The social work placement subjects provide an opportunity for students to integrate theory and practice within an organisation or agency where social worker roles are required. Placements enable students to develop a range of essential skills sought by employers, establish a work history and create networking contacts.
The Australian Association of Social Work (AASW) governs and informs the academic and placement content of all University level social work degrees in Australia to ensure a similar standard is met across the country.
The AASW therefore states that Social Work students must complete two 500 hour placements in the field before completing their degree.
Social Work placements can be in a number of government or non-government agencies including but not limited to:
- Youth Services
- Queensland Health
- Domestic Violence services
- Community Centres
- Department of Communities, Child Safety
- Disability Services
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services.
Some additional examples of organisations that have recently hosted USC social work students include:
- International placements in India
- Rural and remote placements in Mt Isa and Alice Springs
- Interstate placements in government and non-government organisations.
Social Work placement courses include:
- SWK300 Social Work Field Education 1
- SWK404 Social Work Field Education 2
- SWK700 Master of Social Work Field Education 1
- SWK701 Master of Social Work Field Education 2
In these courses students undertake the placement from 3-5 days per week (Master of Social Work students will complete one course work subject alongside placement).
Students can do one paid placement in an organisation however will need to be in a different role to any current or previous role in the agency and supervised by a different supervisor.
Students can also apply for RPL as their first placement if they have extensive previous experience in the field. Please see the Field Education Coordinator Gerard Jeffries for more details.
Preparation and assessment
Students are required to attend integration sessions before and during placement to prepare for and share placement experiences. Students also have assessment pieces during placement including a learning agreement and final essay.
Remuneration and insurance
No remuneration or payment is made by the agencies or organisations to the students (unless under prior arrangement) or to the University for hosting a student. Students undertaking an unpaid placement are covered by the University’s insurance policies for worker’s compensation and third party insurance.
Students receive an email to begin preparing for placement in the semester prior to undertaking their relevant placement course. From here there are a couple of simple steps to identify the student's preference for placement and begin the matching process.
- A pre-placement session will be held to communicate further detailed information including the necessary preparation for specific placement options. At this time students will be able to book an interview time with a member of the Field Education staff.
- An email will be sent to students with information regarding completing pre-placement documents and identify preference areas for placement. This will need to be completed prior to the interview with Field Education.
- Following the interview with Field Education, an interview with the potential host will be sought by Field Education and the student will be informed.
For more information about placements for Social Work courses please contact:
Field Education Coordinator
School of Law and Society
For general enquiries about work integrated learning opportunities please contact: