Bachelor of Social Work

Why study the Bachelor of Social Work at UNE?

The Bachelor of Social Work provides graduates with the theoretical and practical skills required to work as a professional social worker and eligibility to become a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers. Social workers typically work with disadvantaged and marginalised individuals, groups, and communities within a social justice framework in counselling, advocacy, and the enhancement of quality of life. Social workers work toward addressing barriers, inequality and injustices faced by many groups and sub-groups in our community. Social work education is grounded within a framework that examines the nexus of human behaviour and complex social interactions. While covering all the core requirements of a professional social work degree, the Bachelor of Social Work at UNE provides students with a rural focussed program, with additional foci on Indigenous peoples, child protection and law. This four year program draws together the fields of psychology, sociology, counselling, Indigenous studies and law with social work theory and practice. The course incorporates 1000 hours of supervised professional fieldwork experience in relevant social work settings. The Bachelor of Social Work is available to students to study either on campus, off campus or mixed mode to suit their own study needs over their candidature.

This course has accreditation with the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Students who complete the Honours Pathway may be awarded the degree of Bachelor of Social Work with Honours. To be admitted to the Honours Pathway students must have completed 96 credit points (including HS265 and HSSW310) towards the degree with a grade point average of 5.5 or better.

Career Opportunities

Social Worker

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Degree Snapshot

DURATION

4 Years Full-time
Up to 10 years Part-time

FEES

CSP
International

2016 ATAR / OP

72.55 / 12

2017 STUDY OPTIONS
Armidale

Trimester 1, Off Campus
Trimester 1, On Campus
Trimester 2, Off Campus
Trimester 2, On Campus

Official Abbreviation BSW
Course Type Undergraduate
CRICOS Code 064581M
Commencing
Responsible Campus Admission Period Mode of Study
Armidale Trimester 1 Off Campus
Armidale Trimester 1 On Campus
Armidale Trimester 2 Off Campus
Armidale Trimester 2 On Campus
Course Duration
  • 4 Years Full-time
  • Up to 10 years Part-time
2016 ATAR 72.55
2016 OP 12
Fees CSP / International
Total Credit Points 192
Intensive Schools

Mandatory intensive schools may be a requirement of some of the units in this course. See Unit Catalogue for specific requirements.

Entry Requirements

A candidate shall be qualified for admission (see Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Rule and Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Procedures) and English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

Additional Requirements

Inherent Requirements: Students must meet the Inherent Requirements in order to complete this course.

Field Placement Experience is an essential part of the UNE Bachelor of Social Work program. There are several mandatory requirements that need to be completed as part of the University enrolment process. Please note a number of these requirements take some time to complete, thus students are advised to commence processes immediately to ensure early compliance requirements are met. Please note that there are NSW Ministry of Health and UNE requirements that must be met by all students before placement.

NSW Ministry of Health requirements

To be eligible to attend field placement experience all Bachelor of Social Work students must meet NSW Ministry of Health verification requirements within the ClinConnect system by week 9 of the first trimester of study .These include:

1. Adult Vaccination** as per the NSW Ministry of Health requirements for Category A Health Care Workers (Any interim compliance issued by NSW Ministry of Health has individual dates of issue and expiry)

2. National Criminal History Check**:

Students must have a current (expires 3 years from date of issue) National Criminal History check and International students must also have an International Police Check or statutory declaration. A valid National Criminal history check must comply with the following requirements:

It must be from a CrimTrac Accredited Broker Agency (as listed on the CrimTrac website) or an Australian State NSW Police or Territory Police Force or the Australian Federal Police, and

It must state that it is a National or Australia wide check, and

It must include the student's full name and their date of birth, and

It must not have any offences listed (students with criminal history must provide a Clinical Placement Authority Card (CPAC) or conditional letter from the Employment Screening and Review Unit, NSW HealthShare), AND

The name on the Police Certificate must be the same name as on the Student's ID card.

