Social work

Course: Bachelor of Social Work

The Bachelor of Social Work is a professionally accredited degree that allows students to meet the requirements for eligibility for membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers.

The degree offers students the opportunity to study the core elements of social work with a focus on issues relevant to the Northern Territory. A key element of student's learning is the requirement to undertake two, 500 hour placements in the third and fourth years of study.

As accredited social workers, graduates are able to work in a diversity of fields. Graduates are trained to apply the core social work skills to work in direct practice with individuals, families, groups and communities and in indirect practice for research and policy development.

Career opportunities

Social workers are employed in areas such as:

  • Community councils
  • Community development
  • Hospitals and community health teams
  • Child protection teams
  • Government departments
  • Non-government organisations
  • Correctional services
  • Schools
  • Courts
  • Immigration
  • Consultancies
  • Private practice
  • Research

They are also employed as:

  • Group leaders and therapists in many fields
  • Specialists in the Australian Defence Force
  • Specialist advisors

Study plans

See more information about the course and study plans for the Bachelor of Social Work.

The course comprises common units, core units, specialist electives and elective units. The first two years provide foundation knowledge for social work, including psychology, sociology, organisational context and communication skills.

Later years include units in social work theory and practice, research methods, skills for working with individuals, groups and communities, legal aspects, specialised areas of practice and two 500 hour field education placements.

All students are required to attend compulsory intensive workshops.

Welcome to Social Work Field Education

Placements, also known as Field Education is not only a key component of the social work curriculum, but it is also an enjoyable and challenging time for students.

Field Education offers a structured education program that provides students with the opportunity to undertake two 500 hour placements, one in 3rd year and one in 4th year. Field Education placements provide students with the opportunity to integrate social work theory and knowledge in a government or non-government practice environment. It is experiential learning under the guidance and supervision of an experienced social work field educator.

It is important that students have completed SWK302 - Integrating Theory and Practice (face to face mode) before going out on placement.

To start the placement process students will need to log on to the CDU Portal and click on the ‘Nominations’ tile.

Online Placement Nomination System for
Social Work Field Education Placements

Online Placement Nomination

Nominations just open for this week - closes on 24 June 2018

Nominating and enrolled into a placement unit are two different steps. All students must ensure they are enrolled and can do so by logging into My Student Info.

Placements are undertaken in a full-time capacity during the semester of enrolment. Students may not start their placements on day one of the semesters but will start as close as possible to this date. Students that are concerned about the requirement of going out to a full-time placement should contact the Placement Team Leader via email at or the Field Educator at Only students with extenuating circumstances will be considered for part-time placements.

Extenuating Circumstances Guidelines for non-attendance at allocated placements
Information for students that cancel or do not attend allocated placements

Pre-Placement Requirements

All students undertaking field education placements SWK366/SWK320 and SWK466/SWK420 must supply certified copies of all pre-placement documents (also known as pre-clinical documents). Students who do not supply these documents will not be approved to attend their field education placement.

Documents must be submitted at the time of nominations. This allows the Placement Office time to arrange your placement prior to the commencement of the semester and to prevent possible delays.

Bachelor of Social Work students will require to have immunisations and/or First Aid/CPR Certificate for some host facilities. Confirmation of the requirements can be obtained by contacting the Placement Officer.

See the pre-clinical requirements for placements for a variety of School of Health degrees, including a handy checklist to ensure that you have collected all required evidence.

The Placement Office will not arrange placements for students who have not provided all their pre-clinical documents.

As the States/Territories change their requirements on a regular basis, students are advised to review these requirements well in advance of each semester for which they are requesting any clinical placements.

Some of the required documents will expire during the course of this degree. It is the student’s responsibility to provide updated/current documents PRIOR to the expiry date of the documents previously provided.

Placement Office
P: 08 8946 6666 – ask for the Social Work Placement Officer

Pre-Clinical Coordinator:

Field Education Coordinator
Merryn Coughlan
P: 08 8946 7694

Theme Leader/Course Coordinator
Dr Elaine Nuske
P: 08 8946 6089