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Course summary

The desire to help the needy and vulnerable in our society is more than just a job. Our Bachelor of Social Welfare is focused on achieving positive social change and community wellbeing. It is also the pathway to a deeply satisfying career in the human services sector.

We'll help harness your empathy and enhance your communication skills with a view to delivering great outcomes across social welfare practice. You can choose to specialise through a major focusing on children and young people, the health and disability sector, mental health or Indigenous knowledge.

You will gain on-the-job experience through extensive placements, working with individuals and organisations that share your commitment and are working to improve people's lives.

Graduates will emerge with transferrable skills for a variety of career options in human services – from working directly with people in their homes or facilities, to creating policy. You can also continue your studies in a linked Masters program that offers a pathway to professional accreditation as a social worker.

Please note: As of 2021, this course will be renamed the Bachelor of Community Welfare. If you enrol in the Bachelor of Social Welfare in 2020, unless you advise otherwise, you will automatically transition to the Bachelor of Community Welfare course after your first year. The name change signals a move to a broader core curriculum, away from major areas of study. Graduates of the Bachelor of Community Welfare degree will be equipped with knowledge and skills across a range of fields of practice including youth work, mental health, disability and child protection. For more details about these course changes, please contact the future students team.




Coffs Harbour1, 2
Gold Coast1, 2
Online1, 2


Gold Coast1, 2

Particular emphasis is placed on social justice and human rights as the basis for social welfare practice.

In addition to core units that cover counselling, welfare law, social research and community development, students choose a major area of study from the following options:

  • Working with children and youth 
  • Health and disability
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Mental health
  • No major option - students choose three core units from other majors plus four elective units from any undergraduate degree offered by the University.

Please note that some units in this course are offered exclusively online.

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Understand the social, cultural, economic and political contexts of social welfare practice and the implications of these for working with clients, workers and community services.


Assess, plan, implement and evaluate programs, projects and other activities with clients, which may include individuals, families, groups or communities.

Ethical practice

Practise social welfare in an ethical manner, in accordance with the values and ethics of the profession.

Knowledge of a discipline

Use one's own skills and knowledge appropriately and reflectively with clients, colleagues, employers and the wider community.

Lifelong learning

Become reflective practitioners and lifelong learners.

Communication and social skills

Communicate with a broad spectrum of people and organisations using appropriate techniques and media organisations.

Plan, organise and carry out work autonomously and as part of a team.

Cultural competence

Communicate constructively in a manner that is respectful of the diverse cultures in which we work and live.

Assessment methods may include essays, research reports, case analysis, assessment of capabilities on field placement, recording of interviewing skills.

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Our online study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive a combination of podcast or video-linked lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Please note: Students who undertake the course online are required to attend one three-day residential workshop on campus. However in 2020, the residential workshop (for CSL00231 Counselling Theory and Practice) will be held online via Collaborate from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th December 2020.

As welfare and community workers in various roles within the community services sector. These include government and non-government positions in fields such as child protection, disability services, housing services, youth work, aged care, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, community engagement, mental health services, and domestic violence services.

The Bachelor of Social Welfare articulates with a range of VET awards. It can also provide a pathway to our Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying), which is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). The Masters degree is for graduates who have undertaken prior study in the social sciences, social welfare, psychology, or related fields. Graduates of this Masters degree will qualify as social workers in Australia and may also be eligible to apply to work as social workers overseas.

In line with ACWA requirements, you complete 400 hours of supervised on-the-job training. This is completed in two separate organisations in different fields of practice so that you gain a diversity of experience.

Placements may include working across a variety of client groups, such as older people, or young people and families at the individual, group, organisational or community level of practice. You may undertake placements in social welfare settings such as child protection, drugs and alcohol, criminal justice, community education, housing, emergency relief, family interventions and domestic violence.

All students must obtain a National Police Check and Working with Children Check and most agencies require students to have a driver's licence.

The course is accredited by the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA). Graduates are eligible to join ACWA.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'