Bachelor of Social Work

Undergraduate degree

Gain the knowledge and skills to enhance the wellbeing of others through an understanding of policy, socioeconomic factors and social equity issues.

Waterfront

66 ATAR lowest selection rank ?

4 years full-time or part-time equivalent.

Students who meet eligibility requirements will enrol in H430 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) for their fourth year of study.

Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

Warrnambool

NP ATAR lowest selection rank ?

4 years full-time or part-time equivalent.

Students who meet eligibility requirements will enrol in H430 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) for their fourth year of study.

Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

Online

67.75 ATAR lowest selection rank ?

4 years full-time or part-time equivalent.

Students who meet eligibility requirements will enrol in H430 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) for their fourth year of study.

Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

Course overview

Passionate about human rights and have a strong sense of social justice? Deakin's fully accredited Bachelor of Social Work will equip you to enhance the wellbeing of others through an understanding of policy, socioeconomic factors and social equity issues. Social workers are in high demand with job opportunities expected to grow by 23.2% by 2026^. Graduate career-ready with the skills to work effectively with individuals, families and communities to address key factors causing inequality.

With an emphasis on progressive, student-centred teaching practices, you will learn the latest approaches to enable social change and improve the lives of others. You will gain invaluable hands-on experience with 1000 hours of practice education placements in a variety of communities and workplaces in online, metropolitan, regional or rural settings, ensuring you gain multiple perspectives. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to progress onto the embedded honours year.

Want to graduate with the skills and professional experience to launch a career in helping others?

This course will empower you to become an enabler of positive social change, helping you to improve the quality of life for those who need it most. You will cover contemporary social topics including:

  • human behaviour
  • public policy
  • working with individuals, families, groups and communities to enhance wellbeing and human rights
  • social justice.

You will gain an understanding of a range of social research methods and contemporary welfare issues, allowing you to design and conduct research relevant to social work practice.

We focus on equipping our students with valuable hands-on skills and practical workplace experience. Plus, our strong links with industry and partnership organisations gives you access to a range of guest lecturers, exposing you to a broad range of professional experiences and knowledge. The practice education placements included within this course enable you to graduate with confidence, ready to launch your career in this highly rewarding industry.

The Bachelor of Social Work is an Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) accredited qualification, so you will graduate with an entry qualification into the social work profession.

Are you a current Year 12 student? If you attend a school in a regional or remote area or within the Greater City of Geelong you may be eligible to apply for this course through our Regional and Remote Entry Scheme using our dedicated VTAC codes. As an eligible applicant you may also receive up to a 10 aggregate point adjustment towards your entry score. Make the most of your ATAR.

This course is suitable for students who hold and undergraduate degree in an unrelated study area or do not have an undergraduate degree. If you hold a related undergraduate degree then you may consider our Master of Social Work to fast-track your studies. Graduates of this course* will not be admitted to the Master of Social Work, please refer to the entry requirements to determine the degree best suited to you.

*Graduates of the Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) are already eligible to apply for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and can practice professionally throughout Australia.

^2021 Employment Projections – for the five years to November 2026, Australian Government, Jobs and Skills Australia.

This course sits as part of a larger group of courses. For more information refer to the Health group.

Read More

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course information

Award granted
Bachelor of Social Work
Year

2024 course information

VTAC code
1400411421 - Waterfront (Geelong), Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
1400415431 - Waterfront (Geelong), Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
1400615431 - Online, Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
1400711421 - Warrnambool, Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
1400715431 - Warrnambool, Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
Deakin code
H330
CRICOS code?
015207F Waterfront (Geelong)
Level
Undergraduate
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 7

Course structure

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:

Pass stream:

  • 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)

Students must complete two practice education units as part of the core units, each involving a minimum of 500 hours (across at least 65 days) of practicum (field placement) in a social or community service agency or program.

Failure of a practice education placement will normally lead to exclusion.

Inherent requirements

Students should also be aware of the inherent requirements of the course.

All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit) in their first trimester of study.

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements.

