Social work is a profession that is committed to the principles of human rights, social justice and non-oppression. Social workers assist adults, children, families and communities to promote sustainable change, and practise in a variety of ways, including:
The social work profession encompasses a wide range of employment prospects and provides an excellent background to work in direct practice, education, community development, research and policy development. There are strong employment opportunities for social workers in Australia and throughout the world. A social work qualification from UTAS will allow you to work in the United Kingdom, many parts of Asia and other overseas countries. UTAS graduates experience high rates of employment in diverse fields of practice in health and human services.
Social workers are employed in both the government and not-for-profit sectors. Fields of service settings include hospitals; schools; child protection agencies; family services; criminal justice; volunteer organisations; legal aid centres; aged care; mental health; youth services; migrant and refugee centres; sexual health; palliative care; housing agencies; homelessness services; crisis accommodation; women's services; defence forces; substance abuse agencies; gambling support services; Centrelink offices; community health and electoral offices.
By studying social work at UTAS, you will be undertaking a rich and rewarding educational program with friendly and committed professional and academic educators. You will develop the skills to engage with people to bring about structural changes for the purpose of creating a more just and sustainable society. Your skills, knowledge and values developed throughout your social work education will enable you to challenge and alter existing social structures to enhance the quality of life and the development of the full potential of each person, group and community within their environment. You will be concerned with matters of equality, justice, peace, cooperation, education, employment and health and by engaging sensitively with matters of care, power and context, you will be able to practise effectively and competently to help bring about meaningful change in the lives of people you work with.
A Bachelor of Social Work and a professional qualifying Master of Social Work undertaken at UTAS are recognised as accredited professional minimum qualifications for employment as a social worker. These degrees are recognised by employers within Tasmania, nationally and internationally, and are the only degrees taught within the state that are recognised by the Australian Association of Social Workers. At the completion of your degree, you will be highly employable, will work in positions that afford opportunities to act in senior and leadership roles, and will have obtained a qualification enabling you to enrol in further postgraduate studies.
The social work program has staff on all three UTAS campuses; Launceston, Hobart and Cradle Coast. We pride ourselves on our ability to create a welcoming environment for students, visiting academics, guests and new staff. The size of our discipline enables a strong sense of connection between staff and students. Many important and long-lasting friendships are established amongst students and between staff and students. Classroom-based activities, social events, discussion boards and websites enable this sense of relationship to grow and continue beyond the ending of the formal education experience.
Our staff are recognised as leaders in teaching, research and community engagement in local, national and international contexts. Social work academics are actively engaged in the community, and are active on boards of management, as professional supervisors for social workers practising in the field, as members of response teams in times of community crisis and as advisors to state and federal governments and committees.
The research profile of the social work staff at UTAS is diverse, our lecturers' research interests include: social inclusion; community development and sustainability; genetic discrimination; mental health; hope; disability; gender issues; homelessness; social work practice; violence against women; migrants and refugees; ageing; sexual assault; grief and bereavement; palliative care, death and dying; program evaluation; policy analysis; risk; and ethics and morality in social work practice. Our increasing postgraduate profile is further testimony to the strong research foundation within the School.
The UTAS social work program has consistently achieved high ratings from students for teaching and unit SETLs (Student Evaluations of Teaching and Learning) across the professional qualifying program. The track record of teaching staff, both past and present, within the school is also impressive. The teaching team are committed and experienced social workers and social work educators, who aim to provide the highest quality educational experience and outcomes for graduates.
Please also review our individual academic staff profiles.
The goal of social work education at UTAS is to provide a rigorous program that results in graduates who are competent, effective, skilled, knowledge-based, ethically aware and confident practitioners. Social work education at UTAS prepares students for practice in the workplace in local, national and international contexts according to the AASW Practice Standards for Social Workers: Achieving Outcomes (2003) . The complexities of practice within a constantly changing society demand well developed skills. The AASW Practice Standards for Social Workers: Achieving Outcomes (2003) and Code of Ethics (2010) are used as the guide for developing:
The social work degrees at UTAS are designed to meet the goals and outcomes for professional social work education as stated in the AASW Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (2010). These degrees provide the opportunity for students to gain knowledge and understanding of social functioning, social problems and social services. They emphasise the application of professional social work methods in the workplace and aim to produce graduates who have achieved the level of competency expected of those beginning a career in social work. By the end of the degree, you will be able to:
Three different types of social work courses are offered at UTAS – professional qualifying courses, advanced practice courses and postgraduate research courses.
For people who have already completed a three-year degree from a recognised university (with some social and behavioural science content), the professional qualifying Master of Social Work is available as an entry pathway into the profession.
If you are currently enrolled in a relevant degree (such as Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Science, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Education or Bachelor of Science) and want to change to the Bachelor of Social Work, you need to establish if the subjects you have undertaken would equate with the admission requirements of the degree.
Please also refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which may help with any queries you have in this regard.
UTAS has an extensive program of both academic and access scholarships available to students entering the Faculty of Arts for the duration of a degree course. These include Commonwealth Learning Scholarships for rural and regional students leaving home to study, and scholarships for students for whom financial circumstances prevent studying at university. Generous sponsors also provide a range of scholarships on an ongoing basis to encourage students in their social work study at UTAS. Please refer to Scholarships and Bursaries for full details.
Authorised by the Interim Head of School, Social Sciences
27 March, 2013