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Social Work and Human Services encompass fields of study and practice that focus on improving the well-being and quality of life for individuals, families, groups, and communities. Our human services and social work courses equips you with the skills needed develop and apply social work knowledge to child and family welfare, disability support, domestic violence, substance use, youth work, community engagement, or case management. Pursuing a degree in social work or human services at UniSQ offers practical insights and experience through industry-based placements, opportunities to connect with industry professionals, and guidance from passionate academics with national and international experience.

Gain a strong foundation in theoretical concepts, as well as the practical skills required to become ethical advocates for social justice. 

Explore UniSQ's Social Work and Human Services degrees

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Psychology & Human Services
'I love helping people, so it was easy for me to choose to study Human Services and foster my abilities to help more people.'
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Why study a Social Work or Human Services degree?

Develop your passion for helping others and making the world a fairer place by studying Social Work or Human Services at UniSQ. A degree in Social Work or Human Services will assist you to become a compassionate, skilled and knowledgeable professional who can empower individuals, families, groups and communities.

Gain highly transferable skills, such as problem-solving, empathy, teamwork and time management, to utilise in many roles that cross government and non-government sectors, and other careers. Develop the skills needed to enable you to analyse and critique injustice, work ethically and reflectively, and implement effective, evidence-based policy, solutions, and interventions for enhancing the self-determination of people experiencing disadvantage, discrimination and inequality.

UniSQ’s Social Work and Human Services degrees are part of our Psychology and Human Services suite of programs. We offers a range of Social Work and Human Services degrees designed to suit your interests and career goals.


Bachelor of Social Work - A four year degree that equips you with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide direct assistance, develop policy and conduct research with individuals, families, and communities, addressing human rights issues and promoting social justice. It is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers and involves 1,000 hours of supervised field education.

Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) - Articulate into this degree in the third year of the Bachelor of Social Work. The degree qualifies you to be a social worker while completing an independent research project. Our Bachelor of Social Work (Honour) can also be used as a stepping-stone into our PhD.

Bachelor of Human Services - This three year degree provides you with a broad understanding of the social assistance sector, covering areas such as counselling, community development, social policy, and advocacy. It is accredited by the Australian Community Workers Association and involves 500 hours of supervised field education (2 courses). You'll gain specialised skills in the Child and Family Practice extended major.

Associate Degree of Allied Health - Gain foundational knowledge and skills in various allied health fields and use your associate degree as a stepping-stone into a related Bachelor’s degree, such as a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours), Bachelor of Social Work or Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours).

Diploma of Human Services and Development - Develop specialised human services knowledge and skills through studying this two year qualification.  


Master of Social Work (Qualifying) - If you are ready for a career change and have an three year Bachelor degree with one year of social sciences, this qualification may be for you. Choose from a professional pathway and a research pathway to suit your career goals or personal interests. Complete this degree in 2 years ( full-time study) or part-time – the choice is yours. Graduate of UniSQ’s Master of Social Work (Qualifying) will be eligible for membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Make an original contribution to knowledge and practice through this research degree.

What is the difference between a degree in Social Work and a degree in Human Services?

UniSQ’s Social Work courses focus on the knowledge, theory and applied skills required for professional practice. This can involve empowering individuals, families, and communities in addressing social injustice. Our degrees emphasise the importance of a pervasive practice orientation, critical lens and the ability to work with individuals, families, communities and more broadly at the societal level. When you graduate with a UniSQ degree in Social Work you are eligible to join the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Our Human Services degree provide hands-on skills and comprehensive understanding of working in the community, including social assistance   , counselling, community development, and non-profit management. UniSQ Human Services degrees prepare you for careers in a diverse range of helping professions. Graduates of a UniSQ Bachelor of Human Services will be eligible to join the Australian Community Workers Association.

What are my career prospects with a Human Services or Social Work degree?

As health care and social assistance is the fastest growing sector within Australia, predicted to increase by 16% in the next 5-10 years*, Human Services and Social Work professionals will be in high demand.

