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Why Study Social Work in Australia?

Social work is a complex and wide-ranging profession, covering a variety of roles, environments and issues. However, all of these roles have one thing in common: they maximise the wellbeing of individuals, families, groups, communities, and society as a whole. Social workers consider that individual and societal wellbeing is underpinned by socially inclusive communities that emphasise principles of social justice and respect for human dignity and human rights.

Why Study Social Work in Australia?

With a high demand for social workers, Australia offers a variety of social work courses across the country. Thirty Australian universities offer four-year bachelor degrees in social work, with some universities also covering social work in postgraduate qualifying, advanced and doctorate courses.

What Will You Study?

A social work degree is great for students wanting a balance between academic study and practical work. You will study social and behavioural sciences, with modules in psychology, sociology and mental health. Australian universities also have fantastic opportunities for placement and fieldwork, giving students the chance to gain first-hand experience in social work.

Degree Requirements

Most universities do not ask for qualifications in a specific subject, just that you have recent secondary education qualifications. Universities will also ask for English speaking abilities, with most accepting results from IELTS and TOEFL. There are also options to study a masters degree in social work if you have an undergraduate degree, either in social work or in a related discipline.

Choosing the Right Course

When choosing your course, it is vital that you choose one that is recognised and accredited. The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is responsible for accrediting university degrees in social work. The AASW is a body nominated by members, Universities and Higher Education Providers and the broader professional community, to set and maintain standards of professional conduct for social workers educated and/or seeking to work in Australia.

The Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS) set out the principles, standards and graduate attributes for social work education in Australia. The standards are used as the criteria for the accreditation of a professional social work course with the AASW. By studying an accredited program, students are eligible for student membership of the AASW. Once graduated from an accredited program, students will be eligible for full membership including the new graduate membership category. A list of AASW-accredited social work courses can be found on our website by clicking here.

Career Prospects

A career in social work can be extremely rewarding, with opportunities to change lives on individual and systemic levels. These are just some of the fields you could go into with a social work degree from Australia:

  • Mental health
  • Child protection
  • Family violence
  • Education settings
  • Hospital settings
  • Aged care
  • Disability
  • Refugees and asylum seekers

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