Social Work

Social work students must complete 1,000 hours of field education during their degree in order to be eligible for membership of Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

AASW LogoAt Charles Sturt University this is divided between 2 subjects. Usually students will complete 500 hours in each subject. While there is flexibility as to how many hours are completed in each subject, the total hours completed across both subjects has to be 1,000 hours. The minimum time for one subject is 280 hours. The balance of time must be made up in the other subject.

Each placement has to be in a different field of practice and practice setting to meet AASW requirements.

One placement must have a primarily direct or interpersonal skills focus. The other placement has to have an indirect focus (some kinds of group work, community work, policy, research). Most field education subjects are year long, and students must enrol for both sessions, with students starting throughout the year depending on individual circumstances and placement availability.

Field Education subjects are year long.

  • HCS323 – Social Work Field Education 1
  • HCS411 – Social Work Field Education 2
  • HCS525 – Social Work Field Education 1
  • HCS526 – Social Work Field Education 2

Session 1 only

  • HCS424 and HCS524 – Social Work Field Education 2 (Final year students and graduate mid year)

Eligibility to complete HCS424 and HCS524 in place of HCS411 (BSW) or HCS526 (MSWPQ) needs to be approved by your Course Director.  You can do this by contacting

HCS424 and HCS524 are single session 16 point subjects only available in Session 1 (72 days/500 hours). To be eligible for inclusion into the August graduation ceremonies, students need to complete their course and placement requirements by the end of June.

Planning is subject to agency availability/placement opportunities. Placements outside the official session dates are subject to Head of School approval.

All students are required to submit a current Resume and a current National Police Check

National Police Checks should be no more than 3 years old from date of issue.

Additional documents you need to be eligible for child related placements or health facilities are:

Start your NSW Compliance activity early,  as it can take up to 6 months to finalise. Students in VIC, TAS, WA, QLD, and SA will also need to provide additional documents.

Professional Practice Assessment (PPA) is a strand of the first Social Work Field Education subject (HCS323 or HCS525). It can be completed in place of the Placement strand and replaces the original Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). In this strand students complete a series of assessments reflecting on their work experience, how they meet the AASW practice standards and are developing their professional identity as beginning social workers.

For further information see the PPA Process

Need help or assistance?

If you wish to speak to an Academic in your area about Field Education and placements please contact us and we will assist.

Phone 02 6933 2784