Core units

Level 1 - Trimester 1

  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit points)
  • Introduction to Aboriginal Studies
  • Introduction to Sociology: the Sociological Imagination
  • Introduction to Social Work: Social Work Theory and Practice A
  • Understanding Health
  • Level 1 - Trimester 2

  • Introduction to Sociology: the Sociology of Everyday Life
  • Theories for Social Work Practice: Social Work Theory and Practice B
  • Social Work Methods in Context: Social Work Theory and Practice C
  • plus

  • Health Psychology (Behaviour Change)
  • Or

  • Introduction to Psychology: Human Behaviour
  • Level 2 - Trimester 1

  • Public Policy and Politics for Critical Social Workers
  • Social Work Research in Ethical and Political Contexts
  • Community Development: Social Work Theory and Practice D
  • plus one elective

    Level 2 - Trimester 2

  • Human Rights and Social Justice: Values, Ethics and the Legal Context of Social Work
  • Practice Skills: Social Work Theory and Practice E
  • Self and Society
  • Placement Readiness: Preparing for Supervised Social Work Practice
  • Level 3 - Trimester 1

  • Social Work Field Education A
  • Level 3 - Trimester 2

  • Doing Critical Social Work: Social Work Theory and Practice F
  • Critical Social Policy
  • Applied Social Research in Ethical and Political Context
  • Plus one elective

    Level 4 - Pass stream

    Trimester 1

  • Critical Approaches to Social Work: Social Work Theory and Practice G
  • Administration and Policy Development: The Organisational Context
  • Working in Uncertainty: Social Work Theory and Practice H
  • plus one elective

    Trimester 2

  • Social Work Field Education B
  • Level 4 - H430 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)

    Trimester 1

  • Social Work Research Methods
  • Critical Approaches to Social Work: Social Work Theory and Practice G
  • Social Work Honours Research Project A
  • Trimester 2

  • Social Work Field Education B Research Focused
  • Social Work Honours Research Project B
  • Elective units

    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.

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Waterfront (Geelong)
      • Warrnambool
      • Online

    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 NIKERI Institute.

    Additional course information

    Eligibility

    This course is suitable for students who hold an undergraduate degree in an unrelated study area or do not have an undergraduate degree. If you hold a related undergraduate degree then you may consider our Master of Social Work to fast-track your studies. However, graduates of this course* will not be admitted to the Master of Social Work, please refer to the entry requirements to determine the degree best suited to you.

    *Graduates of the Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) are already eligible to apply for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and can practice professionally throughout Australia.

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Police Record Check

    In accordance with the policies of health and human services organisations, all students are required to undertake a Police Record Check prior to undertaking professional placements in each calendar year that they are enrolled in a placement unit. Students who fail to obtain a Police Record Check prior to the commencement of a professional placement will not be able to undertake their mandatory placement units and this will impede progress in the course.

    Students with a criminal record are not precluded from enrolling in social work degrees at Deakin but may face difficulties in obtaining placements which are required to complete the degree. Many agencies are reluctant to place students whom they perceive may place service users staff or the organisation itself at risk, e.g. when offending has involved crimes of violence against children or adults, or crimes of deception such as fraud and embezzlement.

    Working With Children Check (or State/Territory equivalent)

    In accordance with the Worker Screening Act 2020, all students are required to undertake a Working with Children Check at the commencement of their course. Students who fail to obtain a Working with Children Check prior to the commencement of professional placement will not be able to undertake their mandatory placement units and this will impede progress in the course.

    NDIS Worker Screening Check

    Students may be required to undertake a NDIS Worker Screening Check to comply with any requirements as specified by a particular placement organisation. This is an assessment of whether a person poses risk to NDIS participants. A placement organisation may refuse to accept a student for placement if they fail to obtain a NDIS Worker Screening Check. This may impede progression in the course

    Immunisation Status

    Students are a potential source of infection for service users and colleagues and may be required to comply with any requirements for immunisation as specified by a particular placement organisation. Students are required to declare their immunisation status to satisfy the requirements of health and human service organisations where they will be undertaking their professional learning experience. A placement organisation may refuse to accept a student for placement if the student’s immunisation status is not satisfactory to the placement organisation. This may impede progression in the course.

    Inherent requirements

    Inherent requirements are those skills, values and behaviours that students must demonstrate in order to complete the Bachelor of Social Work. Learn more about inherent requirements.

    Workload

    Attendance requirements for Online students

    Online students will be required to attend on campus intensive workshops depending upon units of enrolment..

    As a student in the Faculty of Health you can expect to participate in a range of learning activities each week. This may include a combination of self-paced study, lectures, seminars, simulations and online interactions. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

    Intensive dates for 2025 are available here.

    Participation requirements

    During the academic and placement components of a social work degree, students are expected to attend seminars and classes, and/or participate in online learning activities. In person attendance for some activities, including placement, is compulsory for all students including those enrolled as online students.

