Course essentials

VU course code:
Study mode:
Part Time, Full Time
Delivery mode:
Face to Face
4 years full time or longer for part time

Create a career that improves the quality of life and develops the potential of individuals, groups and communities.

Social workers perform a crucial role in helping people confront social problems and improving the quality of their lives. Your social work degree will open the door to careers in government, non-government, welfare and community-based organisations in many different roles.

You will undertake industry-based education placements in different human service agency settings under the supervision of experienced social workers.

The Bachelor of Social Work is accredited by Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). Upon completion social work graduates will also be eligible for membership with the AASW.

You will need to create an account (or use your existing VU one).

Direct applications due 19 February 2018.

Apply direct to VU

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Already a VU student?

To transfer into this course from another apply online at our Admissions centre.

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[Supp. Desc. Info] Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)

Social Work Lecturer Doris Testa talks about the course.


  • School Social Worker
  • Hospital Social Worker
  • Homelessness Policy Officer
  • Community Health Centre Counsellor
  • Local Government Youth/ Community Development Worker
  • Drug and Alcohol Worker 
  • Sexual Assault Centre Counsellor/Advocate

Course objectives

The Bachelor of Social Work with Honours course consists of four years of full time university level study.  It aims to prepare students for effective professional practice as social workers in the social and community services sector, and to equip students with advanced knowledge and skills in preparation for further learning in the field of social research.


(a) General Objectives

The general objectives of the curriculum are associated with the liberal arts component of the BSW Course, which in time sequence precedes the professional component of the BSW course. The objectives of the liberal arts component of the BSW course at Victoria University are:

  • to obtain knowledge from the humanities and social sciences that informs social work;
  • to gain an understanding of the socioeconomic, political, psychological, and cultural forces that impinge upon people's lives;
  • to become aware of how society has developed and is organised; and
  • to obtain knowledge that enables students to broaden their understanding of themselves and the world.

(b) Professional Objectives

The objectives of the professional component of the BSW programs are:

  • to prepare students for professional social work practice;
  • to increase students' knowledge and understanding of social welfare in the Australian context, emphasising origins, ideological bases, development, functions, contradictions, administrative forms, and impacts on oppressed groups including Indigenous people, poor people, women, people of colour and people with disabilities;
  • to expand students' understanding of the historical development of social work and of social work practice, including its scope and limitations, its internal debates, and its interrelationship with other bodies of knowledge;
  • to introduce students to the origins, manifestations, dynamics, causes and consequences of social inequality and oppression;
  • to facilitate students' development of purposeful use of skills within a wide range of social work roles and methods of intervention necessary for the elimination of social inequality and obstacles to social functioning;
  • to enhance students' development, intellectual inquisitiveness, creative problem-solving skills, reflective practices, and proper use of a range of research methods; a facility for critical questioning, and a goal of life-long learning; and
  • to strengthen students' understanding of, and commitment to, social work purposes, values, ideals, beliefs, and identity; particularly to understand it from an anti-oppressive framework.

c)  Research Objectives

  • In addition to the general objectives and professional objectives detailed above, the Bachelor of Social Work with Honours provides students with first level research training;
  • Students undertake an Honours seminar in addition to their standard coursework, design, carry out and write a minor thesis about a small piece of research, under the supervision of an academic staff member;
  • This training prepares students for advanced roles in the social welfare field as well as preparing them to undertake further academic research at a postgraduate level.

Course structure

To attain the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) students will be required to complete 384 credit points, consisting of:

  • 96 credit points of First Year Core studies;
  • 156 credit points of remaining Core Social Work studies;
  • 2 x 36 credit points of Field Education studies (inclusive of 1,000 hours of Placement);
  • 60 credit points of Research studies.

First Year Core Units

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

We've changed the way we teach our courses, so that you experience a first year like no other - focused on you and your success.

From 2018, the first-year of this bachelor degree* will see units delivered one at a time, in four-week blocks. This means you won't have to juggle the deadlines and demands of studying multiple units at once. Instead you'll complete one unit before moving on to the next.

All units will be conducted in small class sizes with three face-to-face sessions per week. This means you will get more one-on-one time with your teachers.

You will have access to different learning and teaching methods including:

  • online
  • educator-led delivery
  • tutorials
  • group work
  • laboratory and practical work (where it applies).

You will have access to additional activities designed to extend and improve your skills. These activities foster the skills you need to be an adaptable, resilient, confident and competent learner and employee.

Find out more about our First Year Model.

* Melbourne-based campuses only

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take, and optional \'elective\' units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type: Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re a Commonwealth supported student or full-fee paying.

If you enrol in a:

To calculate the total cost of your course:

  1. Select which units you’d like to study.
  2. Look up the individual unit costs in the higher education unit of study fees list.
  3. Add up the relevant amounts.

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.

Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

  • Mature: Completion of the first three years of ABSW Bachelor of Social Work or equivalent with at least half of the completed Bachelor of Social Work units passed with a distinction average. Students accepted into the course will receive credit for all units already undertaken in their Bachelor of Social Work, normally consisting of a full three years of credit.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.

How to apply for this course

All applicants must complete an A310 - Additional Information for Honours Courses.

Before you apply, consider whether you also wish to apply for:

When you're ready:

You will need to create an account (or use your existing VU one).

Direct applications due 19 February 2018.

Apply direct to VU

Use our Admissions centre to

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After you apply

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At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.