Dates to be advised. Attendance requirements will also apply to some units in other modes of study, including campus, and community based delivery at the Institute of Koorie Education. See Handbook entries for details of individual units.
Course duration - additional information
Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.
Attendance requirements for Cloud students
Cloud students will be required to attend on-campus intensive workshops in their second, third and fourth year, depending upon units of enrolment. Dates for 2017 are listed here.
First year Cloud students may be required to attend intensive workshops prior to trimester start date.
Work Integrated Learning
Field education placements provide an opportunity for students to learn from experience under the supervision of qualified social work practitioners. During the course you will complete two field education placements of 500 hours each, totalling a minimum of 1000 hours that are conducted in a variety of communities and workplaces in metropolitan and regional settings. As social work at Deakin has a rural focus, one of the two fieldwork placements will have a rural focus.
Deakin University offers admission to undergraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.
All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.
Entry for school leavers will be based on their performance in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, with pre-requisite units 3 and 4; a study score of at least 30 in English EAL (English as an additional language) or 25 in English other than EAL. Applicants will be selected in accordance with the published clearly-in Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for that year.
Refer to the VTAC Guide for the latest pre-requisite information www.vtac.edu.au
Entry for non-school leavers will be based on their performance in:
- a Certificate IV in a related discipline
- a Diploma in any discipline
- successful completion of relevant study at an accredited higher education institution equivalent to at least two Deakin University units
- other evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent for example relevant work or life experience
For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library.
Applications are accepted from students who possess the skills and prerequisites required to complete the course, gain professional certification and practise safely. The inherent requirements of the course are available here.
Learn more about this course and others that Deakin offers by visiting VTAC for more information. You can also discover how Deakin compares to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning by visiting the QILT website.
Learn more about Deakin's special entry access scheme (SEAS - a way to help boost your ATAR in some circumstances).
You can also find out about different entry pathways into Deakin courses if you can't get in straight from high school.
Finally, Deakin is committed to admissions transparency. As part of that commitment, you can learn more about our Trimester 1 2017 cohort of students (PDF, 657.3KB) - their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.
Fees and scholarships
Learn more about fees.
The tuition fees you pay will depend on the units you choose to study as each unit has its own costs. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the time it takes to complete your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.
Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.
You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.
The Australian Government recently announced proposed increases to tuition fees for students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP). It is proposed that CSP fees will increase by 1.8% in 2018 and continue to rise to a total of 7.5% by 2021. The fee rates for 2018 will be available later in the year once the Government has confirmed the 2018 student contribution rates.
Learn more about fees and available payment options.
A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships
Social work is part of a growing human services field, with graduates working across local, state and federal government departments; in private and non-government human services organisations; and in various advocacy, policy making and tribunal capacities.
As a Social Work graduate you may be involved in activities as diverse as policy development and research, counselling, family therapy, drug and alcohol counselling, community development, refugee assistance and tribunal capacities. Social workers also work as program managers or coordinators, as advocates, facilitators, activists or consultants. You may work in specialist areas such as health, housing, education, or with groups such as the aged, women, youth or multicultural populations.
The course is accredited with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). Students completing the course are eligible to apply for membership of AASW and can practise professionally throughout Australia.
Note: All information regarding professional recognition is accurate at the date of publication. Enquiries regarding accreditation and professional membership should be directed to the School of Health and Social Development in order to ascertain the current status of accreditation at any future point in time beyond publication. Representations about accreditation apply only to the course, and the AASW retains discretion as to who they admit as members of their association. Deakin University cannot exercise any control over membership of an external body.
Course learning outcomes
Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline Specific knowledge and capabilities
Apply a broad and coherent understanding in contemporary Australian and international contexts of the histories, aims, values, ethics, theories and practice approaches of social work. This knowledge is to cover all domains including working with individuals, families, groups, communities, management, research education and social policy. Practise social work reflectively according to the code of ethics and professional practice standards of the Australian Association of Social Workers.
Evaluate and apply appropriate communication and interpersonal skills in a broad range of social work practice contexts and with a diversity of people, communities and organisations.
Use digital technology in social work practice ethically and appropriately, including in service provision and management, information acquisition and dissemination, and research and evaluation.
Analyse, synthesise and apply knowledge of social work theories, methods and skills, with an emphasis on critical social work with the goal of social change.
Apply social work knowledge and intervention skills to appropriately and creatively respond to the needs of individuals, groups and communities in diverse settings, client groups and geographic locations. Apply research knowledge and skills to evaluate evidence and contribute to the role of research in social work practice.
Engage in critical reflective, reflexive and responsive practice, demonstrating an awareness of social location and positioning of self and others. Demonstrate a developing sense of identity, integrity and self-management as a professional social worker in all areas of practice. Participate in on-going professional development including engaging in professional supervision.
Work and learn respectfully and inclusively in collaborative intra and inter disciplinary settings.
Engage in decolonising practises in order to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people as Traditional Owners of Australian lands. Evaluate and apply local and global knowledge of the social, political, cultural, legal and economic contexts of social work practice to respond effectively within a human rights and social justice framework. Work and learn across diverse social, cultural and political locations.
How to apply
Apply through VTAC
If you studied Year 12 in 2017 or you're applying for more than one course offered through VTAC, your application must be made via VTAC.
Institute of Koorie Education
Institute of Koorie Education applicants must apply via the How to apply webpage. You’ll need to complete a declaration statement and application form. If your application is successful, you’ll then be invited to an interview.Apply through IKE
Need more information on how to apply?
For more information on the application process and closing dates, visit the how to apply page.
Register your interest to study at Deakin
Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.
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Through a DLC: Some courses are only available for first year and students must transfer to online or campus based study.
Through Deakin College and TAFE: Completion of diploma and minimum academic requirements apply to enter Deakin University.
Through Deakin: Transfers within Deakin are subject to availability and meeting minimum academic requirements.
Credit for prior learning
The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.
You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.
Faculty contact information
Health - Student and Academic Services
Tel 03 9251 7777