CL71 - Bachelor of Social Work


Compulsory Residential School

Some units in this course require you to attend a compulsory Residential School or Work Integrated Learning. Please see Course Features in the Getting Started tab for further information.

Course Overview

The Bachelor of Social Work aims to produce social work graduates who will be eligible for membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). In your pursuit of social justice, you will acquire values, knowledge and skills relevant to diverse social environments where you will be able to advocate for and support people who are vulnerable. You will utilise approaches such as case management, social group work and family work, community and social development. You will learn strategies focused on change for the individual, family, organisation and community. With knowledge of these approaches and strategies, social workers can occupy many diverse roles aimed at enhancing the well-being of people in society.

Career Information

A social work qualification provides a wide range of employment opportunities across diverse fields of practice. Many of these will involve social workers assisting client groups to achieve social inclusion, supporting people to achieve a better quality of life and facilitate individual and community well-being. Graduates have the opportunity to practice in a large number of human services across every state and territory as well as in many overseas countries. The most prominent sectors in which social workers are found are in health, government administration, child protection, youth justice, prisons, disability, aged care, mental health, and working with people from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. Social workers are employed at federal, state and local levels of government. Non-government agencies in the community sector are also large employers of social work graduates where the work can include counselling, case-management, early intervention strategies with families at risk, advocacy, mediation and community development. Agencies include Relationships Australia, Anglicare, Baptist Care, Red Cross, Women's Health and many others. A growing trend for social workers with several years experience is moving into private practice focusing on the mental health issues experienced by their clients.

Course Details
Duration 4 years full-time or 8 years part-time
Credit Points that Must be Earned 192
Number of Units Required CQUniversity uses the concept of credits to express the amount of study required for a particular course and individual units. The number of units varies between courses. Units in undergraduate courses normally consist of 6 points of credit or multiples thereof (e.g. 12, 18, 24).
Expected Hours of Study One point of credit is equivalent to an expectation of approximately two hours of student work per week in a term.
Course Type Undergraduate Award
Qualification (post nominal) BSocWk
AQF Level Level 7: Bachelor Degree
Course Fees
Indicative Year - 2022
  • Commonwealth Supported Place – Indicative First Year Fee - $11,320

Admission Codes

Domestic Students
Tertiary Admission Centre Codes (TAC) Codes
International Students
Not Applicable
Where and when can I start?
Units offered internally at the below campuses may be delivered using a combination of face-to-face and video conferencing style teaching.
Units offered via MIX mode are delivered online and require compulsory attendance of site-specific learning activities such as on-campus residential schools, placements and/or work integrated learning. See Course Features tab for further information. Online units are delivered using online resources only.
Please Click Here for more information.
The following tables list the courses availabilities by location and term. Directing your pointer over your preferred location will provide further information if this course is not available for the full duration. Please be sure to also check individual unit availability by location and term prior to enrolling.

Domestic Availability

Term 2 - 2023


Term 1 - 2023


Term 2 - 2022


Term 1 - 2022


Term 1 - 2021


Term 1 - 2020

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International Availability

Term 2 - 2023

Sorry, no international availabilities found.

Term 1 - 2023

Sorry, no international availabilities found.

Term 2 - 2022

Sorry, no international availabilities found.

Term 1 - 2022

Sorry, no international availabilities found.

Term 1 - 2021

Sorry, no international availabilities found.

Term 1 - 2020

Sorry, no international availabilities found.
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For any problems regarding admissions availability for the selected course please contact 13 CQUni (13 27 86) or send us an email at
What do I need to start?
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

The COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory to be eligible to attend a WIL placement for this course. Students will be required to provide evidence of having completed a COVID-19 vaccination schedule by the closing date prior to a WIL placement. The vaccine received must be a vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia.

Entry Scores
Rank Threshold SR 62 | ATAR 62
Entry Requirements

English (Units 3 & 4, C) or equivalent

English Language Proficiency Requirements

If you were not born in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa or United States of America, you are required to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements set by the University.