3. Completion of mandatory NSW Ministry of Health forms.

UNE specific placement Requirements

In addition to the above, students must meet UNE requirements by week 9 of the first Trimester of Study

These include:

A Working with Children Check for the state or territory in which the student will undertake placement. NSW Working with Children Checks are valid for 5 years from date of issue.

International students should be aware they will be required to meet English language requirements for eligibility for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers upon graduation.

Practical, Clinical or Work Experience

To be eligible for membership with the AASW, social work students are required to undertake a minimum of 980 hours (140 x 7 hour days) practical fieldwork during their training, with a minimum placement being 40 days, 2 days per week with a block of at least 2 x 5 day weeks. The AASW also require 5 face-to-face teaching days for every FTE trimester a student undertakes. Therefore a 5 day mandatory intensive school will be attended during fieldwork placements.

UNE requires that all students undertake 1000 hours of fieldwork during their degree, over two placements.

The first fieldwork placement in trimester 5 is 450 hours (+ 5 days on campus). The number of days p/week will be negotiated with individual students and placement agencies, including a full time block of at least 2 weeks during the placement as per AASW requirements. The second placement (trimester 10) is full time for the whole trimester (550 hours + 5 days on campus). The number of days p/week will be negotiated with individual students and placement agencies in compliance with AASW requirements.

Scheduling the first placement in trimester 7 and second placement in trimester 10 ensures that students are not competing for agency placements by undertaking fieldwork in alternating trimesters.

Advanced Standing

Social work students who seek advanced standing for prior studies directly related to the Bachelor of Social Work will be individually assessed according to the University Policy on Advanced Standing and to meet the requirements of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Advanced standing will not be approved for HSSW310, HSSW410 or HSSW411 except where equivalent studies have been undertaken in an accredited Australian social work program at a recognised Australian university.

Students who have previously worked in social work related practice positions may apply to the social work course coordinator for reduced fieldwork hours in HSSW310. Such requests will only be taken while the student is enrolled in HSSW301 and prior to the mandatory intensive school for HSSW301.

Academic Colours

Old Rose (BCC 157)

Further Information

You can find instant answers to many of your questions or contact UNE directly via AskUNE

These course rules & plans are ONLY to be used if you commenced, transferred or changed versions in the Bachelor of Social Work in 2017.

Admission to Candidature

A candidate shall be qualified for admission (see Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Rule and the Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Procedures).
All students must meet the University's English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

Additional Requirements
Inherent Requirements

Students must meet the Inherent Requirements in order to complete this course.

Field Placement Experience is an essential part of the UNE Bachelor of Social Work program. There are several mandatory requirements that need to be completed as part of the University enrolment process. Please note a number of these requirements take some time to complete, thus students are advised to commence processes immediately to ensure early compliance requirements are met. Please note that there are NSW Ministry of Health and UNE requirements that must be met by all students before placement.

NSW Ministry of Health requirements

To be eligible to attend field placement experience all Bachelor of Social Work students must meet NSW Ministry of Health verification requirements within the ClinConnect system by week 9 of the first trimester of study. These include:

  1. Adult Vaccination** as per NSW Ministry of Health requirements for Category A Health Care Workers (Any interim compliance issued by NSW Ministry of Health has individual dates of issue and expiry)
  2. National Criminal History Check**:
    Students must have a current (expires 3 years from date of issue) National Criminal History check and International students must also have an International Police Check or statutory declaration. A valid National Criminal history check must comply with the following requirements:
    • It must be from a CrimTrac Accredited Broker Agency (as listed on the CrimTrac website) or an Australian State NSW Police or Territory Police Force or the Australian Federal Police, and
    • It must state that it is a National or Australia wide check, and
    • It must include the student's full name and their date of birth, and
    • It must not have any offences listed (students with criminal history must provide a Clinical Placement Authority Card (CPAC) or conditional letter from the Employment Screening and Review Unit, NSW HealthShare), AND
    • The name on the Police Certificate must be the same name as on the Student's ID card.
  3. Completion of mandatory NSW Ministry of Health forms.
UNE specific placement Requirements

In addition to the above, students must meet UNE requirements by week 9 of the first trimester of study. These include:

A Working with Children Check for the state or territory in which the student will undertake placement. NSW Working with Children Checks are valid for 5 years from date of issue.

