Social work

Social work students society meeting of students discuss ideas.

A one-of-its-kind accredited social work program

UNSW School of Social Sciences offers an accredited social work program that integrates honours into your undergraduate degree. Our leading academics guide you through a dynamic, evidence-informed and collaborative program designed to help you make a positive impact at all levels of society. From counselling and advocacy to community work, research and policy development. Learn how to make a real difference in the lives of individuals, families and communities.

The social work profession promotes social change, problem-solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance wellbeing… Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work.

International Definition of Social Work, IFSW, 2004

An enriching learning experience

Our accredited Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) program brings you a practical and interactive experience to put you at the forefront of employment opportunities in human services. You’ll undertake 1000 hours of supervised field education placements in real-world contexts, offering you nurturing yet transformative professional experiences. You'll gain the critical skills to enhance people’s strengths and resources within and beyond their social and cultural environments.

Become a driver of change in your community

Studying social work at UNSW opens the door to a range of career options across many sectors, including private and government agencies, social welfare support organisations and community groups. Our strong partnerships and placement opportunities will elevate your industry recognition and employability upon graduation.

 Specialisations of industry practice include:

  • building and sustaining communities
  • caring for elders and the elderly
  • addressing gendered violence
  • empowering people from diverse cultures
  • promoting mental health and wellbeing
  • supporting victims of crime and violence
  • counselling individuals and families
  • social planning and social development
  • including people with disabilities
  • delivering justice in corrective services
  • developing social policy
  • collaborating with Indigenous communities
  • protecting children
  • excelling in health services
  • strengthening families
  • preventing human trafficking and sexual slavery.


  • Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)

    The Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) offers an innovative, accredited program leading to eligibility for membership by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). Drawing on the extensive expertise of qualified social work practitioners, we deliver a unique combination of world-class theory and practice-based learning. Through two field placements in the third and fourth years of your degree, you'll complete 1000 hours of field education to gain practical skills that enhance your employability.

    TAFE credit transfers

    If you’ve completed specific diplomas under the TAFE Community Services Training Package CHC508, you may be eligible for credit transfer once admitted to the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours).

  • Once you’ve completed all program requirements of our undergraduate degree, you’ll graduate with honours (AQF Level 8). As part of the honours requirement, you'll complete either a piece of independent research as a thesis or an advanced practice portfolio.

  • Master of Counselling Social Work

    If you’re a qualified social worker, our Master of Counselling Social Work offers the opportunity to consolidate and advance your knowledge and skills in counselling practice. This degree will develop your understanding of counselling frameworks consistent with a strengths-based and family-sensitive approach to clinical skills and the social work research process.

    Other degrees

    Other master degrees offered in the School of Social Sciences relevant for social workers include the:


  • UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture offers several higher-degree research opportunities. Through our programs, leading scholars supervise our research candidates to produce an original body of work. In the subject area of social work, you can choose from a professional doctorate or a Doctor of Philosophy and Masters by Research.

    Professional doctorate

    The professional doctorate is a postgraduate research degree designed for social workers. It provides the opportunity to combine postgraduate coursework study in an area of advanced social work practice with doctoral research. This degree builds social work knowledge and leads to the final presentation of a doctoral thesis.

    Find out more

    Doctor of Philosophy and Masters by Research

    Our Doctor of Philosophy and Masters by Research programs offer postgraduate research candidates in social work the opportunity to produce an original body of work under supervised research with our leading academics.

    Find a research supervisor