Bachelor of Social Work

Course information for - 2023 entry

Offered at 2 locations

Study mode
4 years full-time or equivalent part-time
UAC code
58.50 for Canberra
Fees (first year)*

$12049 CSP

Start dates
Semester 1 intake: Beginning February 2023
Applications open August 2022


If you’re interested in human rights, social justice, and changing lives for the better, then you should consider social work. As a social worker you will improve individual and community wellbeing by addressing challenges such as inequality, discrimination, violence and other types of harassment. An embedded honours program is available from third year for high-achieving students.

Professional experience

You will be required to complete 1000 hours of supervised field education and training.

Work placement

Field education placement is a core element of a student's development of a professional identity. It provides an opportunity for you to observe, question and model social work behaviour and to translate social work theory into practice, and to apply knowledge drawn from other subjects.

You will complete 35 hours of community engagement project work in the second year of this degree. In the third and fourth years of the degree, you’ll complete 1000 hours of professional experience field placements in social work and/or human service settings in a range of organisations, supervised by a social work practitioner.

Professional recognition

The Bachelor of Social Work degree 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).

All graduates of the course are eligible for membership of the AASW (Australian Association of Social Workers).


Our graduates have pursued careers in:

  • community development
  • group work
  • mental health
  • hospital social work
  • child protection
  • family work
  • case management
  • policy analysis and development
  • research
  • social action
  • program planning
  • community welfare sector

Course details

Course structure

To complete the Bachelor of Social Work, a student must complete 320 credit points (cp).

View course rules

Sample program map

Year - Study periodUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5
Year 1 - Semester 1

PSYC100 Foundations of Psychology

SOCS100 Introduction to Sociology

HLSC120 Indigenous Health and Culture

SWTP108 Purpose and Context of Social Work and Human Services

Year 1 - Semester 2

PSYC101 Applications of Psychology

SOCS108 Contemporary Society and Change

SWTP109 Human Rights and Social Justice in Social Work and Human Services

Core Curriculum

100 level unit: 

Either UNCC100 Self and Community: Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society


PHCC102 Being Human


PHCC104 Ethics and the Good Life

Year 2 - Semester 1

PSYC200 Life Span Development

SWTP215 Ethics and Theories in Social Work

SWTP216 Social Work Skills in Practice with Individuals

SWTP213 Race and Identity: Anti-Racist Social Work Practice

Year 2 - Semester 2

SWTP218 Social Work with Children, Youth and Families

SWTP236 Social Work and Community Practice + 35 hrs Community Engagement

SWTP238 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Social Work Practice

SWTP237 Mental Health and Social Work

Year 3 - Semester 1

SWTP333 Social Work Field Education 1

30 cp

SWTP320 Research in Social Work

Year 3 - Semester 2

SWTP319 Group Work in Social Work Practice


Core Curriculum

300 level unit:


UNCC300 Justice and Change in a Global World


PHCC320 The Just Society

SWTP339 Law and Social Work

Year 4 - Semester 1

SWTP415 Social Policy and Social Work


SWTP416 Fields of Social Work and Best Practice

SWTP417 Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Social Work Practice in Organisations

Year 4 - Semester 2

SWTP444 Social Work Field Education 2


This is a sample program only and units will vary depending on your campus and mode of study. Please refer to the handbook for the prerequisite units and the current listing.

AQF framework

Bachelor - AQF Level 7

Exit Points

A student who has successfully completed 230 cp from units, and 10 cp from Core Curriculum units may exit from the course with the following qualification:

  • Bachelor of Human Services

Entry requirements

An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

International students need to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements as defined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy .


Australian Capital Territory

English (any) - Major (T) (130+) or ESL - Major (T) (141+)

New South Wales

English Standard (Band 3) or English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) (Band 4)


English (Units 3 & 4, C)

Disclaimer: The course entry requirements above are for 2023 Admission. Refer to your relevant Tertiary Admission Centre website for future years' entry requirements.

View transparency admission information

Applicants with recent secondary education

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.  

