Courses International courses Bachelor of Social Work

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Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work

Townsville; Cairns
February, July
4 years full-time
Attendance mode
Entry Requirements
English (4,SA) or English (Units 3/4,C)
  • Career Opportunities

  • What to expect

  • How to apply

JCU Social Work graduates are equipped to advocate for social justice and change in a broad range of environments.

Graduates pursue careers in Australia and overseas in aged care, public housing, child welfare, Government agencies, drug and alcohol support, domestic violence, Indigenous health, not-for-profit groups, education, private and public hospitals, and more.

You could find employment as a child protection officer, mental health counsellor, health policy officer, health services manager, social worker, youth work, or school counsellor.

Social workers can be involved in supporting individuals, groups and communities to respond and adapt to a changing climate.

Develop professional skills to guide and support individuals, families and communities to overcome challenges and succeed in their personal and professional lives. A Bachelor of Social Work from JCU provides you with the practical skills and experience to begin a rewarding career, with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, International and tropical communities.

Learn how to promote positive relationships and champion a just and equitable society. You will study core subjects including social welfare with families and children, cross-cultural practice, eco-social justice, psychology and mental health. Benefit from passionate educators, state-of-the-art social research technology and real-world case studies with an emphasis on sustainability and advocacy.

Apply your theoretical knowledge to extensive field placements in your third and fourth years. Learn from leading social workers and build effective relationships with diverse cultures, including rural, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. You could also participate in field trips to India and Thailand.

JCU Social Work graduates are confident, high-achieving professionals with the skillset to succeed in a rewarding global workforce.

Graduates of this course are eligible for full membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).
Additional information

About JCU's Bachelors Degree in Social Work

Learn to be equipped to become a force of change in society and the lives of individuals. Understand how to balance the structures of inequality built into modern societies through your Bachelor of Social Work studies with JCU.

Study Social Work and Prepare to Make a Difference

Partner with JCU to gain the training you need to use your passion for justice. Learn how to promote effective relationships among people from diverse backgrounds. Develop the skills and knowledge to work with individuals, groups, families and whole communities as you study social work at JCU.

Attain a world-class education at JCU and receive hands-on experience in an international context. Work with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds and build the skills necessary to bring people together, while finding equitable solutions to society's most pressing problems.

Broaden Your Perspective

You will work in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to learn about the present while understanding the significance of our past. Gain a unique perspective on how social, historical and political issues have impacted our societies, cultures and the environment.

Your social work degree in Queensland is nationally accredited and allows you to take part in research that matters, promoting the welfare of families and rural communities. Advocate for the welfare of individuals, groups, families and whole communities through your studies at JCU.

Experience Life First-Hand with JCU's Social Work Degree in Queensland

Gain first-hand experience working within cross-cultural situations. Work with issues of mental health and social welfare in the context of families with children. Develop critical insight through over 1,000 hours of hands-on, practical experience and learn how to address inequality head-on with viable solutions.

Work closely with marginalised people under the guidance of experienced lecturers committed to student success. Build active listening skills throughout your social work bachelor’s degree and learn how to develop strategies to address your client’s needs. Learn first-hand how social support programs succeed or fail.

Communicate Effective Change

Be equipped to promote meaningful change with your degree in social work - your ideas can make a difference. Through your studies at JCU, you will learn to consolidate information and present it in to your colleagues in creative and motivational ways.

The experience you gain through your studies will also give you the skill to empower others. You will become an agent of change, helping others take control of their lives and advocate to end social injustice and inequality in various cultural settings.

Learn Innovative Solutions During Your Bachelor of Social Work

Develop sound judgment and effective listening skills to assess client needs and respond appropriately. Build your abilities in decision-making and promoting constructive solutions to problems in a way that benefits everyone involved.

Make a genuine difference in the lives of others where it is needed most with your social work degree from JCU. Your excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to solve problems effectively while learning will increase your employability. Whether you want to work in aged care, with children, or with people experiencing homelessness, drug addiction, or domestic violence, you will be prepared for a successful and meaningful future.
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View the Handbook for a detailed overview of available subjects, as well as pre-placement requirements.


The Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) degree is available for high-achieving students. It consists of extra study and the development of a personal research project and thesis. An Honours degree is usually essential for entry to research higher degrees.

What you need to know before you apply

Certified copies of supporting documents

You must supply the following information with your application:

  • Previous and current certificates and academic transcripts
  • The Grading Scale used at the institution(s) where you have undertaken your studies
  • English proficiency test results (if required and available at time of application)
  • Your passport to confirm your name and citizenship (if available at time of application)

You can speed up the application process by emailing copies of your documents to If your application is approved you must then post certified copies and/or documents to:

James Cook International
James Cook University
Townsville QLD 4811, AUSTRALIA

If your documents are in a language other than English, you must provide both certified translations and a certified copy of the original document.