International students should be aware that they will be required to meet English language requirements for eligibility for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers upon graduation.

Advanced Standing

Social work students who seek advanced standing for prior studies directly related to the Bachelor of Social Work will be individually assessed according to the University Policy on Advanced Standing and to meet the requirements of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Advanced standing will not be approved for HSSW310, HSSW410 or HSSW411 except where equivalent studies have been undertaken in an accredited Australian social work program at a recognised Australian University.

Students who have previously worked in social work related practice positions may apply to the course coordinator for reduced fieldwork hours in HSSW310. Such requests will only be taken while the student is enrolled in HSSW301 and prior to the mandatory intensive school for HSSW301.

Period of Candidature

The period of candidature shall be:
(a) four years as a full-time candidate;
(b) up to ten years as a part-time candidate.

Course Requirements

To qualify for the award, a candidate must pass units to the value of 192 credit points as follows:
(a) 168-174 credit points including a total of 42 credit points of fieldwork; and
(b) 18 credit points Elective Units; or
(c) 24 credit points Honours units.

Program of Study

Candidates shall complete an approved program of study as outlined in the Course Schedule comprising:

Course Structure Credit Points
Core Units (including 1000 hours of field placement experience) 168-174 cps
Listed Units
OR
0-18 cps
Honours Units 0-24 cps
Total 192 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

Award of Degree

Candidates who meet the course requirements shall be awarded the Bachelor of Social Work.

Pathway to Honours

Students may be awarded the degree of Bachelor of Social Work with Honours on the basis of an academic record deemed by the School to be of sufficient merit. To be admitted to the Honours stream candidates must have completed 96 credit points towards the degree with grade point average (GPA) of 5.5 or better. The completed units must include HS265 and HSSW310. Honours places are subject to the availability of supervision. There will be a limited number of academic placements which will be offered on academic merit based on GPA.

Award of Honours

To qualify for the award of the degree with Honours, candidates must have successfully completed HSSW401H and HSSW402H.

There will be two levels of Honours: First Class Honours and Second Class Honours. Second Class Honours will have two divisions: Division 1 and Division 2.

An exceptionally distinguished student who has been awarded First Class Honours may be awarded a University Medal.

Quality in Bachelor Honours Degrees

All students as well as all individuals undertaking a supervisory role for bachelor honours students will be familiar with the responsibilities associated with research supervisors and students, the research examination procedures and procedures for handling any difficulties that might arise during supervision, and the consequences of failing in their obligations. These responsibilities are outlined in School of Health Honours Handbook and available on the School website.

Appointment of Supervisor

Students are appointed a research supervisor, a co-supervisor may be appointed. Normally, students meet with their supervisor fortnightly at the start of their program. Meetings with their supervisor will become less frequent as the program progresses. Meetings may be in person, online, video conference or telephone conference. From time to time students may be requested to attend supervision meetings in person.

Dissertation

(a) On completion of the course of advanced study and research, the student shall present for examination a dissertation, embodying an independent investigation on a topic approved by the supervisor, in a form approved by the School. The results of the student’s work shall make a sound contribution to the discipline of social work.
(b) Depending on the topic under investigation, the approval of the relevant Ethics Committee must be sought if required.
(c) Except with the permission of the School, on the recommendation of the supervisor, the dissertation shall not exceed 20,000 words of text, excluding appendices.
(d) Candidates shall be required to enrol in and complete the dissertation in the relevant Year Long H1 - Period 1 (39 weeks) or Year Long H2 - Period 2 (39 weeks) in the case of full-time candidature.

Submission of Dissertation

(a) The dissertation is due in the last week of the teaching period. Candidates must submit an electronic copy of the dissertation for examination to the Honours Coordinator. A final electronic version of the dissertation, incorporating any changes recommended by the examiners, must also be submitted prior to a grade being awarded for the dissertation. The presentation of the dissertation must follow the guidelines outlined in the School of Health Honours Handbook.

(b) The student shall state generally in the preface of the dissertation, and specifically in footnotes or endnotes where appropriate, the sources from which the information is derived, the extent to which the student has made use of the work of others and the portion of the work which is claimed as original.
The student may not present as the dissertation any work that has been the basis of the award of a degree at this or another university, but will not be precluded from incorporating such in the dissertation provided that, in presenting the dissertation, the student clearly indicates the part of the work which has been so incorporated.

(c) At the time the dissertation is submitted, the supervisor shall inform the Honours Coordinator in writing that:

(i) the principal supervisor and co-supervisor(s) have discussed with the student and amongst themselves the academic content of the dissertation in the form submitted and that, while neither expressing nor implying a judgement about the merit of the work, in the principal supervisor's opinion all are agreed that it is ready for submission for examination for the degree; and
(ii) the physical form and presentation of the dissertation are appropriate to the discipline.

(d) The student shall, upon submission of the dissertation, following protocols approved by the School of Health, make arrangements for all original data to be retained in an area of safe storage for a period of not less than five years from the date of submission. The data stored must be in a form that would, at a minimum, permit replication of all analyses reported in the dissertation.

Examination of Dissertation

(a) The dissertation is examined by two examiners - one is normally external to the School. The supervisor must submit the name and contact details of the recommended examiners to the Honours Coordinator at least four weeks prior to submission of the dissertation for examination. A short statement should accompany the recommendation of the external examiner indicating their qualifications and the reason they are deemed appropriate to examine the dissertation.
(b) A dissertation will not be examined by a candidate's supervisor, but the supervisor should be consulted in the determination of the final result.
(c) The supervisor may consult with the candidate prior to the submission of the dissertation regarding potential examiners, but the name of the examiners should not be made available to the candidate.
(d) Examiners are normally expected to complete and return their report to the Honours Coordinator within FOUR (4) weeks of the dissertation being delivered.
(e) Examiners may request to not have their name released to the student.
(f) The examiners shall decide whether to recommend that the dissertation be given the grade of Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction or High Distinction, or that it be revised for re-examination.
(g) In the event of a disagreement between the examiners, they may be asked to consult and report to the Teaching and Learning Committee through the Honours Coordinator.
(h) If the examiners are unable to reach an agreement, the Teaching and Learning Committee shall refer their reports to a sub-committee appointed by the Chair for a recommendation.
(i) The Honours Coordinator will advise the supervisors of the outcome of the examination, along with a copy of examiners' reports as appropriate, indicating any amendments to be considered. Students need to consult with the supervisor and undertake any minor amendments to the satisfaction of the supervisor.
(j) In the event of a disagreement between the examiners, they may be asked to consult and report to the Teaching and Learning Committee.

(1) If the examiners are unable to reach an agreement, the Teaching and Learning Committee shall refer their reports to a sub-committee appointed by the Chair for a recommendation.
(2) After considering the examiner's recommendation(s) and report(s), any comments from the supervisor and any recommendations from the appointed sub-committee, the Teaching and Learning Committee may:

(i) recommend that the dissertation be awarded the grade of Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction or High Distinction;
(ii) allow the candidate to revise the dissertation for re-examination;
(iii) appoint an additional examiner or examiners.

(k) The supervisor is to send a note to the Honours Coordinator, that amendments suggested by the examiners have been addressed to his or her satisfaction and that the result may be finalised. The Honours Coordinator will finalise the result and make a summary recommendation to the Teaching and Learning Committee regarding:

(i) the grade to be awarded for the dissertation (Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction or High Distinction);
(ii) the percentage mark to be awarded for the dissertation; if amendments to the dissertation were made before the grade was finalised;
(iii) whether the candidate should be allowed to revise and resubmit the dissertation for re-examination (a maximum grade of Pass and score of 50% shall be given for any resubmitted dissertation).

