Start date


4 year(s) full-time


Program Code


Assumed Knowledge

AUD$ 30,900 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2024

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [7.0]
  • IELTS reading [7.0]
  • IELTS writing [7.0]
  • IELTS speaking [7.0]
  • IELTS listening [7.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • Study with the No.1 university in SA for graduate careers in Social Work1.
  • Study with a Top 5 university in Australia for student satisfaction in Social Work2.
  • Choose to study this program externally and make the most of a flexible, dynamic online learning environment*.
  • In your final year, develop your own original research under the guidance of an experienced supervisor. 
  • Take advantage of workshops and additional resources available to better prepare students for their final Honours year. 
  • Build your practical skills in our innovative on-campus Social Work and Human Services Studio. 
  • Build pivotal networks and practical experience by completing 1,000 hours of supervised local and rural work placements.
  • This program is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers. 
  • Study a curriculum informed by world-class research in Social Work3
  • Increase your employment prospects by graduating in an Honours program which focuses on developing your research skills, which are highly regarded by industry. 
  • Further your education after graduation with a postgraduate qualification, including doctoral study 

1ComparED (QILT) Course Experience Questionnaire 2021-22 – Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Domestic Undergraduate and Postgraduate). Public universities. 2ComparED (QILT) Course Experience Questionnaire 2020-22 – Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Undergraduate). Public universities. 32018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). *Students studying this program externally will be required to complete 20 days of on-campus, face-to-face learning across the duration of their degree. This a requirement of the accrediting body, the Australian Association of Social Workers to ensure practical skills competency.



This honours degree in Social Work provides you with advanced knowledge of the political, behavioural and social sciences. On completion, you may be eligible to further your qualification with postgraduate study, including doctoral study. This degree has been developed around four major areas of study:

  • social work theory
  • social work practice and skills
  • social policy
  • social research.

You will also gain practical experience as part of this degree’s field education placement component. This is a valuable learning opportunity where you will build industry networks and further enhance your hands-on, practical skills. You will also have the opportunity to solve real-world issues by partnering with a community organisation and develop research to create real impact.

Further hands-on experience is gained in our state-of-the-art Social Work and Human Services Studio, where you will take part in simulated, real-life situations. These studios are an important part of your learning and provide a dedicated space where you can practice your skills. 

In your final year, you will focus on developing your research skills, with the opportunity to publish your own research with your supervisor.

What you'll need

Students studying this degree will be required to undertake Criminal History Checks through the Department of Human Services (DHS), a National Police Record Check, and complete a one-day Safe Environments for Children and Young People course prior to being accepted for work placements. Some placements may also require students to hold a current driver's licence and or additional requirements as requested by a specific placement provider.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This honours degree provides an advanced level of knowledge of the political and behavioural sciences with a specific focus on the following four major areas of study:

  • Social work theory: you will develop knowledge of various social work approaches as they relate to individuals, families, communities, groups and organisations
  • Social work practice and skills: you will work in custom-built Social Work and Human Services Studio to develop a range of skills needed to work in social practice; in this dedicated space you will work alongside field practitioners and academic staff in simulated, real-life situations
  • Social policy: learn how to identify the social policies that affect people’s lives, and the strategic ways that social workers may be able to influence these policies
  • Social research: learn how to use, evaluate, construct and undertake research

You will also gain practical experience when you complete two 500-hour field education placements during your third and fourth years.

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
Please select one of the below options
Child Development WELF 1020 4.5
MINOR 4.5 Rule(s): 5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Governance and Citizenship in Australia POLI 1008 4.5
Applied Psychology BEHL 1005 4.5
Group Work BEHL 2009 4.5
Working with Community WELF 2010 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 Research Methods HUMS 2047 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
Preparation for Field Placement WELF 2009 4.5 Note(s): 3
Human Service Workers and the Law JUST 2005 4.5
Please select one of the below options
Elective 4.5
MINOR 4.5 Rule(s): 5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Aboriginal Australians and the Human Services WELF 2015 4.5
Social Work Field Education 1 WELF 3011 13.5 Rule(s): 1,2,3,4
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Advanced Social Work Theory and Practice WELF 3030 4.5
Policy Practice POLI 2027 4.5
Working with Human Service Organisations WELF 3023 4.5
Please select one of the below options
Child Centred Practice WELF 4030 4.5
MINOR 4.5 Rule(s): 5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Applied Social Research (Honours) WELF 4033 4.5
Social Work Honours Research Project 1 WELF 4035 9
Please select one of the below options
Leading and Managing in Human Service Organisations WELF 4032 4.5
Trauma Informed Practice WELF 3031 4.5
MINOR 4.5 Rule(s): 5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Social Work Field Education (Honours) WELF 4034 13.5 Rule(s): 1,2,3,4
Social Work Honours Research Project 2 WELF 4027 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, as well as to 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:

  • projects
  • e-portfolios
  • essays and assignments
  • examinations
  • research project

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

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


This is a four-year, professional degree with honours. The honours component includes a minimum of one year of advanced studies in research and professional practice. You will receive First Class, Second Class or Third Class Honours, depending on your performance. You will graduate with industry experience and connections, and a higher level qualification than a bachelor degree. Your honours year will prepare you for future leadership roles and higher degrees.