    In accordance with the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS) online students are required to attend on campus intensive seminars for a total of 20 days throughout their course. Intensive seminars are linked to individual units of study. Refer to the individual unit details in the University Handbook for more information about attendance requirements for specific units.

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. Any adjustments need to reflect the understanding of social work and requirements for social work education as spelt out in the (ASWEAS). For example, it is not possible to exempt a student from all group work activities in their degree as students must be able to demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively with others. However, there may be scope to make adjustments to this requirement on particular occasions, provided there are sufficient other situations when the student has the opportunity to demonstrate this requirement. More information available at Disability support services.

    Work experience

    Practice Education

    All students are required to complete two field education placements, each involving a minimum of 500 hours (across at least 65 days) of practicum (field placement) in a health or human service organisation or program.

    Students must also attend and participate in the associated pre-placement preparation seminars at the Geelong Waterfront campus in the trimester prior to the placement being undertaken - dates to be advised.

    Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is possible for the first placement only (HSW314-Social Work Field Education A) for students who are able to demonstrate that their prior experience has provided them with the knowledge and experience that would normally be provided in the first placement. Applications for RPL are due 30 November of the year prior to students undertaking their first placement. Late applications cannot be accepted.

    Further information is available in the RPL Guidelines.

    Deakin University does not require any student to have a driver’s licence but encourages students to obtain one if possible. Many placement providers expect students to hold a full driver’s licence and students who do not have this may be limited in the placement opportunities available to them. Organisations which require students to drive as part of their placement work should provide access to an agency vehicle and not expect students to have their own car.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Please note, there are limited places in this course and entry is competitive. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an application as soon as possible. Applications for this course may close prior to the published closing date if all places are filled.

    Academic requirements

    Current or recent secondary education

    If you're currently studying Year 12, or completed Year 12 in the last two years, you will need to meet all the following criteria to be considered for admission to this degree:

    Year 12 prerequisite subjects

    • Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English EAL (English as an Additional Language) or at least 25 in English other than EAL

    ATAR

    • Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with an unadjusted ATAR of at least 50 or equivalent

    Higher education

    If you have undertaken higher education studies after secondary schooling, you will need to meet all the following criteria to be considered for admission to this degree:

    • successful completion of at least two bachelor level or above units (AQF Level 7 or equivalent)

    Vocational education

    If you have undertaken any Vocational Education and Training (VET) study after secondary school, you will need to meet at least one of following criteria to be considered for admission to this degree:

    • completion of a certificate IV or higher in a related discipline
    • completion of a diploma or higher in any discipline
    • at least 50% completion of a diploma or higher in a related discipline

    Work and life experience

    If you finished Year 12 more than three years ago, or did not finish Year 12, and haven’t undertaken any further study, you may be considered for admission to this degree based on your work, volunteer and/or life experience.

    Submit a personal statement outlining your motivation to study, previous education and employment history, and how this course can assist your career aspirations or progression. Think of it as a job application cover letter – it should be relevant and demonstrate your commitment and interest in this course or study area.

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    • Domestic Students and International Students who have completed secondary qualifications taught in English (VCE English Units 3 or 4 or equivalent.)
    • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English Units 3 and 4: Study score of 30 in English as an Additional Language (EAL) or 25 in any other English
    • IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band score less than 6.0) or equivalent
    • other evidence of English language proficiency (learn more about other ways to satisfy the requirements)

    International students who have NOT completed secondary qualifications taught in English (VCE English Units 3 or 4 or equivalent.)

    • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English Units 3 and 4: Study score of 30 in English as an Additional Language (EAL) or 25 in any other English
    • IELTS overall score of 7.0 (with no band score less than 7.0) or equivalent
    • other evidence of English language proficiency (learn more about other ways to satisfy the requirements)

    Non-academic requirements

    Inherent requirements

    Students should also be aware of the inherent requirements of the course.

    Selection adjustments

    Subject adjustment

    A study score of 35 in Health and Human Development, any Humanities, any LOTE or Psychology equals 3 aggregate points per study. A study score of 30 in Health and Human Development, any Humanities, any LOTE or Psychology equals 2 aggregate points per study. Overall maximum of 12 points.

