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Why study Social Work?

19 March 2024

Social workers provide direct and indirect services. Direct services include working with children, families, the aged, people who have committed offences, and people with disabilities. Indirect services encompass social sector planning, administration, and research. Find out why you should study Social Work at UC.

Field work internship opportunities

Field work and internships are a vital component of any Social Work qualification. We have relationships with a wide variety of organisations who provide hands-on experience for our students including:

  • Maui Lab
  • Corrections
  • Health
  • NGOs
  • Youth
  • Justice
  • Child, Youth and Family

Students develop a wide range of skills including:

  • Professional engagement, social assessment, and clinical intervention
  • Empathy and empowerment
  • Self-awareness and non-judgmental attitude formation
  • Interviewing skills
  • Indigenous awareness and cross-cultural sensitivity
  • Thinking critically and creatively, and challenging ideas
  • Advanced listening and verbal communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills adaptable to diverse contexts
  • Negotiating and advocacy
  • Interpretive and analytical thinking
  • Appreciation of discrimination and structural inequalities
  • A framework for values and ethics
Research opportunities, projects and collaborations

Social Work and Human Services staff are heavily involved in a number of research initiatives. Watch for announcements on new initiatives and collaborative projects.

Where can I go with a qualification in Social Work?

Social workers are employed in both statutory and community sectors, providing direct and indirect services. Direct services include those for children, families, the aged, people who have committed offences and people with disabilities. Social workers practice in not-for-profit agencies, schools, hospitals, the criminal justice system, and the state sector. Indirect services encompass social sector planning, administration and research.

Direct services may include protection of children who have been abused, providing group or family therapy, educational programmes for at-risk adolescents, supporting adolescent parents, working with groups aiming to achieve community development, providing interventions for people with mental health issues or sudden trauma, providing assistance with housing needs, mediation and resolution of family conflict, facilitating access to benefits and other financial resources and assessment of home and family support for older people.

Roles held by graduates include: Social worker, policy analyst, community development worker, residential support worker, hospital social worker, youth worker, social researcher, care and protection worker, industrial relations officer and probation officer.

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