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5 year(s) full-time


Program Code


Assumed Knowledge

2018: AUD$ 25,400 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.0]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Key features

  • Study a double degree that provides a balance of courses in social work and international relations.
  • Build your practical skills in our innovative, state-of-the-art Social Work Studios and fully-functioning Psychology Clinic.
  • Get practical experience and build pivotal industry networks with international exchange and internship opportunities.
  • Gain two qualifications with just one extra year of study.
  • Work alongside practitioners and highly skilled academic staff in simulated real-world scenarios.
  • Learn from award-winning researchers in their field, at a university that is recognised for its world-class research in psychology and social work1

12015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



This double degree provides a balance of courses in social work and international relations - this means you will enter the workforce with a strong global understanding of social work practice.

You will graduate with knowledge of the political, behavioural and social sciences, and will be equipped with the analytical skills needed to work in a global context.

The development of advanced interpersonal skills and the study of politics, conflict resolution and social development are a focus of the international relations component of this double degree. The social work component includes studies in society, ethics, social work practice, research methodologies, and policy analysis.

You will also gain valuable practical experience as part of the field education placement component. This is a valuable learning opportunity where you will build industry networks and further enhance practical skills.

What you'll need

All students studying this degree will be required to complete criminal history screening through the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion prior to being accepted for work placements. The clearance is valid for three years and can take up to eight weeks to be processed. You must also hold a current Child Safe Environments Certificate. Some placements may also require a current driver's licence and a recognised First Aid Certificate.

Why Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)

Why this Degree

This double degree will set you apart from your competitors – and it can be achieved with only one extra year of study. You will graduate with a strong understanding of global issues, which will open up more diverse employment opportunities.

You will learn from industry experts and award-winning researchers. In our on-campus social work studios you will work alongside field practitioners and academic staff in simulated, real-life situations. Using state-of-the-art recording equipment and cameras you can review your work and learn from your experiences. You will also build workplace networks when you undertake two substantial field placements totalling 1,000 hours during the first half of your fourth year and the second half of your fifth year.

There are various exchange and internship opportunities available, including the University’s unique Hawke Ambassador International Volunteer Experience Program, which allows you to volunteer with an international non-government organisation overseas as part of your degree. International field placement opportunities are also available in countries such as India, the Philippines and Canada, and students are strongly encouraged to take part.

Real-world connections

You will complete 1,000 hours of work placement during your fourth and fifth years. This real-world experience is a major focus and provides valuable practical experience and the opportunity for you to build important industry relationships. International placements are also recommended and the University currently has exchanges available in countries such as India, the Philippines and Canada. These global opportunities present a real opportunity for you to engage with potential employers, and to gain real experience working in the global arena.

We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Your career

Social work requires a strong commitment to and passion for social justice and human rights. On a global scale, you need to be politically and culturally aware. If you think you’ve got what it takes, the employment opportunities in Australia for social and welfare professionals are excellent with employment prospects predicted to rise by 15.6 per cent by 20201. Careers to consider:

  • community development officer: employed by a city, neighbourhood or other municipality to ensure the growth, health and vitality of a region
  • social planner: a pivotal role in creating liveable, sustainable communities; social planners create strategic policy to meet the needs and wants of the community
  • welfare support worker: provide support, information and advice to individuals on emotional, financial, recreational, health, housing and other social welfare matters
  • international aid worker: provide aid and assistance to people in developing or war-torn countries; aid workers are often employed by charities, non-government organisations (NGOs), international aid agencies and volunteer groups
  • social worker: assess the social needs of individuals, families and groups and assist them to develop skills to resolve social and other issues

If you want to take your humanitarian career overseas, emergency aid organisations employ more than 100,000 people worldwide. Closer to home, the Australian Red Cross recruits new aid workers every year and seek specialist professions as required. You might also work in foreign affairs, healthcare, multicultural services or refugee and asylum seeker support.

1Australians Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015

Professional accreditation and recognition

Graduates are eligible for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Graduates may apply for membership, at an appropriate level, of the Australasian Political Studies Association.

Graduates may apply for membership, at an appropriate level, of the Australian Institute of International Affairs.

Graduates may apply for membership, at an appropriate level, of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Industry facts


Employment for social and welfare professionals in Australia is projected to increase by 15.6 per cent by 20201.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015


By 2020, employment for counsellors in Australia is projected to increase by 23.2 per cent1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015


Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment 2017

What others are saying

I like the amount of opportunities I have to do meaningful, extra-curricular activities internationally. I have participated in the Hawke Ambassador Program, giving me the opportunity to volunteer for six months with World Vision in Brazil, and I was selected as a Global Voices delegate, allowing me to attend the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York. 