Applicants are required to provide evidence of completion of:

  • A secondary qualification (Year 11 and 12, or equivalent), or
  • An Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) diploma level qualification, or
  • Bachelor level qualification study for a period of at least 2 years fulltime with a minimum overall GPA 4.0

completed within Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland or United States of America, which will meet the English proficiency.

If you do not satisfy any of the above, you will need to undertake an English language proficiency test and achieve the following scores:

  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) overall band score of at least 6.0 with a minimum 5.5 in each subset; or
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - Requires 550 or better overall and minimum TWE score of 4.5 (Paper Based Test), or 75 or better overall and no score less than 17 (Internet Based Test); or
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) - Requires an overall score of 54 with no sub-score less than 46; or
  • An Occupational English Test with Grades A or B only in each of the four components.

English test results remain valid for no ore than two years between final examination date and the date of commencement of study, and must appear on a single result certificate.

International Students should visit for further information.

Each student will be assessed individually.

Security Requirements

All field education contexts will require relevant state based working with children clearances. State based criminal background checks and Federal police checks are required. Where issues emerge with these checks the Head of Course will implement a formal process of internal and/or external ethical consideration. 

Health Requirements

Some field education contexts require evidence of Hepatitis B immunity. 

Assumed Knowledge

Studies of Society

Community work

Information Technology literacy/

Fees and Charges
Course Features

Awards and Accreditation

Interim Awards CG83 - Bachelor of Human Services CG82 - Associate Degree of Human Services
Exit Awards CG83 - Bachelor of Human Services CG82 - Associate Degree of Human Services
Professional Accreditation

This course will be accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers. CQU received full accreditation of the BSW(Hons) in 2018.

In discussion with the Education Manager of the Australian Association of Social Workers there will be no need for a further accreditation process of this course until 2022 as the development of this course is a recommendation of the AASW Accreditation Panel in their 2018 report. 

Learned Society Accreditation Not applicable

Residential School Requirements

Compulsory Residential School Students are required to attend a minimum of 20 days residential school attendance throughout the course. There are compulsory three and five day residential schools attached to the following units in line with AASW accreditation requirements: 1st year residential program: SOWK11014 Contemporary Human Services (3 days) SOWK11015 Professional Communication in Human Services (3 days) 2nd year residential program: SOWK12009 Casework & Case Management (3 days) SOWK12011 Social Group Work & Family Work (3 days) 3rd year residential program: SOWK13010 Integrating Theory & Practice 1 (5 days) SOWK13011 Community Practice ( 3 days) 4th year residential program: SOWK14005 Advanced Professional Communication Skills (3 days) SOWK14010 Integrating Theory and Practice 2 (3 days)
Click here to view all Residential Schools

Practicum/Work Placement

SOWK13009 - This is the first work integrated learning placement. It is a 13 week placement (440 hours) . The placement occurs in an agency approved by the University Field Education Coordinators and with the supervision by a qualified social worker. Field education may be organised in international, metropolitan, urban, regional, rural and remote areas. Students must complete all units in accordance with pre-requisites, and undertake a successful interview with the Field Education Coordinator to determine placement readiness. Students must meet the inherent requirements for the course and successfully complete all necessary administrative/screening and legal obligations to undertake placement in organisational settings.
SOWK14009 - Field Education 2 (SOWK 14009) is 16 weeks duration (560 hours). The placement occurs in an agency approved by the University Field Education Coordinators and with the supervision by a qualified social worker. Field education may be organised in international, metropolitan, urban, regional, rural and remote areas. Students must complete all units in accordance with pre-requisites, and undertake a successful interview with the Field Education Coordinator to determine placement readiness. Students must meet the inherent requirements for the course and successfully complete all necessary administrative/screening and legal obligations to undertake placement in organisational settings.

Previous and Current Enrolments

Year Number of Students
2022 165
2021 181
2020 93
Inherent Requirements
There are Inherent Requirements (IRs) that you need to be aware of, and fulfil, to achieve the core learning outcomes of the units and course. IRs are the essential capabilities, knowledge, behaviours and skills that are needed to complete a unit or course.