If you’re passionate about pursuing a hands-on career to influence social change and improve people’s quality of life, a Social Work and Human Services degree at UniSQ can lead to a range of career options.

As an allied health professional, you will qualify for a variety of career paths in community health and welfare roles. Assist people to achieve justice and maintain their human rights in a broad range of settings including:

  • mental health support
  • disability support
  • child, youth and family services
  • aged services
  • housing services
  • economic and social inclusion support services
  • community legal and advocacy services.

You could also pursue roles in hospitals and other institutions, community organisations, or not-for-profit community services.

Provide critical support to people and communities when they need it the most during emergencies and disasters, violence or abuse, homelessness, physical and mental health issues or child welfare matters.

Studying Social Work and Human Services at UniSQ paves the way for worldwide career opportunities. Many organisations and non-profit organisations operate globally, providing international development, humanitarian aid, or social work services in different countries. Additionally, there may be opportunities for cultural exchange programs, international internships, or research collaborations that allow professionals to work or study abroad. Engaging in international work or travel can provide valuable experiences, cross-cultural understanding, and the opportunity to contribute to global social issues.

* Jobs and Skills Australia (2023)

Can I specialise in a specific area within Social Work and Human Services?

When you study a degree in Social Work at UniSQ you will learn a variety of Social Work courses that will give you the skills needed for further study or to work in varied social work environments. You will learn about interpersonal skills, First Nations philosophy, working with children, youth and family, psychology, diversity, difference and disability, human rights, and much more.

At UniSQ You can pursue a variety of Human Services specialisations in areas such as human services, child and family, community development, Indigenous studies, health, social wellbeing and human resources. Specialising within your degree allows you to focus your knowledge and skills in a particular area of interest to enhances your expertise within a chosen field.

What qualities or characteristics are important for success in social work or human services?

To thrive in social work or human services, there are several qualities and characteristics that are important for success. These attributes play a significant role in making a positive impact and effectively assisting individuals and communities. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Empathy and compassion: The ability to understand and connect with individuals and communities, showing genuine care and support.
  • Strong communication skills: Effective communication, both verbal and nonverbal, is essential for building relationships, advocating for clients, and collaborating with colleagues and stakeholders.
  • Active listening: Being attentive and receptive to others' needs, concerns, and perspectives, fostering trust and understanding.
  • Cultural competence: Having an awareness and appreciation for diverse cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds, and the ability to work respectfully and effectively with individuals from various communities.
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking: Being able to analyse complex situations, identify underlying issues, and develop creative solutions.
  • Ethical decision-making: Adhering to professional codes of ethics and making ethical decisions that prioritise the well-being and rights of clients.
  • Resilience and self-care: Social work and human services careers can be emotionally demanding, so having the ability to cope with stress and prioritise self-care is important.

These skills will develop and strengthen throughout your career, enabling you to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others.

Are there opportunities for practical experience or industry collaborations in the field of Social Work and Human Services?

At UniSQ, we are dedicated to nurturing practical skills, fostering industry connections, and promoting professional development to empower our students in making a positive impact in the field of Social Work and Human Services. Depending on your chosen degree, we provide opportunities to gain real-world experiences with hands-on learning. Our industry-based placements offer valuable practical insights and experience, while our extensive network of industry professionals can be accessed through industry events and placement courses. Within this, students can learn from passionate academics with extensive experience in social work and human services.

For further information on professional experience or residential schools please view the degree structure of the program you are interested in.

Are flexible study options available?

UniSQ understands the need for flexibility to balance your education with other commitments. We provide a range of study options, including on-campus, external, and online social work courses which gives you the option to learn your subject theory where and when it suits you.  As an external student, you’ll experience the same level of support and opportunity to connect with others.

You can also adjust your social work courses enrolment to meet your needs. Take one subject at a time, or study extra subjects when life allows it - the choice is yours!

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