(l) The School Teaching and Learning Committee shall make the final determination as to the outcome of the examination of the dissertation, based on the recommendation from the Honours Coordinator.

Results

Honours grades will be awarded in accordance with the University assessment policy.
(a) The ratio of assessment components should equal the ratio of marks within the final grade. For example, if the coursework is worth 50% and the dissertation 50% then the final mark will be the coursework mark multiplied by 0.5, plus the dissertation mark multiplied by 0.5.
(b) After the grade has been finalised, the student is required to archive a final copy of the dissertation in accordance with the processes outlined in the School's Honours Handbook.

Suspensions and Extensions

The school may grant an extension or suspension of candidature, or a combination of both, to full-time candidates for up to six months or to part-time candidates for up to 12 months as follows:
(a) to compensate by way of extension of candidature, a candidate for time lost by ill-health or unforeseeable and unavoidable difficulties; or
(b) to compensate by way of suspension of candidature, a candidate who produces evidence that he/she shall not be in a position to pursue work towards the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours).

Re-enrolment

(a) A student enrolled in the dissertation component of the Bachelor of Social Work with Honours may be granted special leave by the Head of School to re-enrol in a subsequent year if he or she withdraws from candidature by the census date of the teaching period in which they commenced; without prejudice to the right to re-enrol in a succeeding year.
(b) A student may re-enrol in the same subject for the degree, provided that:

(i) two years will have elapsed before such re-enrolment;
(ii) the topic of study undertaken within the dissertation is different from that of the original enrolment.

(c) A candidate who withdraws later than two months prior to the data on which the dissertation is required shall be deemed to have failed.
(d) Unless a candidate shows good cause why such action should not be taken, the School may, on the recommendation of the Honours Coordinator, withdraw a candidate on the ground of his or her having failed to meet the requirements of the course and deem him or her to have failed in it.
(e) A candidate who is deemed to have failed may, after a lapse of three years, be permitted to apply for re-admission to the course, provided the proposed dissertation work is in a different topic of study from that of the original enrolment.

Progress and Conduct

1. Candidates are referred to the Course Progression Rule and the Course Progression Procedures.
2. A candidate who twice fails HSSW310 (BSW Fieldwork 1) shall not be permitted to re-enrol in the unit without the permission of the Head of School.
3. A candidate must satisfactorily complete HSSW410 (Intervention Models and Skills) before progressing to the final trimester of full-time study or equivalent of the degree.
4. A candidate who twice fails HSSW411 shall not be permitted to re-enrol in the unit without the permission of the Head of School.
5. A candidate who breaches the Australian Association of Social Workers Professional Code of Ethics will be excluded from the degree.

Exit Pathways

Subject to meeting Advanced Standing Rules, candidates who apply to discontinue their studies in the course may be eligible to exit with the Diploma in Community Welfare and Wellbeing on completion of 48 credit points of core Bachelor of Social Work units.

Candidates who apply to discontinue their studies and exit with the Diploma in Community Welfare and Wellbeing must apply for re-admission and will be subject to current course requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work. This may mean that they will not receive full recognition for their previous studies should the course structure have changed in response to University or external accreditation body requirements.

Appeals

Candidates are referred to the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy and the Academic Assessment Appeals Procedures.

Course Progression

Candidates are referred to the Course Progression Rule and the Course Progression Procedures.

Improper Conduct

Candidates are referred to the Student Coursework Academic Misconduct Rule and the Student Coursework Academic Misconduct Procedures.

Course Aims

The Bachelor of Social Work aims to prepare graduates for employment as professional social workers in a variety of fields including designated social work positions with government and non-government agencies, local and community services, general positions that aim to redress issues of social inequality and disadvantage, as well as research positions in related fields.

