Health Sciences

Bachelor of Social Work (4 year program)

The Bachelor of Social Work degree provides education in social work that is informed by a critical understanding of the social science disciplines and orientated to the professional values and practices of the social work profession. Throughout the course there is an emphasis on social justice, human rights, and achieving the best possible outcomes for the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of the community.

The ACU Bachelor of Social Work will produce graduates who:

  • Practice with courage, compassion, creativity and integrity,
  • Have a strong sense of professional identity as Social workers,
  • Are dedicated to social justice and human rights,
  • Have a strong ethical base for practice,
  • Engage proactively with uncertainty to create opportunities for social change

Course structure

The Bachelor of Social Work is a four year full-time (or equivalent part-time) study program taught across eight academic semesters at the ACU Brisbane, Canberra and Strathfield campuses.


To be eligible for admission to the course, an applicant must have completed the following prerequisites at year 12, or equivalent:

New South Wales and ACT - Assumed knowledge: nil

Queensland - Prerequisites: English (4, SA)

Pathways are available for graduates with a recognised Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Community Services Work, Community Development, Youth Work or related discipline.

Professional experience

Field Education is a major part of a student's professional development. It provides an opportunity for students to observe, question and model social work behaviours, translate social work theory into practice, and to apply knowledge drawn from other units of study. The course includes a total of 1000 hours of supervised field education and training over the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of the course. Students will also undertake 50 hours of Community Engagement experience in other units of study.

Professional recognition

The Bachelor of Social Work degree is an Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)-accredited qualification. Currently the course is provisionally accredited with full accreditation due in 2019. 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). This course qualifies graduates for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Career opportunities

ACU Bachelor of Social Work graduates are regarded by employers as ‘ready’ to begin social work practice in a variety of areas such as community development, group work, family work, case-management, policy analysis and development, research, social action and program planning. Social workers may also work in different areas of practice such as:

  • Family work
  • Youth and child welfare services
  • Medical and health services
  • Disability services
  • Psychiatric and general mental health
  • Community services
  • Aged care
  • Income support
  • Mediation
  • Research

Logo for AASW accreditationThis is an 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).