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Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)

Seek and solve problems to improve life on earth
Challenge yourself and make a difference by promoting social change and enhancing the lives of those around you. With the UNSW Bachelor of Social Work (Honours), you’ll gain practical skills to shape happier, healthier relationships and communities, with direct guidance from industry professionals and current social workers. Make an impact where it’s needed most.
Commencing Terms
Term 1 & 2
Duration
4 Year(s)
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Campus
Kensington
Codes
UAC code 422400
Program code 4033
CRICOS code 000831E
Entry Requirements
ATAR/2023 lowest selection rank
80
View all admission criteria
Fees
2024 Indicative first year full fee
$16,000*
2024 Indicative full fee to complete degree
$65,500*

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Overview

The Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) is a four-year degree when studied full time, with an integrated honours component. 

Becoming a social worker is a genuinely transformative experience. Not only will you be able to significantly change and enhance others’ lives, but you’ll also be actively shaping happier, healthier relationships and communities. 

This internationally recognised degree focuses on the very real and very important outcomes of social work – giving you the practical skills to make a difference, with direct guidance from industry professionals and current social workers. You’ll gain experience across diverse human services such as mental health, social work counselling, community work, sociology, psychology, and working with Indigenous communities. This degree will set you up for a successful and rewarding career that is projected to grow by 23.2% by 2026.^

^Labour Market Insights

Key features

A solid foundation
In your first year of study, you’ll begin building the stability to adapt within a diverse field that is constantly changing. Discover new interests and contexts while developing the foundations of your future social work practice. You’ll have guidance throughout the program from social workers experienced in teaching, practice, research, and policy. 

Field education
Work experience is essential to learning and experiencing the world beyond the classroom. This degree includes two work placements to develop your insights, confidence, and essential practical skills. You’ll gain distinct experience working in metropolitan and rural Australia or in one of our partnering countries overseas. 

Fuel your passion
Dive deeper into the area where you’re driven to have the most impact. You’ll be able to focus your efforts and interpersonal skills in fields such as community health, child welfare, or clinical social work. You’ll also have opportunities to gain expertise in various areas of practice and in research fields such as social work theory and policy studies.

Research for your future
Social work careers evolve with society’s changing needs. With advanced research and analysis skills, your professional development can adapt to future changes with confidence. In your final year, you’ll produce a thesis or advanced professional portfolio based on your independent research. 

Accreditation 
Empower yourself with an education that meets formal accreditation standards. Upon graduation, you’ll meet the benchmarks set by the Australian Association of Social Workers (the professional body for social workers) and be eligible for their membership.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

  • UNSW is ranked 2nd in Australia and 27th globally for Social Sciences according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024.
  • Prioritise career success – UNSW won the Australian Financial Review’s Most Employable Students Award in 2024
  • Accreditation with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
  • Be supported by our diverse, open and inclusive Arts, Design & Architecture community
  • Learn through research-informed teaching
  • Practical classes and two work placements
  • Benefit from strong social work industry connections
  • Increased employability with an honour’s qualification 
  • Join a global Top 20 university (QS World University Rankings, 2024)
Program Code
4033
CRICOS Code
000831E
Campus
Kensington
UAC Code
422400
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
192
Indicative Enrolments
295

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Entry requirements

2023 Lowest Selection Rank
80
2023 A levels
13
2023 IB Diploma
29
2023 Lowest ATAR
72.5
    1. The 2023 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023.
    2. The 2023 A levels score is based on four Advanced Level (A2) subject. Entry scores are calculated from the best three or four A2 subjects (excluding repeated subjects) using the following values: A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1. At most one Applied A Level subject may be included in the best four subjects used to calculate the aggregate.
    3. The 2023 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023. It is to be used as a guide only.
    4. The 2023 Lowest ATAR is the lowest ATAR (before adjustment factors were applied) to which an offer was made. Where <5 is listed, this indicates that less than 5 ATAR-based offers were made and so the score has not been published. N/A indicates no offers were made on the basis of ATAR.
  • At UNSW, we are committed to ensuring prospective students have all the information they need in order to make informed decisions about their study options.

    To assist you in gaining a better understanding of how Admissions works at UNSW, we have provided you with a summary of ATAR offers and the student profile.

    We hope this information will help you identify the degree that is right for you.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Domestic students are eligible to apply for the following volume of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) credits towards their UNSW degree that belong in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture:

  • 1-year Diploma: 48 UoC (equivalent to first year)
  • 1.5-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 72 UoC (equivalent to first year and a half)
  • 2-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 96 UoC (equivalent to two years)

Considering your previous qualifications and their relevance to the chosen program at UNSW, the type and amount of credit you can apply for, as well as the duration of your remaining program, will then be determined. 

Assessment by the Program Director is required for RPL applications toward Professional Accredited programs. Please note that eligibility for the full volume of RPL may be subject to accreditation requirements.

Portfolio Entry 

At UNSW ADA, you will find the freedom and support to design the future you want. An ADA Portfolio Entry submission will demonstrate your passions alongside your best work, to boost your chances of admission to a bachelor’s degree of your choice. For more information and to see specific guidelines for portfolio submissions visit UNSW Portfolio Entry. 

Adjustment Factors


We offer a range of adjustment factor schemes that reward students for academic performance and extra-curricular achievements. These schemes also take into account a range of personal and educational disadvantages that may have affected your studies. 