    Regional and Remote Entry Scheme

    Current year 12 students from regional and remote areas may be eligible for additional aggregate points to their selection rank through Deakin's Regional and Remote Entry Scheme. Learn more about this scheme, eligibility and how to apply.

    Access and equity

    Special entry access schemes (SEAS) enable Deakin to consider disadvantaged circumstances you may have experienced and the impact upon your studies. SEAS also allows us to identify if you’re from under-represented groups when making selection decisions for some courses. SEAS does not exempt you from meeting any of the course entry requirements. Learn more about Deakin’s special entry access schemes.

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning. We're also committed to admissions transparency. Read about our first intake of 2024 students (PDF, 793KB) – their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin? Discover the different entry pathways we offer and study options available to you, no matter your ATAR or education history.

    Recognition of prior learning

    Students may be eligible to apply for credit for this course.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Applications for RPL on the basis of prior study should be submitted at least one week prior to the commencement of the trimester of offer.

    Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) is possible for the first placement only (HSW314-Social Work Field Education A) for students who are able to demonstrate that their prior experience has provided them with the knowledge and experience that would normally be provided in the first placement.

    RPL cannot be granted for informal learning for any Bachelor of Social Work units other than HSW314 – Social Work Field Education A.

    There is a separate process in applying for this type of RPL and more information is available in the RPL Guidelines.

    Applications for RPL are due 30 November of the year prior to students undertaking their first placement. Late applications cannot be accepted and students are encouraged to apply earlier than this if possible.

    Guaranteed entry schemes exist for students enrolled in some diploma courses. Details can be found at https://www.deakin.edu.au/study/entry-pathways/tafe. Guaranteed pathways work in conjunction with the Recognition of prior learning Database.

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study 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.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)?
    $11,762 for 1 yr full-time - Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
    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 Recognition of 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.  Learn more about fees and available payment options on our Current students fees website.

    Scholarship 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

    Apply now

    Apply through VTAC

    Applications for Trimester 1, 2025 open in August. Each year, thousands of students prepare for uni with the help of Deakin support services. We offer a huge range of support, including one-on-one consultations, webinars, online resources and events throughout the year.

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications for Trimester 1, 2025 open in August.

    In the meantime, why not speak to our student advisers about your course and career options? It’s the best way for future students like you to get expert advice on preparing your application.

    Contact us

    Indigenous students

    Courses at Deakin are flexible and culturally inclusive. Explore the various ways you can apply to study this course - including through the NIKERI Institute and via the Indigenous Access Scheme.

    Entry pathways

    View pathways into the Bachelor of Social Work with our pathways finder.

    H330 Bachelor of Social Work is a qualifying degree and does not have a formal pathway to further study.  Graduates of H430 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) can enrol in an HDR H803 Master in Social Work or another discipline or an HDR doctoral program.

    Contact information

    Our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one about your study options, support services and how we can help you further your career.

    Careers

    Want a degree that’s more than just a qualification? Our industry connections, world-class facilities and practical approach to learning are just some of the reasons why Deakin students graduate confident and ready to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow.

    Graduate with 1000+ hours of practice education placements

    Accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers

    Top 200 worldwide for public health**

    Industry experts shape every Deakin course

    Career outcomes

    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.

    After completing this course, you will be a sought-after graduate, ready to pursue a rewarding career in social work. You may work in many general and specialist areas of social work such as:

    • activism
    • advocacy
    • child protection
    • child and family support
    • community development
    • consultancy
    • counselling
    • drug and alcohol counselling
    • education
    • facilitation
    • family therapy
    • health
    • housing
    • policy development and research
    • program management and coordination
    • refugee assistance and tribunal capacities
    • assisting groups such as the aged, women, youth or multicultural populations.

    Examples of specific roles you may pursue include:

    • careers counsellor
    • case manager
    • child and family counsellor
    • child protection officer
    • community development access officer
    • community development and education officer
    • disability support coordinator
    • diversity officer
    • drug and alcohol case manager
    • family relationship adviser
    • mental health coordinator
    • school counsellor
    • youth projects officer

    Professional recognition

    This 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.

    Communication

    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.

    Digital literacy

    Use digital technology in social work practice ethically and appropriately, including in service provision and management, information acquisition and dissemination, and research and evaluation.

    Critical thinking

    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.

    Problem solving

    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.

    Self-management

    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.

    Teamwork

    Work and learn respectfully and inclusively in collaborative intra and inter disciplinary settings.

    Global citizenship

    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.

    **ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2019