An acceptable certified document is a photocopy of the original document, signed and certified as a copy of the original by a public notary, registered agent of JCU, or a representative of the institution. Copies of certified copies are not acceptable.

Credit and Articulation

Before applying for credit for previous studies you should read the Credit and Articulation Procedure. You can review any possible credits you may have with our Credit Calculator. When you apply for credit you must submit the course syllabi (subject outline) for each relevant subject and ensure the subject corresponds to a similar JCU subject.

Entry requirements

As well as having the prerequisites for this course, you must also meet minimum academic and language requirements.

Check the minimum English language proficiency requirements for this course in the Course Handbook.

If you meet the academic requirements for this course, but not the minimum English requirements, you will receive a packaged offer. This includes the opportunity to take an English language program as well as an offer to study a degree at JCU. Your JCU degree offer will be conditional on you gaining a certain grade in your English program.

Application deadlines

  • 31 January for commencement in teaching period 1 (semester 1)
  • 30 June for commencement in teaching period 2 (semester 2)

Our campuses in Singapore and Brisbane operate on a trimester system – application deadlines vary for Singapore and Brisbane. View academic calendars.

How to apply

Gather electronic copies of your documentation, including an Application for Credit form, if relevant.

Register using your full legal name as it appears on your passport.

Complete all questions, upload all documents, and submit your application. You may wish to include a second course preference.

Ready to apply? Apply now.

Help with your application

If you need help with your application, or would like to change your preferences (e.g. course, campus, commencing semester) after you have submitted your application please contact JCU International Admissions at or phone: +61 7 4781 5601

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Bachelor of Social Work

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)

Professional accreditation status

This course is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). Graduates are eligible for full membership of AASW. Student preliminary membership is available.


Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

English (4, SA)

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 3aSchedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

Clinical placement/professional practice:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense (Note: health professional courses generally involve extensive professional or clinical placements).

Further information about placements can be found at Coursework Enrolment Policy.

Post admission requirements

On-campus attendance requirement:

The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) requires all students to demonstrate that they have attended 20 days on campus face-to-face through out their entire course. Students need to be aware that meeting the AASW attendance requirements does not mitigate the attendance requirements for specific subjects within this course. Throughout this course more than 20 days attendance face-to-face on campus may be required.


The embedded honours degree is available only to students admitted to the Bachelor of Social Work at this university.

A student may be invited by the College Dean to undertake the embedded honours degree if the student has satisfied the College requirements relating to the selection of subjects and the standard of academic achievement necessary to undertake the honours degree.

Under approved circumstances students may enrol in Honours part-time.

Suitability to Work with Children Card (blue card): 

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements that may involve contact with children under 18 years of age. Students are required to obtain a Suitability to Work with Children Card (which involves a criminal history check undertaken by the Queensland Police) before the start of the first placement. Students must retain a current Suitability to Work with Children Card for the duration of their course, as failure to do so will result in the termination of their admission to the course.

For more information, refer to: Blue Card Services

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

96 credit points as per course structure

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Bachelor of Social Work, graduates will demonstrate an understanding of a broad and coherent body of knowledge, with depth in:

  • The underlying values, ethics, theories, professional practice and workplace contexts in the social work discipline

  • The unique, complex and contemporary relationships between social work and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their diverse histories and cultures

  • The impact of social, political and historical issues on environmental and social sustainability in Australia and internationally, with a focus on the tropics.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Social Work will be able to:

  • Review critically and analyse social systems, institutions, structures, processes, practices and inequities

  • Consolidate, synthesise and evaluate social policy and evidence to devise practical and knowledge solutions that reduce social barriers, inequalities and injustice

  • Communicate social work knowledge processes, practice and ethics clearly and coherently through well-developed literacy, numeracy and technological skills to a range of audiences

  • Manage service provision and professional practice to engage with and enable individuals, groups and communities to achieve social and environmental justice

  • Apply and adapt well-developed professional practice knowledge and skills, autonomously and in collaboration with others, to address social barriers, inequity and injustice across diverse contexts

  • Demonstrate initiative and well-developed judgement in engagement, planning, decision-making, problem-solving and provision and evaluation of specialist advice and functions, to achieve practice, organisational and/or policy outcomes

  • Demonstrate responsibility and accountability for own learning and professional development.