HSC Plus 
This scheme rewards students who perform well in Year 12 subjects that are relevant to their preferred UNSW degree. You may be awarded up to five points. 

Elite Athletes, Performers and Leaders (EAPL) 
This program recognises achievements in the areas of sport, academia, leadership and music at an elite level. You may be eligible for up to five points.

Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
Factors such as illness, financial hardship, language difficulties or attending a particular school can mean you don't always get the best possible marks in Years 11 and 12. If one of these situations applies to you, submit an application for the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) via UAC. Eligible students can receive between 1 and 10 points towards their chosen UNSW degree.

Admission pathways

If you’ve studied the relevant diplomas under the TAFE Community Services Training Package, you’ll receive TAFE Credit Transfer for up to 48 units of credit (UOC), which is equivalent to one-year, full-time study.

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

A year 12 or equivalent secondary school level qualification or higher qualification in the English language consistent with the requirements for admission to AQF Level 7 Degree courses in Australia OR An overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 7.0 in each component, listening, reading, writing, and speaking, or the equivalent level in a comparable English language test.

International direct entry

We do not accept secondary qualifications from this country. We may accept tertiary study results, please contact us for more information.

Please contact us for direct entry requirements.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Typically, international students are eligible to apply for the following volume of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) credits towards their UNSW degree that belong in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture:

  • 1-year Diploma: Up to 48 UoC
  • 1.5-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 72 UoC
  • 2-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 96 UoC

Generally, International students must ensure that their prior qualifications are assessed and deemed relevant to the program they intend to pursue. Additionally, they are required to maintain a full-time study load as part of the conditions for their Confirmation of Enrolment.

Admission pathways


If you do not meet the requirements for direct entry into your chosen degree, you may be eligible for a pathway program with UNSW College. UNSW College provides alternative entry options using university-approved content so that you can start your UNSW journey with confidence. 

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

English Language Proficiency Requirement

A year 12 or equivalent secondary school level qualification or higher qualification in the English language consistent with the requirements for admission to AQF Level 7 Degree courses in Australia OR An overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 7.0 in each component, listening, reading, writing, and speaking, or the equivalent level in a comparable English language test.

Program structure

The Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) consists of 30 courses and an honours thesis. It can be completed in four-years full-time.  

The program includes:

  • 24 Core courses
  • 4 Electives/General education courses
  • 2 Professional placements
  • 1 Honours thesis

Full program structure

Each university year at UNSW has three terms and an optional summer study period.

Some courses need to be studied in your first and second year, so you’re prepared for courses that can only be studied in later years. Depending on how you plan your study load, you can fit two or three courses into a term and one course in a summer term.

Below is an example of what you could study in a standard four-year, full-time study plan in the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours).

First year

  • 7 Social Work/Arts & Social Sciences core courses
  • 1 Free elective/general education course

Second year

  • 6 Social Work/Arts & Social Sciences core courses
  • 2 Free elective/general education courses

Third year

  • 4 Social Work/Arts & Social Sciences core courses
  • 2 Professional placements

Fourth year

  • 6 Social Work core courses
  • 1 Honours thesis

For your full course listing, descriptions and timetables please see the UNSW Online Handbook.

From much-needed mental health support to child protection, case management, social justice, human rights advocacy and community development – the potential for true change and impact as a social worker is limitless. 

Upon successful completion of this degree, you’ll launch your career with expertise, experience and skills that can’t be found elsewhere. Our Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) is one of the most highly regarded social work programs in the country, enabling passionate and insightful people like you to positively impact the lives of others through diverse and well-established careers.

Potential careers

  • Caseworker
  • Counsellor
  • Policy analyst 
  • Research officer
  • Project manager
  • Special care worker
  • Social policy adviser
  • Social research officer
  • Social worker
  • Welfare worker
  • Youth worker

To help you choose if social work is the right path for you, find out how to become a social worker in Australia, the qualifications you need and where your career might take you.

Accreditation

Australian Association of Social Workers, Graduates with the degree of Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) from UNSW are eligible for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Double degrees

Combine your interests for a unique career that is connected to your talents and passions. In a double degree you focus on two areas of expertise to graduate with more knowledge, skills, and career options. And because you only study the core courses, a double degree is less work and faster than studying two full degrees.

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate study from domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Visit the Apply section of the UAC website and you can nominate up to five degrees in order of preference, with the first being your most desired degree and university.

On-time applications for admission usually close at the end of September each year for Term 1 admission. Late applications can be submitted, but a late fee will apply. For study starting in Term 1, the majority of offers are made in December and January. Visit the UAC website for key dates for admission outside of Term 1.

Ready to start your application?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

2024 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$16,000*
2024 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree
$65,500*

Commonwealth Supported Place: Student Contribution Band 4

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the university and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at the start of each calendar year.

The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only - other fees and charges are not included.

2024 Indicative First Year Fee
$45,000*
2024 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$190,500*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.


Top 20
Worldwide

QS World University Rankings, 2024.

Most
Employable Graduates

AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

Leading
Innovation

#1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

ADA alumni  Tahlia Tribetz
"I really liked that the UNSW degree was so practical. I was really excited about the way UNSW structured their degree and the diversity of topics."

Tahlia Trijbetz

Social Work Alum

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