Study Community and Social Work

Graduates will have the opportunity to practice in the human services sector where a professional and effective response to the needs of vulnerable people and their communities is important. The learning achieved from studying these degrees is relevant internationally and to the communities of Western Sydney, one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse regions in Sydney. Students learn about a wide range of theoretical approaches and practice methods. Each of these degrees provides students with the opportunity to develop their confidence and competence through intensive sessions of field practice supervised by experienced practitioners.

Community and Social Work Courses

Course NameLocationDurationATAR
Bachelor of Community Welfare Parramatta; Liverpool 3F / 6P 73.00; 73.65
Bachelor of Cyber Security and Behaviour Parramatta 3F / 6P 79.00
Bachelor of Criminal and Community Justice / Bachelor of Social Work Liverpool 5F/10P 85.90
Bachelor of Social Science (Child and Community) Bankstown; Parramatta 3F / 6P 73.30; 68.25
Master of Humanitarian and Development Studies Parramatta City 1.5 F / 3P
Master of International Criminology Parramatta 1.5 F / 3P
Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian and Development Studies Parramatta City 0.5F / 1P
Graduate Diploma in Humanitarian and Development Studies Parramatta City 1F / 2P
Graduate Certificate in International Criminology Parramatta 0.5F / 1P
Graduate Diploma in International Criminology Parramatta 1F / 2P
Bachelor of Social Work Parramatta; Liverpool 4F / 8P 84.80; 84.80
Bachelor of Anthropology Penrith; Liverpool 3F / 6P 75.25; 74.00
Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies Penrith; Parramatta 3F / 6P 82.00; 82.00
Master of Social Work (Qualifying) Parramatta City 2F / 4P
Bachelor of Social Science (Anthropology) Penrith; Bankstown 3F / 6P 73.30; 71.85
Social Science Study Guide

Career opportunities for Community and Social Work graduates

Centrelink social workers

Disability workers and case managers

Disability workers and case managers advocate for people with disabilities to ensure they have access to support services and opportunities for education, safe and secure accommodation and employment.

Child protection

Child protection workers intervene to protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation. This is one of the areas of highest employment for social workers and community welfare workers. A worker's task may be to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect; conduct risk assessments and in cases of serious protection issues, remove the children from the family where they are at risk of harm.

Family Relationship Counsellors

Family Relationship Counsellors provide support and help through counselling and education programs and, in some instances, mediation or dispute resolution.

More careers

Academic Profile

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Frequently Asked Questions

Am I able to apply for advanced standing?

Yes. If you have completed related courses, or units of study or have relevant work experience in the human services sector you can apply for advanced standing for some of the units in these degrees.

Can I get credit for TAFE courses?

Students with a recognised Western Sydney University College or TAFE Diploma may be eligible for Advanced Standing to the value of 80 credit points (eight units which equates to one year of study) in the Bachelor of Community Welfare program, the Bachelor of Community and Social Development, the Bachelor of Social Work program and the combined Bachelor of Criminal and Community Justice and the Bachelor of Social Work. On-line applications and further information can be found on the Western Sydney University TAFE Pathways site.

Please check the full list of VET courses eligible for Advanced Standing and how much credit you can receive for them. Once approved, students can contact the Academic Course Advisor if unclear about enrolment.

What is the difference between the Bachelor of Community Welfare and Bachelor of Social Work?

Students often ask about the difference between a Bachelor of Community Welfare qualification and a Bachelor of Social Work qualification. In terms of study, the Bachelor of Community Welfare program runs for three years and the Bachelor of Social Work program runs for four years. Many units in the first three years are similar in both programs. While both are 'professional degrees' and include field placements, the lengths of these differ. There are 400 field placement hours in the Bachelor of Community Welfare program and over 1,000 hours in the Bachelor of Social Work program. For a comparison of the programs, refer to the links below.

Students have a broad range of employment opportunities with many agencies employing both Community Welfare and Social Work graduates.

Can I transfer between degrees?

Yes, you can. Students considering transferring to the Bachelor of Social Work program from the Bachelor of Community Welfare program and vice versa are advised to discuss this with the Academic Course Advisor as soon as possible.

The Bachelor of Community and Social Development transfer arrangements require discussion in the first instance with the Course Advisor.

Transfer from or to the combined degree of Bachelor of Criminal and Community Justice and the Bachelor of Social Work can take place however the different progression through the required units of study means that early discussion with your Academic Advisor is highly recommended.

Can I work and study at same time?

The degrees discussed here are planned around students doing a full time load of academic study, that is, four units in the Autumn Semester and four units in the Spring Semester. The university is aware that many students have paid work requirements and family-care commitments. A number of units from Community Welfare and Social Work now are also available for enrolment in Summer A and Summer B, while others contain online components. These additional study opportunities provide students with increased flexibility.

An important issue to consider when wanting to work and study is the demands of field education. The field education component of these degrees is a time most graduates recall as their most memorable time of learning, however it can also be experienced as a challenging and demanding time. Students are required to be available for regular and substantial time periods in order to participate in the work of the host organisation. For this reason, early planning is essential. This includes students planning their paid work requirements and family care commitments in order to be supported during this significant learning opportunity. Students will be invited to a planning session in the semester prior to placements commencing where more detailed information will be provided. It is also important to be aware of the Western Sydney University commitment to maintaining and strengthening relationships with agencies and organisations which take our students for placement. For this reason, the Field Education Placement Coordinator creates the placement opportunities for our students through their contact with agencies and organisations throughout the human services sector.

What does part time study look like in these courses?

In practice part time study involves taking a reduced workload by enrolling in fewer units of study each semester. You are expected to follow the same pattern of units as listed in the Handbook.

The Bachelor of Community and Social Development is offered in block mode and part time within that Course requires full time attendance during block mode but a reduced load outside the block. Discuss this move early with your Course Advisor.