Course Structure


Level 1

PL1001:03 The Political World: An Introduction to Political Science

SY1001:03 Australian Society: An Introduction to Sociology or CY1001:03 Deviance, Crime and Society

WS1005:03 Human Rights and Social Issues

WS1006:03 Self in Professional Helping

PY1101:03 Exploring Psychology: from Brain to Practice or PY1102:03 Exploring Psychology: from Perception to Reality or PY1105:03 Psychology for Social Welfare Practice (Distance Education)

Level 2

SY2005:03 Qualitative Research

WS2121:03 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Skills and Frameworks for Practice

WS2510:03 Interpersonal Practice

WS2511:03 Professional Values and Ethics

WS2512:03 Organisational Practice

WS2513:03 Community Work

Level 3

WS3025:03 Group Work

WS3027:03 Social Welfare Work with Children and Families

WS3214:03 Developmental Approaches to Eco-Social Justice

WS3503:09 Field Education 1

WS3515:03 Social Work and Welfare Practice

Level 4

WS4005:03 Social Inquiry Analysis

WS4504:09 Field Education 2

WS4514:03 Theories for Social Work Practice

WS4503:03 Social Work and Mental Health

WS4511:03 Professional Development for Social Work Practice


PL3002:03 Policy Analysis and Management or IA2022:03 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as Colonial Subjects


Select 3 credit points of any IA subjects


Select 3 credit points of specified WC, SY or CY subjects from List 1


Select 3 credit points of any level 2 or 3 undergraduate subjects or WS3513:03 Research Proposal Seminar, if wishing to enter the honours program


Select 9 credit points of any undergraduate subjects

List 1

CY2001:03 Perspectives on Criminology

CY2002:03 Youth Deviance

SY2022:03 Family, Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Society

SY2100:03 Migration, Ethnicity and Belonging

SY2101:03 Sociology of Digital Life

WC2001:03 Australian Women’s Studies





Internal or Mixed Attendance mode


Internal or Mixed Attendance mode


Expected time to complete

4 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

11 years

Maximum leave of absence

3 years


Course progression requisites


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Further information about placements can be found at: Coursework Enrolment Policy.

Students may be required to undertake placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled at their own expense.

Special assessment requirements

Refer to Review of a Student’s Suitability to Continue a Course Involving Placement policy.

Professional accreditation requirements

Graduates are eligible for full membership of AASW. Student preliminary membership is available.

Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for final subject

Not applicable



Students may apply for a credit transfer for previous tertiary study or informal and non-formal learning in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure.

Maximum allowed

63 credit points


Credit will be granted only for studies completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course.


Credit gained for any subject shall be cancelled 21 years after the date of the examination upon which the credit is based if, by then, the candidate has not completed this course.

Other restrictions

Diploma:  Maximum 24 credit points (unspecified credit) at various year levels

Advanced Diploma:  Maximum 27 credit points.

24 credit points (unspecified credit – at various year levels) PLUS 3 credit points (specified - WS1006:03 Self in Professional Helping)

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Students who have completed 24 credit points of their course award requirements, and withdraw from or fail to meet the requirements for progression in the later years, may be eligible for the award of Diploma of Tertiary Studies.

Course articulation

Students who successfully complete the entry requirements for the embedded honours program will be eligible to apply for entry to the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) [Embedded] after three years; or after successfully completing the BSW, students who successfully complete the entry requirements for the end-on honours program will be eligible to apply for entry to the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) [End-on].


Honours availability

Available as an additional 24 credit points of study [end-on] or as a 24 credit point [embedded] honours program.


By invitation of the College Dean

Normally at least a credit grade in four level 2 or level 3 social work subjects; and at least a distinction grade in at least two level 2 or level 3 social work subjects (including WS3513 Research Proposal Seminar) is required in the bachelor degree.

Annual Tuition Fee: AUD$30,080 (Estimate only)

Courses are charged per year of full-time study. International course fees are reviewed annually and subject to change.

A Student Services and Amenities Fee is payable per subject up to a maximum amount per year.

Student Visa holders must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their Student Visa (except Norwegian, Swedish and Belgian citizens). Costs depend on the length of study and the number of dependants accompanying the student. For more information see Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Scholarships and financial aid are also available for international students.

JCU offers pathway study options if you don't meet the academic of English language requirements for direct entry into your preferred JCU degree, or if you want to enhance your career prospects. Contact us for more information.

Lecturers committed to your success

Learn from lecturers who are passionate about what they are teaching. Hear from Associate Professor Abraham Francis who explains why he is passionate about social work.