How to become a qualified social worker

You know that feeling of making a real difference in the world? There’s nothing quite like it. Maybe that’s why you’ve been wondering how to become a qualified social worker.

Or perhaps you’ve already completed a diploma in community services, counselling, disability or youth work, but you’re not entirely sure where to go next.

Lucky for you, we do.

Charles Sturt University is home to one of Australia’s leading social work degrees. With us, you can work towards your dream career as a social worker with our Bachelor of Social Work1.

Whether you’re interested in starting a social work degree from scratch or you’ve completed some prior study, take a moment to explore your pathway options into our Bachelor of Social Work.

Articulated pathway to becoming a social worker

Have you completed a diploma from a TAFE or registered training organisation (RTO)? Great news! You’re basically guaranteed a spot in Charles Sturt’s social work degree.

If you’ve successfully completed one of the diplomas below through a TAFE or RTO, you can slip right into our Bachelor of Social Work – AND also receive credit for your prior study.

  • Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol and Other Drugs / Alcohol and Other Drugs and Mental Health / Case Management / Financial Counselling / or Mental Health
  • Diploma of Community Services Work
  • Diploma of Community Development
  • Diploma of Counselling
  • Diploma of Disability
  • Diploma of Youth Work

If you plan to study full-time with Charles Sturt University, your prior study means that you’ll knock one whole year off your degree. Planning to study part-time? You’ll receive credit towards two years of your degree.

Have you completed a diploma in a different industry, but you’d still like to make the switch to social work? No probs!

Say you’ve completed a business diploma at TAFE, but you’ve decided to take your learning in a new direction. You’re guaranteed admission into our social work degree. You won’t receive credit like you would if you’d completed a diploma in a relevant industry, but you’re still guaranteed entry. How good is that!

All you need to do is apply directly to us via our online portal.

Integrated program at Port Macquarie and Dubbo

Are you based in Port Macquarie or Dubbo and wondering how to become a qualified social worker? Looking to study on campus as part of that plan? Then don’t look any further. Charles Sturt University and TAFE have partnered up to deliver a new way of studying social work.

How does it work?

  • In your first year, you’ll undertake a Certificate IV in Community Services with TAFE, as well as starting the uni component of the course.
  • By your second year, you will have completed the Diploma of Community Services with TAFE.
  • In your third and fourth years, you’ll study solely with Charles Sturt University and graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work.

Yep, you read that right. Four years of study and you’ll have earned three qualifications.

To apply, you’ll need to submit applications to both Charles Sturt and TAFE. Your application must also include a form that allows us to share information with each other about your progress.

Added bonus: TAFE offers a range of scholarships to help make studying this course more affordable.

How to become a qualified social worker with us

Our Bachelor of Social Work gives you the opportunity to gain the qualifications to help people from all walks of life understand and then improve their personal and social wellbeing. This course includes areas such as child protection, cross-cultural and First Nations studies, ethics, human rights, law, mental health, psychology, social policy, sociology and in-depth study of the methods and theories of social work.

The Bachelor of Social Work is available for study in Sessions 1 and 2. Moreover, it’s available on campus or online. You can also take advantage of government assistance by deferring your fees through HECS-HELP.

On completion of the Bachelor of Social Work, you’ll be eligible for full accreditation. And also, membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Interested in taking your learning even further? You can with us. We offer a Master of Advanced Social Work Practice. This course allows you delve into the world of research and develop a depth of knowledge in the social work arena.

Other things to keep in mind

  • Our social work degree is really hands-on. You’ll have the chance to develop your practical skills with 1,000 hours of supervised field education during your degree.
  • You’ll complete four intensive schools on our Wagga Wagga campus. Intensive schools are a great way to practise what you’re learning in a hands-on environment, and to meet your lecturers and classmates.
  • If you’ve successfully completed a relevant TAFE (or similar) diploma and have also been working in the field, you can apply for 500 hours’ credit towards your supervised field education. Just make sure you apply for the credit at the time of enrolment and you have adequate documentation to prove you’ve put the hours in.

So, ready to make a change in the world? Apply now and take the first step in your social work journey.

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