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Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work

The Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Social Work prepares students for employment in a complex, diverse and changing environment

Human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work, according to the International Federation of Social Work definition of the profession. Graduates are expected to be reflective, versatile and skilled in a range of practice areas, and able to translate professional values into action.

Social workers may use many different types of intervention such as community work; individual and family counselling; group work; policy development; advocacy; and research.

They work in varied contexts such as health services, aged care, women’s services, disability services, child and family services, international development, and migration and refugee services.

Degree structure and requirements

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work

To qualify for the award of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work degree, students must complete 240 credit points in total, comprising:

Majors and minors

In the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work students must select one 48 credit point major from the Table A Subject Areas offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Arts to fulfil the requirements of their degree.

Students must also complete a 36 credit point minor in Sociology* to complete degree requirements.

*The Sociology minor can also be converted into a major, leaving room for completion of a second minor/major from Table A or Table S

Dalyell stream

The Dalyell stream is a targeted stream for high achievers. Students who participate in the Dalyell stream are known as the ‘Dalyell Scholars’. As a Dalyell Scholar, students will have access to curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Dalyell Scholars must take 12 credit points of Dalyell stream units in addition to their degree requirements.

Dalyell stream units emphasise the development of vision, depth of understanding, adaptability, breadth of perspective, societal contribution and a high level of capability in operating across disciplinary and cultural boundaries. Dalyell Scholars may take Dalyell stream units offered by any faculty.

Additionally with the permission of the Dalyell Program Director, students will have access to enrichment and accelerated units of study that can be competed as electives.

For further details regarding the Dalyell stream, please refer to the Interdisciplinary Studies Handbook.


In fourth year, Honours students participate in research seminars to provide them with a higher level of research skills and analysis. Students work closely with a faculty member, who acts as their supervisor in fifth year on a research project involving original data and deepening student’s capacity to undertake rigorous, theory-engaged, social justice-linked research. Students produce a research report that demonstrates their capacity to participate in a social research project and reflect critically on it.

Table O - Open Learning Environment (OLE)

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work are required to complete at least 6 credit points in units of study from the Open Learning Environment (OLE) to meet the requirements for their degree/s.

Details of available OLE units can be found in Table O in the Interdisciplinary Studies Handbook.

Table S - Interdisciplinary Studies (Shared pool)

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work can complete a second major or minor* in a wide range of subject areas offered by the University of Sydney through the shared pool of majors and minors.

*If the Sociology minor is converted to a major.

The available subject areas for majors and minors and their requirements can be found in the Interdisciplinary Studies Handbook.

The following areas offer majors and minors in this shared pool:

  • Architecture and Interaction Design;
  • Arts and Social Sciences;
  • Business and Commerce;
  • Education and Social Work;
  • Engineering and Computer Science;
  • Health, Medicine and Dentistry;
  • Music;
  • Science, Agriculture, Environment and Veterinary Science.


Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work can complete elective units of study from the subject areas listed in Table A (Arts and Social Sciences) and Table S (shared pool).

The available units of study are listed in Table A Subject Areas of this handbook and Table S in the Interdisciplinary Studies handbook.

Contacts and further information

Bachelor of Social Work, Program Director: Professor Amanda Howard
Website Sydney School of Education and Social Work