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Social Work Courses Online

Become a social worker or gain extra qualifications via distance education.

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Charles Sturt University (New South Wales)

The Bachelor of Social Work from CSU is available on-campus or online. Attendance at intensive schools is required for some online subjects. The program includes 1000 hours of supervised workplace experience, where students observe, question, and model professional practice behaviours. Topics include child protection, cross-cultural and Indigenous studies, ethics, human rights, law, mental health, psychology, social policy, and sociology. Campuses are located in Dubbo, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga. The minimum ATAR for this course is 65.

CQUniversity (Queensland)

CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Social Work is a four-year program that will develop your understanding of the methods and values of the social work profession. Students complete two field education placements where you apply your developing knowledge and skills to real-world cases. The course can be studied at campuses in Bundaberg and Rockhampton and through distance education. Residential schools are held at different Queensland locations. A minimum of 20 days of attendance are required throughout the course.

Deakin University (Victoria)

Deakin University’s four-year degree is offered in Geelong (Waterfront Campus) and Cloud Campus (online). Cloud students are required to attend on-campus intensive workshops depending upon units of enrolment. Practical workplace learning is a strong feature of the course, with students completing two work placements each involving a minimum of 500 hours in a social or community service agency or program. The Bachelor of Social Work is an Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) accredited qualification, so you will graduate eligible to apply for membership of AASW and practise professionally throughout Australia.

Griffith University (Queensland)

Griffith University’s external Bachelor of Social Work program requires attending occasional intensive residential sessions (which may be up to 5-days at a time) at the Gold Coast or Logan. Apart from these and work placements, the remainder of the program is online. Work placements may be outside of the Brisbane metropolitan/Gold Coast area including northern NSW and (by negotiation) interstate or overseas.

University of New England (New South Wales)

The University of New England’s Bachelor of Social Work program includes units with mandatory intensive schools at Armidale in NSW. The course covers all the core requirements of a professional degree while emphasising rural issues. It gives provisional accreditation with AASW. Students with a degree already can apply for the 2-year Master of Social Work program.

Charles Sturt University (New South Wales)

The Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) at CSU is available online. The courses gives you the opportunity to upgrade your undergraduate qualifications and attain professional recognition from the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). Students are eligible to apply for a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) to reduce tuition fees. A HECS-HELP will also postpone repayments. The CSP yearly fee for this course is $8,944 in 2024. The program requires attendance at Intensive schools for some online subjects.

Charles Sturt University, Advanced Practice (Australia)

The Master of Advanced Social Work Practice from CSU allows qualified social workers to expand their professional practice with advanced, specialised studies. Available online across Australia, you can choose between research and coursework strands and tailor your studies by area of interest. Core and capstone subjects include advanced practice theory, future directions, and a social work and human services dissertation. Numerous electives are available, with topics such as children from adversity, mental health, leadership in human services, mediation, and public sector management.

Deakin University (Victoria)

Deakin University offers a two-year online Master of Social Work that qualifies graduates to enter the profession and prepares you for a more advanced level of practice. The course has a strong emphasis on practical experience, which is gained through a minimum of 1000 hours of fieldwork placements completed in different communities and workplaces. A minimum of 20 days of face-to-face time is also required during the two-year degree. Students develop skills in research, communication, interpersonal relationships, politics, and community development.

Flinders University (South Australia)

Flinders University in Adelaide has an online Master of Social Work program for university graduates. If you have a BSW or equivalent, you can do the 1-year "Qualified Social Work Entry" course. If you have a degree in another discipline, you do the full 2-year "Graduate Entry" professional course, which includes field placements and on-campus intensives. The masters program aims to provide students with skills in areas of policy, research, clinical and community based practice.

Griffith University (Queensland)

One of the most attractive ways to become a social worker is to do Griffith University’s Master of Social Work program. This is run through Griffith’s Gold Coast and Logan campuses. You can study online for nearly all the program, with the exception of a 5-day residential at the beginning (to make sure you have some interpersonal skills) and another at the end of the 13-unit course. So you mix online study with work placements and a couple of weeks in south-east Queensland.

University of New England (New South Wales)

The University of New England has a 2-year program that qualifies graduates of other disciplines to be social workers. External students attend a limited number of on-campus residential session in Armidale, NSW. There are also 1000 hours of fieldwork. Two work placements are arranged for the 2nd and 4th semesters of the 4-semester course. Each includes 5 days on campus.

A Career Serving Your Community

Smiling woman with glasses clutching laptop and tablet

If you want to be a social worker in Australia, know that this can be an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding career choice. Doing social work is satisfying for people who are passionate about helping others and making a positive impact on their community.

Social workers play a vital role in helping people, whether they're individuals, families or communities, to overcome challenges and improve well-being. You may support and counsel people dealing with psychological issues, addiction, poverty, homelessness, and other problems.

As a case worker or similar, you may support vulnerable people, such as children and young people, older adults, and people with disabilities. Social workers may also advocate for policy changes to improve lives. Overall, this kind of work is about aiding individuals but also lessening community inequalities and improving social justice.

Job Opportunities

Professional woman meeting with clients

Online degrees in social work prepare you for a career in helping people. A degree in social work equips you to work in a variety of job roles, including on the front line and in administration and organisation. You may work in settings such as schools, hospitals, health centres and government agencies. Here are some of the fields in which you could specialise.

  • Child, youth and family. Work with children, young people, and their families to address diverse issues, such as child abuse and neglect, family conflict, and mental health problems. You may also work in foster care and adoption services, or in other child protection roles.
  • Mental health. Support people who have mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. You may offer counseling and support to clients, and work with other health care professionals to coordinate treatment plans.
  • Community development and policy. Work with communities to promote social change and address issues such as poverty, homelessness, and discrimination. Other roles are policy development and advocating at local, state or national level.
  • Aged care and disability. Help older adults and people with disabilities to maintain independence and quality of life. You may support residential care residents, or work with community organisations to deliver services such as home and respite care.

Social workers help people through challenging circumstances such as homelessness, addiction, abuse, mental illness, poverty, aging and discrimination. They seek practical solutions to reduce stress and improve quality of life. This is intense work, but with that comes immense professional fulfilment. You'll make a difference by supporting people in need, working with the community to improve lives, and making our society more just and equitable.