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This program is for students commencing from 2019.

Students commencing prior to 2019 should refer to the program rules for the year in which they started.

The Bachelor of Social Work with Honours (UNSW BSW Hons) offers you an innovative and accredited program leading to qualification as a professional social worker with eligibility for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). The UNSW BSW (Hons) includes studies in the areas of social work practice, social and behavioural sciences, and fields of practice which include, work with Aboriginal people, counselling skills, community and group work, ethical practice, working with mental health and trauma and child protection. The program includes a number of courses aimed at the development of research skills, including research design and methodology, and every student completes a piece of independent or directed research or a professional practice portfolio as part of the Honours requirement.

The UNSW BSW (Hons) draws on the extensive expertise and experience of qualified Social Work practitioners to deliver a unique combination of scholarly and practice-based courses. Students also undertake two separate field placements in Years 3 and 4 of the degree to gain the necessary practical experience.

Level 4 of the program requires a research-based thesis or enquiry-based professional portfolio, undertaken through a capstone that integrates scholarship with professional work contexts. The Honours Thesis SOCW4015 has a WAM cut-off of 70 for entry. The Advanced Practice Honours Portfolio (SOCW4016) does not have a WAM cut-off. Upon successful completion of all program requirements, all students will graduate with Honours (AQF Level 8). 



Study Level


Typical duration

4 Years

Delivery Mode


Intake Period

Term 1

Academic Calendar

3+ Calendar

Minimum Units of Credit


Award type

Bachelors Honours


Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) - BSW (Hons)

UAC Code




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Program Structure

Students must complete 192 UOC as a standalone program.

The UNSW BSW (Hons) can be completed full-time in Single mode (normally 4 years) or in Double Degree mode alongside Bachelor degrees in Criminology, Arts, Social Policy or Law . It is not offered part-time. The basic requirements of the program are simple. The BSW has a depth component and a breadth component. Students enrolled in Single mode do both the depth and breadth component while students enrolled in Double Degree mode only complete the depth component.

If you study in either the single or double degree mode, you will complete:

  1. Core courses comprising 168 UOC (24 courses)

If you study in single mode, you will also complete:

  1. 12 UOC of Free Electives (two courses) to be taken either within or outside the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  2. 12 UOC of General Education (two courses) which must be taken outside of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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Sample Programs

To access sample program(s), please visit:

Recognition of Prior Learning
Participation and Enrolment Requirements
Progression Requirements
Internships and Placements


University Medal

Honours Classes

Additional Information


It is a requirement that students who are undertaking placements in certain government departments and related organisations undergo criminal record checks as follows:

Working with Children Check

The Working With Children Check (WWCC) is valid for five years. It is a requirement for all students and is specifically designed for people who work or volunteer in child-related work. It involves a national criminal history check and a review of findings of workplace misconduct. The result of a WWCC is either a clearance to work with children for five years, or a bar against working with children. Cleared applicants are subject to ongoing monitoring and relevant new records may lead to the clearance being revoked. The WWCC is fully portable so it can be used for any paid or unpaid child-related work in NSW for as long as the worker remains cleared.

Students can apply for a WWCC number on the NSW Office of the Children's Guardian website. To be eligible for a WWCC you will have to show proof of identity to a NSW Motor Registry or Council Agency. For more information you may access the online tutorials and fact sheets at Working with Children Check.

National Criminal Record Check

A National Criminal Record Check is valid for three years. You must undergo a National Criminal Record Check and provide an original copy of the Check results to the Work Integrated Learning Unit. The result of a Working With Children Check is either that there are 'no disclosable outcomes', or that there are 'disclosable outcomes' which are then detailed in the certificate. If you have a disclosable outcome(s) on your criminal record check you will need to undergo a risk assessment. Please contact the Work Integrated Learning Unit for further information about this.

All placement students are subject to ongoing monitoring and must disclose new ‘disclosable outcomes’ to the Work Integrated Learning Unit. Some agencies (e.g NSW Health) only accept National Criminal Record Checks obtained through specific accredited agencies.
Compliance with NSW Health Vaccination Requirements (NSW Health funded placements).


In order to undertake placement in a NSW Health funded facility, you need to demonstrate evidence of protection against the following diseases:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Tuberculosis (TB) - As specified on the Vaccination Card, this check is only required if you were born in a country with a high incidence of TB, or you have lived or travelled in a high risk TB country cumulatively for 3 months or more.

Evidence of protection against these diseases must be recorded on the NSW Health vaccination card by a GP and serology reports must be provide for some diseases (reports from your doctor where protection is measured in your blood).

Green P Drivers Licence

Many agencies require that students have a Green P Drivers Licence or above. Although it is not compulsory to have a NSW Drivers License to undertake placement, it is an essential requirement for social work tasks in most agencies. Not having a Green P or unrestricted Driver’s License will significantly limit student placement options.


Contact the UNSW Arts and Social Sciences Student Services for advice.

Program Fees

At UNSW fees are generally charged at course level and therefore dependent upon individual enrolment and other factors such as student's residency status. For generic information on fees and additional expenses of UNSW programs, click on one of the following:

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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