Why Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)

Why this Degree

Graduating with an honours degree will set you apart from the crowd, ensuring you have a competitive edge and are well-placed for a career in industry, research or further postgraduate study.

In this degree you will:

  • Learn from industry experts and world-class researchers
  • Gain practical experience in our on-campus Social Work and Human Services Studio
  • Build industry networks during field education placements
  • Develop your own research project, under the guidance of an experienced supervisor, with the opportunity to publish post-completion.  

Learn from industry experts and world-class researchers, gain practical experience in our on-campus Social Work and Human Services Studio, build workplace networks during field education placements. 
In our custom-built studios you will work alongside field practitioners and academic staff in simulated, real-life situations. Using recording equipment and cameras, you can review your work, receive feedback and learn from your experiences. Third and fourth year work placements will enable you to apply your knowledge and demonstrate your practical skills in a real-world scenario. 

Real-world connections

You will complete two 500-hour field education placements during your third and fourth years in a range of local, rural and international settings. This real-world experience is a major focus of your studies and provides valuable practical experience and the opportunity for you to build important industry relationships. We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

This could be you

Are you ready to enhance the wellbeing of others through advocacy, social change, relationship building and empowerment? Explore a degree in social work and discover the meaningful role social workers serve in building communities.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

As a social worker, you may provide support, counselling and service referrals, conduct research, and practice advocacy, to improve individual wellbeing and promote a fair, inclusive society.   If you have a passion for human rights and a strong commitment to social justice, there are a number of employment opportunities in an array of sectors, including:

  • Child protection services social worker: in collaboration with families and community services, identify and document cases of abuse and neglect and find appropriate services in support of child welfare.
  • Mental health social worker: provide support and referral opportunities for people experiencing poor mental health.
  • Healthcare social worker: help people access services to improve and maintain their health.
  • Aged care social worker: provide personal, physical and emotional support to older people who need assistance with everyday living.
  • Domestic violence services officer: counsel, investigate and report on incidences of domestic violence.
  • Disability services officer: provide support for people in the community with intellectual, physical, social and emotional disabilities.
  • Social planner: a pivotal role in creating liveable, sustainable communities; social planners create strategic policy and action that policy in order to meet the needs of the people.
  • Academic in social work: combine research, teaching and administrative work to enhance the practice of social work and social work education.

Professional accreditation and recognition

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

Industry facts


Employment for Welfare Support Workers is expected to increase by 25.2 per cent by November 2026.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Labour Markets Insight, Employment Projections 2021


By 2024, employment for counsellors in Australia is projected to increase by 24.8 per cent.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019


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

Australian Government Department of Employment 2019

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:


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 UniSA student, 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 and laboratories, as well as spaces 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 gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, 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 also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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

Our international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

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

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

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 modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

As a social work student you will have access to our state-of-the art Social Work and Human Services Studio, 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 work as a lecturer and researcher in Social Work. My research to date has focussed on the experiences of women leaving prison, the connection between gendered violence, mental health and substance use and the experiences of women who are studying in the social sciences who are first in family to study at university. 
I aim to create a community in my classroom and use multiple, creative and interactive methods to encourage learning. I model good social work practice and principles when working alongside students in the classroom and, while I have high expectations of my students, this is reciprocal in that I create topic content that is organised, detailed and engaging. I am respectful of the lived experiences students bring to the classroom and value the process of seeking and incorporating student feedback to improve my teaching. 
I am confident this program will equip you with the critical thinking and analytical skills required to build a career in the social work field.  

Dr Fatin Shabbar

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Fatin Shabbar
Portrait image for Dr Fatin Shabbar

Dr Fatin Shabbar

Program Director


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What others are saying

While studying, I secured a job supporting children with disabilities at an organisation that provides respite service and life skill development programs. Studying at UniSA has given me a strong sense of purpose, and reassurance that I am on a career path that is suited to my strengths.

Lauren Harrington

Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
Community Support Worker | Disability Living

Lauren .jpg

Lauren Harrington

Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
Community Support Worker | Disability Living

I had such a positive experience studying at UniSA. I can see now how so much of what I have learnt, really does apply to what I am currently doing everyday in my role as a social worker.  

Katerina Economou

Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
Social Worker | Department for Child Protection, South Australia


Katerina Economou

Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
Social Worker | Department for Child Protection, South Australia