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Social Work

What is the Social Work program about?

Social Workers aim to enhance individual and community wellbeing by addressing structural challenges that are harmful to people, such as discrimination, inequality, violence and other forms of oppression—focusing on social justice and human rights.

Social Work can assist in generating sustainable change by engaging in interpersonal practice, groupwork, advocacy, community work and social action to address both personal difficulties and public issues.

Through their advocacy, Social Workers utilise skills in research, social policy development, administration, management, consultancy, education, training, supervision and evaluation to affect positive social change.

In the right headspace

Social Work graduate Ella Baker-Condon is helping some of society’s most at-risk and in-need people as a social worker for Headspace, a free youth-focused health service.

Why study Social Work with us?

We offer two professional qualifying courses in social work, opening the door for graduates to work in Australia and overseas in this dynamic and progressive profession.

Students learn a foundation of social work principles, research and theory, complemented by two professional supervised field education work placements.

We have a strong reputation in social work research and offer two higher degrees by research to develop advanced research knowledge and skills to influence social policy or facilitate change.

Our graduates work in roles requiring a deep understanding of the relationships between people and their physical, cultural, social, economic and political environments.

What careers relate to Social Work?

Social work is a part of a growing service industry with graduates working across local, state and federal government departments, in private and non-government human service organisations and in various advocacy, policy making and tribunal capacities. Opportunities range from direct practice, education, community and policy development, and research.

  • Case Manager
  • Child and youth worker
  • Community engagement officer/co-ordinator
  • Education and career support consultant
  • Human rights advocate
  • Mental health and wellbeing coordinator
  • Migrant and refugee settlement officer
  • Policy adviser/analyst/researcher
  • Public servant
  • Public health consultant
  • Rehabilitation support worker
  • Social Worker
  • Victims advocate
  • Youth support coordinator

Helping people in need through crucial research

How studying Social Work can give you a rewarding career in a vital industry.

Read more about Matthew

How can I learn about Social Work?

Students learn a foundation of social work principles, research and theory, complemented by two professional supervised fieldwork placements.

Our courses are accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards.

Interested in studying with us? Explore our course and research opportunities below.

Your learning experience in Social Work goes beyond the lecture and tutorials.

You will be taught by experts, and gain perspective from guest lecturers and forums; gain a competitive advantage with real-world experience prior to graduation; have options to complete your studies your way, whether on-campus, online, part-time or full-time;  pursue your passion or specialisation with a range of scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance programs, or meet your career goals with our pathway options.

The real-time educational experience of being, knowing and doing within social work practice, is the most valuable method of integrating learnt theory into practice.

Field education placement forms a significant part of your learning experience and provides a unique opportunity for you to develop Social Work practice skills by participating in a range of professional activities including; service delivery, policy, research and project work in an agency context; and learn more about the practice of Social Work as a change agent.

It prepares our graduates to be self-initiating, critically reflective, innovative and able to solve problems across a wide range of issues and situations and in a diverse range of contexts.

Find out more about our Field Education Placements

We provide access to a variety of scholarships and bursaries at a University, College and Discipline level. The main application period begins in August, and closes on the 31st October the year prior to study commencing.

Browse Scholarships

Don't meet the traditional entry requirements? The School of Social Sciences offers an alternative entry pathway into our undergraduate programs. The Arts pathway is a great introduction into university study, and can assist you in gaining the qualifications and experience you need for your chosen career. This foundation year of study provides students with the skills and knowledge related to studying the arts and social sciences, with additional support and guidance to help you succeed.

If you would like to study a Bachelor of Social Work, completing this year of foundation study in Diploma of University Studies (Arts Specialisation) (21A) will assist you in achieving your goals.

Pathway Programs at the University

Take your passion for ideas further than you ever imagined.

We offer a collegial, supportive environment, with experienced supervision, regular seminar series, research skills training, and many opportunities to work with peers and academics on your areas of interest. We supervise across a range of methodologies and conceptual/theoretical approaches, and encourage scholarship that draws on ideas from across diverse fields.

Choose a research topic that reflects your interests and identify a supervisor with the expertise to guide you in your research. Search for a discipline staff member via our staff profiles, or by an area or expertise.

The School of Social Sciences welcomes qualified applicants to undertake a research degree with us in any of our areas of research strengths and interests.

Masters by Research
Doctorates (PhD)

To find out about application procedures, entry requirements, and scholarships, refer to College of Arts, Law and Education Research Degrees.

Our research in Social Work

Our research in Social Work focusses on engaging critically with a diverse range of social and practice concerns at local, national and international levels. Staff are recognised as leaders in research on social inclusion; mental health; migrants and refugees; ageing; grief and bereavement; risk; Whiteness and decolonisation; and ethics and morality in social work practice.

Our work is published in leading journals and by top-tier academic presses, we have access to an international network of top-flight researchers, and members of our team have received prestigious research grants and fellowships.

We welcome proposals from qualified applicants to undertake research degrees in PhDs and Masters, and are pleased to discuss research proposals that cross disciplines, including law, science, creative arts, business, economics and health sciences.

Read more about our research


Dr Anthea Vreugdenhil

Featured Researcher | Assoc Prof Anthea Vreugdenhil

Anthea has an active research program in the area of care, with a focus on aged care, caring societies and social work education. Her research has a strong policy and practice focus, employing both quantitative and qualitative methods.


View Anthea's full researcher profile Browse our academic staff profiles