Social work

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Career outcomes

Our social work graduates have pursued careers as:

  • aged care worker
  • disability social worker
  • project officer
  • child and youth worker
  • community services officer
  • social worker
  • case worker
  • migration support officer
  • student and family counsellor
  • family service worker
  • mental health support worker
  • social services worker
  • psychological assistant
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About social work

If helping others is your calling, then we’re here to help you reach your goals. Study social work and get the skills to promote social change and help others improve their relationships and better their lives. Our social work degrees focus on social justice, human rights and making a real impact in the community. They’re about developing your ability to create possibility. Plus, our public health and health services research is ranked equal first in Australia.

Community engagement

A career in social work, counselling and human services empowers you to work with real people and to have a direct impact on real lives. And that’s why we get you out into the community early: so you can build your practical skills and real-world understanding. Our courses take you beyond the classroom with up to 1,000 hours of supervised field education, training and community engagement.

Professional recognition

When you graduate with a social work degree from ACU, you’re graduating with a degree accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers. This means that future employers know you have received quality teaching, in a supportive environment that meets the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards.

Start with empathy

You’ll learn how to practise social work with courage, compassion, creativity and integrity when you study at a university that advocates for the dignity of all. And, when you graduate, you’ll have the skills to achieve the best possible outcomes for the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of our community. 

Study university worldwide

First step, here. Next step, anywhere. Your social work studies can take you to just about any country in the world. And when you study with ACU, you can complete part of your degree at one of our partner universities overseas – or even study at our Rome Campus. 

Meet our students and staff

Emily Vellar

Social work student

“Many of the people social workers are involved with are not always able to speak for themselves. I hope to give a voice to those people in need. 

“I am very appreciative of ACU’s placement services. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a hospital placement in mental health where I will be able to put theory into practice and determine which particular field of mental health I’d like to work in.”

Professor Debbie Plath

Professor of Social Work

Professor Debbie Plath took up the National Social Work Discipline Lead position at the Australian Catholic University in February 2018. She brings experience in social work practice, education and research, with particular interest in strengthening links between research and practice in social work. 

Professor Plath has published widely on approaches to evidence-informed practice in social work, most recently with the book Engaging Human Services with Evidence-Informed Practice. Her approach focuses on the interconnections between research knowledge, relationship building and critical reflection for effective social work practice and the organisational processes required to sustain a research-informed approach. 

Professor Plath is returning to academia after six years of running a consulting business in which she worked with human service organisations to strengthen evidence-informed approaches to practice through research, evaluation and organisational development projects. Consequently she has a good understanding of key policy, practice and organisational issues currently encountered in the human services sector. 

Professor Plath held senior social work academic positions at the University of Newcastle and the University of Western Sydney. She is also chairperson for the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) social work education programs accreditation panel.

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