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. BSW students: demonstrate commitment to the five key value areas integral to social work practice, being; human dignity and worth; social justice; service to humanity; integrity; and competence;
  2. apply the principles of ethical practice as defined by the Australian Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Standards;
  3. demonstrate knowledge of, and respect for, the many and varied social, ethnic, cultural and religious groups that make up Australian society, with a particular emphasis on the needs of Indigenous people within a socio-historical framework;
  4. demonstrate the relationship between theory and practice and being able to critically reflect on their practice, including the completion of 1000 hours of fieldwork practice;
  5. demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to, respond to rapidly changing social and environmental issues that influence the lives of individuals within a given community at local, national and international levels; and
  6. articulate an understanding of the place of research in furthering theory and practice in the field of social work.
  7. BSW with Honours students: articulate an understanding of the relation between theory and research in furthering practice in the field of social work through research;
  8. demonstrate discipline knowledge and problem-solving skills necessary to conduct research that contributes to the social work discipline and adheres to principles of ethical practice as defined by the Australian Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics;
  9. demonstrate capacity to devise and complete all components of a thesis under supervision for an approved research proposal within an appropriate timeframe;
  10. demonstrate skills and techniques necessary to advance to postgraduate research and/or further career progression; and
  11. demonstrate academic writing skills necessary to produce a thesis and/or papers for scholarly publication.
Graduate Attributes
Knowledge of a Discipline

BSW: Students study theory and practice units covering increasingly complex social work practice knowledge, skills and values. Social work students are taught and practise a global perspective of social work. This perspective is gained as students develop an understanding of disadvantage, marginalisation, and the ways in which society and culture contribute to this. This attribute will be assessed through assignment tasks. BSW Hons: Students study theory and practice units covering increasingly complex social work practice knowledge, skills and values. Students in the honours cohort will be taught and contribute to discipline knowledge by identifying a research problem, conduct research and complete a dissertation, which will be assessed. Social work students are taught and practise a global perspective of social work. This will be assessed through assignment tasks and the course dissertation.

Communication Skills

BSW: Cooperative peer feedback will be an important part of tutorial/online discussion as students are taught to develop their understanding of the course materials which will be assessed and practised through a range of assessment tasks. BSW Hons: Cooperative peer feedback will be an important part of tutorial/online discussion as students are taught to develop their understanding of the course materials and their thesis work. This attribute will be assessed and practised through a range of assessment tasks related to students chosen research topics and the course dissertation.

Problem Solving

BSW: All social work theory and practice units are taught in the problem-based learning framework where students are exposed to a problem and are expected to make use of a variety of sources of information to examine the biopsychosocial implications of case study. This process is assessed and practised through assessment tasks. BSW Hons: Students in the honours cohort will extend, practise and be assessed on problem solving skills through the identification of a research problem, the articulation of the research methods/processes and the conduct of research related to the problem.

Information Literacy

BSW: All social work and practice units are taught in the problem based learning framework where students will make use of a variety of sources of information and contribute to group learning. This attribute will be assessed through all assignments. BSW Hons: Students will demonstrate their information literacy skills through successful and relevant literature searches using a variety of sources that relate to the chosen topic of study.

Ethical Conduct and Social Responsibility

BSW: Social responsibility is a core social work principle and is taught, assessed and practised in assessment tasks. BSW Hons: Students develop this attribute through engaging with the research project process, interacting with potential participants, agencies, peers and supervisors.

Lifelong Learning

BSW: Students will be exposed to, taught about and expected to develop independent learning strategies and techniques throughout the course, which can then be practised throughout life. BSW Hons: This attribute will be practised through identifying and investigating a research problem that extends their learning around psychosocial issues in the workplace and other domains of society throughout life.

Independence and Collaboration

BSW: All social work theory and practice units are taught in the problem based learning framework where students are expected to contribute to group learning. This is assessed and practised in assessment tasks. BSW Hons: Students will demonstrate this attribute during field placement and the research project process, through interacting with service users, peers, agencies and supervisors.

How to Apply

Domestic Students

New domestic students to UNE apply to study on-campus by Early Entry or through UAC or QTAC

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New domestic students to UNE apply to study off-campus direct to UNE

Former and current domestic UNE students apply to study on campus or off campus direct to UNE

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International Students

International students apply direct to UNE through UNE International

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