Please note that in some instances there may be similarities between course, entry and inherent requirements.

If you experience difficulties meeting these requirements, reasonable adjustments may be made upon contacting Adjustment must not compromise the academic integrity of the degree or course chosen at CQUniversity or the legal requirements of field education.

Ethical Behaviour

Examples are:

  • Complying with academic and non-academic misconduct policies and procedures such as CQUniversity’s Student Charter, Student Misconduct Policy and Student Behavioural Misconduct Procedures and Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).
  • Complying with the professional code of ethics for social workers - AASW Code of Ethics 2020
  • Being respectful to others and treating them with dignity including colleagues, fellow students, staff of CQU and other professionals whilst on practicums'  
  • Treating personal information obtained as private and confidential.
  • Respecting an individual's/group's diversity by demonstrating sensitivity to religious, cultural and individual differences.
  • Demonstrating an ability to reflect on ethical dilemmas and issues and taking responsibility for ensuring awareness of ethical behaviour.
Behavioural Stability

Examples are:

  • Being reflective with personal behaviours appropriate for professional performance and being positive an receptive to processing constructive supervisor/lecturer feedback or criticism.
  • Interacting with people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures in a calm and composed manner in difficult to deal with situations.
  • Successfully processing your own emotions and behaviour when dealing with potentially emotionally labile people in a wide range of professional environments.
  • Maintaining behavioural stability through successfully distinguishing your own personal behaviours, experiences and emotions from the clients and situations in a professional setting.
Legal Compliance

Examples are:

  • Complying with relevant child protection, vulnerable persons and safety legislation, mandatory reporting requirements and any other notifiable concern to your field placement supervisor.
  • Complying with the requirements for student registration with the relevant professional body.
  • Complying with the policies and practices of organisations in which you may be placed or find employment.
  • Complying with university and workplace policy around the use of social media, online discussion forums, email and other electronic forms of communication.
Communication Skills (Verbal, Non-verbal, Written and Technology)

Examples are:

  • Actively participating in discussion activities related to the course.
  • Communicating effectively your professional knowledge and skills with accuracy, appropriateness and effectiveness in a wide variety of contexts.
  • Using language that is appropriate to the context of the individual, group or workplace.
  • Using appropriate facial expressions: eye contact, being mindful of personal space boundaries, and a range of body movements and gestures.
  • Recognising and interpreting non-verbal cues of others and responding appropriately during activities related to the course, and in the professional environment.
  • Competently and appropriately producing written assessment work in a logical, coherent manner, and with correct grammar, punctuation and correct referencing to the required academic standards.
  • Expressing complex and detailed information and knowledge into a logical and easily understood written form for assessment or professional requirements.
  • Constructing a legible report in a timely manner that meets professional standards and clearly communicates the intended message.
  • Accurately documenting client records so they meet legal and professional requirements.
  • Competently using a desktop operating system such as Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X.
  • Accessing a computer and having sufficient computer skills to engage in on-line learning, reading and responding as required to emails, and completing relevant assessments for the course.
  • Regularly accessing the Internet for research, and email for communication with peers and lecturers.
Cognitive Abilities (Knowledge and Cognitive Skills, Literacy and Numeracy)

Examples are:

  • Conceptualising and using appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessment items.
  • Completing academic learning activities and assessment tasks, and performing professional skills within reasonable set time-frames.
  • Applying knowledge of policy and procedures in social work, health and human service settings.
  • Applying theoretical knowledge and understanding a service user's history when undertaking assessment in professional practice.
  • Paraphrasing, summarising and referencing in accordance with appropriate academic conventions associated with the referencing format used by the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences.
  • Competently reading, writing and accurately interpreting information to convey language effectively in professional practice.
  • Producing accurate, concise and clear social work documentation which meets professional and/or legal requirements.
Sensory Abilities (Visual, Auditory, Tactile)

Examples are:

  • Focussing on and recognising objects that are either near or far e.g. reading learning resources such as lecture and tutorial screens face-to-face on-campus or on-line; as well as reading examination papers and/or on-line computer quizzes.
  • Observing non-verbal behaviour and other situations in a variety of professional settings.
  • Reading facial expressing when dealing with service users and/or carers.
  • Having sufficient aural function to consistently and accurately monitor, assess and mange a person's needs.
  • Sufficiently hearing verbal communication from other students and lecturers during activities related to the course.
  • Providing tactile and/or emotional support to children or adults in the event of circumstances where tactile communication is appropriate e.g. emotional upset, a person experiencing pain or grief.
  • Using tactile (physical) communication in a respectful and appropriate manner to convey a positive message of emotional support or encouragement.
Relational Skills

Examples are:

  • Relating to people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Recognising the cross-cultural communication aspects in working with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrating respect and openness in our communication with each individual, family, group nd/or community.
Reflective Skills

Examples are:

  • Reflecting on topics taught during the course of study, including on situations that my be difficult or sensitive yet still require reflective processing, judgement or action.
  • Identifying when a practice issue is outside of your scope or expertise.
  • Identifying when your practice may be negatively affected by personal experience and/or reactions.
  • Reflecting on situations that may be difficult and sensitive.
Sustainable Performance

Examples are:

  • Actively participating in activities related to the course and professional experience.
  • Undertaking examinations and on-line quizzes with adequate, sustained levels of physical energy and concentration.
  • Performing with the required physical and mental energy and endurance in performing the professional skills and practice during set time-frames.
  • Attending residentials which involve long days of intense concentration and performing of skills 
Interpersonal Engagement

Examples are:

  • Actively listening to each person that seeks assistance.
  • Dealing with conflict and tension in the communication process.
  • Demonstrating empathy towards the other person.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Abilities

Examples are:

  • Competently using Word, PowerPoint and other computer programs.
  • Competently using the Internet, Facebook and Twitter.
Core Learning Outcomes
  • 1. Describe the cultural origins, assumptions and theoretical underpinnings of the profession that have lead to contemporary social work practice
  • 2. Develop social work knowledge, skills and values required for professional practice
  • 3. Explain how social work knowledge, values and skills enhances professional intervention with people vulnerable to social exclusion and inequalities
  • 4. Apply professional values to the inter-disciplinary practice of social work
  • 5. Appraise the ethical issues associated with theoretical approaches focusing on implementing change in social work practice
  • 6. Apply strategies for change in the pursuit of self-determination
  • 7. Communicate ethically, professionally and sensitively in diverse contexts
  • 8. Apply social work knowledge to practice across a diverse range of social environments.
  Course Learning Outcomes
Australian Qualifications Framework Descriptors 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. KNOWLEDGE Have a broad and coherent body of knowledge, with depth in the underlying principles and concepts in one or more disciplines as a basis for independent lifelong learning
2. SKILLS Have cognitive skills to review critically, analyse, consolidate and synthesise knowledge
3. SKILLS Have cognitive and technical skills to demonstrate a broad understanding of knowledge with depth in some areas
4. SKILLS Have cognitive and creative skills to exercise critical thinking and judgement in identifying and solving problems with intellectual independence
5. SKILLS Have communication skills to present a clear, coherent and independent exposition of knowledge and ideas
6. APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS Demonstrate initiative and judgement in planning, problem solving and decision making in professional practice and/or scholarship
7. APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS Adapt knowledge and skills in diverse contexts
8. APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE & SKILL Be responsible and accountable for own learning and professional practice and in collaboration with others within broad parameters
KNOWLEDGE Develop an understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture in contemporary and historical context using the respectful and appropriate protocols and terminology
APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS Engage in reflective self-evaluation of own cultural values and perspectives to proactively create an inclusive workplace that affirms and celebrates cultural diversity
APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS Display leadership by creating inclusive work environments and work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a culturally respectful manner
Course Structure

In order to complete this course, you must:

  1. Complete the core structure
Number of units: 28 Total credit points: 192

Field Education placements are compulsory in Year 3 and 4 of the course and are available in fixed terms. Field Education 1 (SOWK 13009), a third year unit is offered in Term 1 of third year and normally begins in the first week of March and is 13 to 14 weeks duration (440 hours). Field Education 2 (SOWK 14009), a fourth year unit is offered in Term 2 and  normally begins in July and is 16 weeks duration (560 hours) starting generally in the first week of July. 

