Information on this page is for international students

2018: February
4 years
2018: A$10,400 per semester

We are currently accepting applications for this course


Play a crucial role in helping people to improve their wellbeing and resolve issues.

Social work focuses on improving people’s quality of life and helping them to realise their potential – whether you’re working with individuals, families, groups or communities.

The industry empowers people to use the resources available to them to help make a change to their personal issues or those affecting the communities they live in.

VU’s Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) builds on the knowledge gained through the Bachelor of Social Work, offering research experience, advanced analytical skills and theoretical background.

Upon graduation, you can choose to pursue a higher degree in research or use your qualification to practise as a professional social worker within:

  • local government human services
  • federal and state government
  • hospitals and community health centres
  • non-government and community-managed human services organisations.

Social Work Field Education is an essential part of this degree. You’ll complete two industry-based placements in different human service agency settings, under the supervision of experienced social workers.

VU’s Social Work Field Education Manual offers plenty of information about our placement arrangements and requirements.

We believe in inclusivity, diversity and opportunity. Studying with us means you’ll be learning in an environment that values community empowerment.

Victoria University received the highest rating of five stars for cultural diversity by the Good Universities Guide. Our students feel fortunate to learn in a setting that has such a rich representation of cultures.

VU also works to address refugee issues, tackle diversity and social inclusion issues and improve the health and social wellbeing of the region. We are proud of our varied cultural and community engagement projects with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and Indigenous communities.

Course e-Brochure

Create a customised brochure in a few simple steps. Your brochure will include country-specific information.

Create an e-brochure

Careers in social work

VU graduates typically find employment within not-for-profit and charitable organisations, as well as community and government sectors.

Typical roles include:

  • school social worker
  • hospital social worker
  • homelessness policy officer
  • community health centre counsellor
  • local government youth or community development worker
  • drug and alcohol worker
  • sexual assault centre counsellor or advocate.


Employment for social workers in Australia rose very strongly over the last five years and is expected to continue growing very strongly until at least November 2020 (Job Outlook). 

The median starting salaries of bachelor degree social work graduates (aged under 25 and in their first full-time employment) is $56,000 (GradStats).

The average annual earnings of a social worker is $64,948 (Job Outlook).

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

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.

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.

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.

Entry Requirements

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.
IELTS (or equivalent): Overall score of 6.0 (with no band less than 6.0 in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.

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

We are currently accepting applications for this course.

Methods of applying:

International students can apply directly to Victoria University using our online application system, or apply through an education agent.

Direct online applicationFind an education agent

If you have questions about your application, you can:

Information and fees listed above are for non-resident students. Fees are accurate at the time of viewing and will be subject to annual increases. Some courses require students to purchase equipment or clothing that they will need in the course. These equipment or clothing costs are not included in the course fees listed above and we recommend that you confirm these costs with the relevant college.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this course information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that course information is current with the Student Contact Centre.