Kyle Reeves 

Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)

Kyle Reeves

Kyle Reeves 

Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)

As a result of the combined degree of Social Work and International Relations, I was able to undertake the Hawke Ambassador Program and intern at the Baha'i International Community United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland. Here, I sat in on sessions of the Human Rights Council and got a taste of what work in the International Relations field looks like firsthand. Combining International Relations with Social Work was really interesting for me as it allowed me to consider the relationship that the international sphere has on institutions, communities and individuals.

Parisa Rowhani-Farid

Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)

Parisa Rowhani-Farid

Parisa Rowhani-Farid

Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)

The most valuable lesson I learned from studying at UniSA was that we are all capable of reaching our full potential, and that all it takes to accomplish your goals is self-belief and motivation, something that I have gained from UniSA time and time again.

Tessa Henwood-Mitchell, Founder and Director, Tia International

Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)

Placeholder image

Tessa Henwood-Mitchell, Founder and Director, Tia International

Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)

What you'll learn

What you Learn

Graduates of this double degree will have a broad international perspective. You will study global issues such as politics, conflict resolution and international affairs. You will also complete a range of social work courses that cover topics such as:

  • society
  • ethics
  • social work practice

The merging of these two areas of study is what makes this double degree unique and engaging; this combination and balance of courses will open up additional and more diverse employment opportunities for graduates. A large portion of your learning will take place in our Social Work Studios, and you will then get the opportunity to practice these skills in a real-world environment when you complete 1,000 hours of work placements during your final two years.

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. There may be essays, assignments and examinations. You could also expect:

  • case studies
  • poster presentations
  • multiple choice quizzes
  • projects
  • e-portfolios
  • debates
  • research papers

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

What courses you'll study


Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Human Service Provision WELF 1014 4.5
Communication Skills in Social Work and Human Services WELF 1019 4.5
Child Development WELF 1020 4.5
The Social World SOCU 1003 4.5 Note(s): 3
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Applied Psychology BEHL 1005 4.5
Governance and Citizenship in Australia POLI 1008 4.5
Group Work BEHL 2009 4.5
Business and Society BUSS 1057 4.5 Note(s): 3
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Australian Social Policy POLI 1012 4.5
Ideas, Innovation and Communication COMM 1060 4.5
Social Enquiry Methods HUMS 1004 4.5
Global Society and Movements SOCU 2017 4.5 Note(s): 3
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Intercultural Communication LANG 1054 4.5
Working with Community WELF 2010 4.5
Indigenous Australians and the Human Services WELF 2015 4.5
Australia in the Asian Century POLI 2003 4.5 Note(s): 3
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Human Service Intervention WELF 2012 4.5
Interviewing Skills in Social Work and Human Services WELF 2020 4.5
Global Power in the Asian Century POLI 3018 4.5 Note(s): 3
International Business Environment BUSS 2067 4.5 Note(s): 3
Relevant Intermediate Level Course Note(s): 3
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing WELF 2019 4.5
Preparation for Field Placement WELF 2009 4.5 Note(s): 2
International Political Economy and Human Development POLI 2026 4.5 Note(s): 3
Second Semester (Study Period 7)
Human Service Workers and the Law JUST 2005 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Social Work Field Education 1 WELF 3011 13.5 Rule(s): 1,2
Industry and Practice PERF 3006 4.5 Note(s): 3
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Advanced Practice in Social Work WELF 3021 4.5
Contemporary Practice Approaches WELF 3007 4.5
Working with Human Service Organisations WELF 3023 4.5
International Management Ethics and Values BUSS 3053 4.5 Note(s): 3
Relevant Advanced Level Course Note(s): 3
Advanced Level Cross Institutional Course Note(s): 3
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1
Leading and Managing in Human Service Organisations WELF 4032 4.5
Child Centred Practice WELF 4030 4.5
Internship or Project COMM 3063 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Professional Development WELF 4016 4.5
Social Work Field Education 2 WELF 4019 13.5 Rule(s): 1,2

I have an active research focus and experience in policy development and program planning – I also place a strong emphasis on explicating the links between research, theory, policy and practice.

Dr Helena de Anstiss

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Helena de Anstiss
Portrait image for Dr Helena de Anstiss

Dr Helena de Anstiss

Program Director



Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarship search page for more.

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.


Magill is a quick drive, cycle or bus trip from the city. On campus there are TV, radio and sound studios, social work studios, a cognitive neuroscience laboratory, a psychology clinic, a language lab, a journalism newsroom, a theatre, a gym and a swimming pool. It’s only a short walk to local shops. Explore Magill >

Your study spaces

As a social work student you will have access to two state-of-the art Social Work Studios, which are equipped with recording equipment and cameras so that you can practice your skills with the help of field practitioners and academic staff.

Your study spaces

Your study experience

As a student at the University of South Australia you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also have access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist. Support services include:

  • careers advice
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • services offered through our student association, USASA
  • accommodation services 

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers. You can work with them face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies. They also offer help with the English language. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.

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