Both placements occur in an agency approved by the University. All field education experiences must be supervised either on site or externally by a qualified social worker with at least two years' graduate experience who is eligible for membership with the AASW. Field Education may be organised in international, metropolitan, urban, regional, rural and remote areas. You must complete the inherent requirements for the course and successfully complete all necessary administrative, screening and legal obligations to undertake placement in organisational settings. Once enrolled in any social work unit you will have direct access to detailed information about all of these requirements at Social Work Central, a Moodle on-line space.

COMPONENT Year 1 Term 1 Add elective unit (6 credit points) from across the University. Level 1 elective units students can choose from include:

ENVH11001 Health and Environment

HRMT11010 Organisational Behaviour

HRMT11011 Human Resource Management

MGMT11019 Introduction to Business

SCIE11018 Introduction to Forensic Science

SOCL11059 Introduction to Social Change

NB selection of this unit will determine which advanced level electives can be undertaken in the final year of the course as it will form the pre-requisite for that field of study.

Year 1 - Term 1
Students must complete the following compulsory units:
SOWK11015 Professional Communication in Human Services
SOCL11055 Sociology of Australian Society
SOWK11017 Scope of Social Work Practice in Australia

Year 1 Term 2

Year 1 - Term 2
Students must complete the following compulsory units:
PSYC11009 Fundamentals of Psychology 2: Psychological Literacy
SOWK11014 Contemporary Human Services
SOWK11016 Human Services and the Law
INDG11013 First Nation and Non-Indigenous History: The Interface

Year 2 Term 1

Year 2 - Term 1
Students must complete the following compulsory units:
SOWK12008 Theories of Change for Professional Practice I
SOWK12009 Casework and Case Management
SOWK12012 Organisational Practice
SOWK12015 Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Professional Practice

Year 2 Term 2

Year 2 - Term 2
Students must complete the following compulsory units:
SOCL19069 Social Research Methods
SOWK12010 Theories of Change for Professional Practice II
SOWK12011 Social Group Work and Family Work
SOWK12014 Ethical Professional Practice

Year 3 Term 1

Year 3 - Term 1
Students must complete the following compulsory units:
SOWK13009 Fieldwork Education 1
SOWK13010 Integrating Theory and Practice 1

Year 3 Term 2

Year 3 - Term 2
Students must complete the following compulsory units:
SOWK13011 Community Practice
SOWK13012 Professional Practice and Mental Health
SOWK13013 Professional Practice with Children, Youth and Families
SOWK13014 Contemporary Social Policy

Year 4 Term 1

In Year 4 Term 1 students have two advanced electives to choose as part of the BSW course. The advanced elective, SOWK14004 Reconciliation in the Workplace and Community, is recommended to fourth year students as one of the electives to do. Other advanced electives students can choose from include:

NUTR12001 Human Nutrition

SOCL19065 Rural Social and Social Services (pre-requisite 24 credit points)

HLTH12032 Community Assets and Needs Assessment

INDG19015 Aboriginal Cultures and Country

INDG19016 Contemporary Indigenous Issues

Year 4 - Term 1
Students must complete the following compulsory units:
SOWK14005 Advanced Direct Practice
SOWK14006 Professional Leadership in Human Services

Year 4 Term 2

Year 4 - Term 2
Students must complete the following compulsory units:
SOWK14009 Fieldwork Education 2
SOWK14010 Integrating Theory and Practice 2
More Details

This course is accredited with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) that stipulates all 3rd and 4th year students must attend compulsory face-to-face residential schools in Queensland.  Therefore, all students, no matter their primary place of residence, must travel to attend face-to-face residential schools.