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Start date


3 year(s) full-time


Program Code


Assumed Knowledge

2021: AUD$ 29,400 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


Degree overview

  • Build your practical skills in our innovative Social Work Studios.
  • Study with the No.1 University in SA for graduate careers in Social Work1 and No.1 in SA for teaching quality in Social Work2.
  • Get hands-on experience and build pivotal networks with 560 hours of supervised field education placements. 
  • Benefit from flexible study options, with internal, block intensive and online learning available.
  • Work alongside practitioners and highly skilled academic staff in simulated real-world scenarios.
  • Learn from award-winning researchers in their field - the University’s research in Social Work has been recognised as world class3.
  • Use this degree as a pathway to further learning, including the Bachelor of Arts (Honours).
  • This degree is nationally recognised by the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA).

1ComparED (QILT): Course Experience Questionnaire 2018-19 – Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.
2ComparED (QILT): Course Experience Questionnaire 2018-19 (Undergraduate and Postgraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.
32018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



This degree equips you with the knowledge and skills to meet the social and emotional wellbeing needs of individuals, families and carers involved with ageing and disability services.

You will develop a broad and coherent body of knowledge of human service practice, with in-depth understanding in the underlying principles and concepts of:

  • social and emotional development and wellbeing,
  • small business entrepreneurship, and
  • ethical practice at the individual, community and policy level of ageing and disability service provision.

In addition to this you will also get practical experience as part of the degree’s 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 license and a recognised First Aid Certificate.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

You will apply a broad and coherent body of knowledge of political, behavioural and social sciences in a range of ageing and disability focused human service contexts.

You will develop in-depth knowledge of policy and apply it by:

  • navigating major systems such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and My Aged Care policies,
  • informing social policy development,
  • enhancing service provisions, and
  • promoting social inclusion within the ageing and disability sectors.

You will explore diverse scenarios and learn how to effectively manage challenging situations during on-campus sessions in our state-of-the-art Social Work Studios. You will then get the opportunity to practice these skills when you complete 560 hours of work placements during your final year of study.

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Degree structure

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
The Social World SOCU 1003 4.5
Professional and Technical Communication COMM 1065 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Governance and Citizenship in Australia POLI 1008 4.5
Group Work BEHL 2009 4.5
Applied Psychology BEHL 1005 4.5
Lifespan Development and Diversity WELF 1021 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Human Service Intervention WELF 2012 4.5
Australian Social Policy POLI 1012 4.5
Social Enquiry Methods HUMS 1004 4.5
Interviewing Skills in Social Work and Human Services WELF 2020 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing WELF 2019 4.5
The Social Construction of Ageing and Disability WELF 2024 4.5
Aboriginal Australians and the Human Services WELF 2015 4.5
Human Service Workers and the Law JUST 2005 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Small Business for Professionals BUSS 2040 4.5
Human Service Field Placement A WELF 3022 9 Rule(s): 1,2
Ageing and Disability: Diversity and Discrimination WELF 3029 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Human Service Field Placement B WELF 3014 9 Rule(s): 1,2
Entrepreneurial Enterprises BUSS 3043 4.5
Human Service Project Management WELF 2014 4.5

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. You can expect them to include:

  • case studies
  • projects
  • an e-portfolio
  • essays and assignments
  • examinations
  • journals

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

Why Bachelor of Social Science (Ageing and Disability)

Why this Degree

In addition to the communication and relational skills you develop, the small business knowledge and entrepreneurial skills gained from the program mean you will be equipped to be an employee or to establish yourself as a sole practitioner, able to provide highly ethical and professional services in a range of settings.

Graduates knowledge of policy will help them to navigate major systems such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and My Aged Care policies and to enhance service provision, inform social policy and promote social inclusion within the ageing and disability sectors.

Third year work placements will also provide valuable practice experience during which you will learn first-hand what it’s like to work in local, rural and international settings. 

Career outcomes

Your career

There is a need for high calibre, well prepared workers in the ageing and disability sector. The employment opportunities are excellent and the demand for graduates is high*, with graduating students quickly finding work in a wide range of fields.

Careers opportunities are available in:

  • disability support
  • child and youth health
  • multicultural services
  • healthcare
  • community development
  • legal and court services
  • child and family wellbeing
  • schools/youth work
  • mental health
  • homelessness services
  • Aboriginal health and wellbeing
  • correctional services
  • drug and alcohol addiction services
  • aged care
  • domestic violence services
  • social planning and administration
  • research and private industry
  • employment sector
  • education department
  • child protection

You could improve your employment prospects by continuing your studies with a one-year Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree.

*Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2017

Professional accreditation and recognition

This program is recognised by the Australian Community Workers Association. Graduates will be eligible for full membership of the Australian Community Workers Association.

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.

Alternative Pathways

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:


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 scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

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

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.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

As a social science 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 program director

I am Associate Professor Caroline Ellison; Professor of Ageing and Disability. As a Developmental Educator I am committed to walking alongside people living with disability and their networks to achieve their aspirations, life goals and take their place as full citizens. I have had a diverse range of roles in disability services in direct service provision, management, governance and research. As a result, I am passionate about educating future professionals to practice with high levels of integrity in a diverse range of settings, ensuring that social justice is accessible to all members of society.

AsPr Caroline Ellison

Program Director

Portrait image for AsPr Caroline Ellison
Portrait image for AsPr Caroline Ellison

AsPr Caroline Ellison

Program Director


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