If your school result was affected by circumstances outside of your control, such as financial hardship, illness, disability or a challenging home environment, you may qualify for an access scheme. You can apply through your TAC as part of your application process.  

Learn more about access schemes 

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.  

For current year 12 students  

If you’re a current Year 12 applicant you can be given a selection rank separate from, and in addition to, your ATAR if you’ve completed a competency-based and graded AQF Certificate III or above.  

For non-school leavers 

If you’ve completed, or are completing a competency-based AQF Certificate IV or AQF diploma you will be assigned a selection rank by your local Tertiary Admission Centre (TAC). This is an entry score based on your individual qualifications and achievements. 

ACU has partnerships with ACU College, TAFE, and many private education providers. If you have completed a qualification with one of these partners, you may be eligible for guaranteed entry and/or credit into a related ACU degree. Please apply through your local TAC and then submit a credit application for your previous study.  

Applicants with higher education study

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course. 

If you have completed at least two units of AQF-recognised study at bachelor level or above, you’ll be assigned a selection rank based on your study level, duration and grade point average that will be applied during the admission process. 

If your previous study has equipped you with knowledge, skills or experiences that align with the learning outcomes of units in your new course you may be able to apply for recognition of prior learning and you may be able to complete your course sooner. 

Learn more about recognition of prior learning 

Applicants with work and life experience

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.

If you have no formal education qualifications you may be eligible for a selection rank based on your work, life or service experience.

  • If you’ve been in paid employment, relevant to the course you’re applying for, for a minimum of six months full-time (or equivalent), this work may be assessed for your selection rank.
  • If you’re 21 years or older you can sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) through your local TAC.
  • You can apply for an ACU bridging course. Our bridging courses allow you to transition back into studying and can give you a head start on the relevant undergraduate degree.
  • If you have served in the defence force, your rank and time in service may contribute to your selection rank.

Find your path into study

English language requirements

Applicants require an academic IELTS minimum overall score of 7.0 (with a minimum score of 7.0 in all bands), or an equivalent acceptable test score as outlined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy (Schedule 3).

Adjustment factors

If you’re currently completing Year 12 you may be eligible for adjustment factors that can boost your rank and help you get into your desired course.

Adjustment factors may be applied to your TAC application if you study particular subjects, attend schools geographically close to our campuses or in certain regional areas, apply as an elite athlete or performer or meet certain other criteria.

Learn more about adjustment factors

Inherent requirement

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of that course or unit. You will need to be able to meet these inherent requirements to complete your course.

Learn more about inherent requirements for your course and how they affect you


Pathways into course for current or recent Year 12 students

If you can’t meet the ATAR requirement for your choice of course and you’re currently completing Year 12 or finished Year 12 in the two years previously, we have entry programs to get you where you want to be.  

Understand your pathway options 

Pathways into course for applicants with previous study and/or life experience

Are you applying to ACU as a non-school leaver? 

By that we mean, you’re not currently completing Year 12 and haven’t completed it in the two years previously. If the answer is yes and your selection rank isn’t enough to meet the requirements for your desired course you still have a number of options to help you achieve your study goals. 

If you’re over 21, you can sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) , or you can complete a diploma or bridging course relevant to your desired course. 

Explore the pathways to your future 

Further study

There is a range of masters degree programs in advanced areas of practice in both social work and related disciplines (e.g. management, public health, mental health, therapeutic interventions). Opportunities for higher degree research programs include MPhil and for those with honours, PhD.


Course costs

Average first year fee*

$12049 CSP

All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

  • the number of units studied per semester;
  • the choice of major or specialisation; and
  • elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.

Payment options

You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support.

Explore your options 


You could be eligible for one of the hundreds of scholarships we award each year to help students from across the university with the cost of studying, accommodation or overseas study opportunities. Some of our scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but these aren’t just for the academically gifted; ACU also recognises excellence in community engagement and leadership. We also offer a range of scholarships for those who may be struggling financially or who have faced other barriers to accessing education.  

Search our scholarships 

How to apply


Deferment is available for one year (excludes Honours course). Find out more about deferment: Deferment Information.


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