Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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NOTE: This course has been updated - please refer to the 2012 handbook change register for details.

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleBHSc/BSW(Hons)
CRICOS code075622E
Total credit points required216
Standard duration of study (years)4 years FT, 8 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Caulfield)
Off-campus (Caulfield)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Telephone: +61 3 9903 2610, email: or visit

Course coordinator

Dr Catherine Flynn


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • Four years full-time. To complete the degree requirements within four years it is necessary for students to overload in year four (or part-time equivalent).
  • This course requires students to undertake off-campus fieldwork placements.


This honours course allows students who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Science and Bachelor of Social Work (course 3870) to undertake social work honours in the fourth year of the double degree. Entry to honours is by invitation to students who have achieved grades of at least distinction level in third year social work units.

The course aims to develop skills necessary for research by studying the methodological, theoretical and ethical issues that underpin social work research. Students are provided with the same learning and practice opportunities as students in the pass degree; however, the honours program also aims to reward academic excellence. Students in the honours program are expected to develop and complete a research project which will include a critical literature review, ethics approval where indicated, and a 10,000-12,000 word thesis.


At the conclusion of the honours programs students will:

  • understand the theoretical, methodological and ethical issues that underpin research
  • understand how to undertake a research project and write a research report
  • understand the nature of the research process including the formulation of research questions and the development of an appropriate research methodology
  • be able to articulate a range of quantitative and qualitative research frameworks
  • be able to utilise data analysis methods associated with the various research frameworks
  • be able to develop a relevant ethics application
  • understand the structure needed to write a research report
  • have skills in presenting a research proposal to other students and staff and learning from the feedback received
  • have completed a thesis of approximately 10,000 words
  • be able to undertake further research in other contexts.

Credit for prior studies

Credit will be granted for units successfully completed in the first three years of the Bachelor of Health Science and Bachelor of Social Work.

Entry requirements

Students must have successfully completed the first three years of the Bachelor of Health Science and Bachelor of Social Work with a distinction average in third year units in the Bachelor of Social Work component.

Special requirements

Police checks and Working with Children checks

Organisations that host clinical and community placements require students to have current Police and Working with Children checks regarding their suitability to undertake such placements. All enrolled and prospective students are advised that they will be required to obtain Police these checks prior to undertaking their course. Working with Children checks are valid for five years and are available free. Police checks must be applied and paid for annually, however, in some community-partnered programs there may be a requirement to have a police check renewed every six months

Health requirements

In order to meet health requirements for working in the healthcare facilities and for the protection of other students, and themselves, students may need to comply with certain precautionary procedures. These may consist of confidential tests for immune status (including blood tests and skin tests), receiving vaccines and having x-rays where the evidence indicates that these are appropriate.


The faculty recommends that all students accept responsibility for having up-to-date immunisations before commencing this course. Recommended immunisations include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis and hepatitis B.


Fieldwork practice units

This course requires students to undertake off-campus fieldwork placements. In the fieldwork setting students will have an opportunity to apply theory to practice under supervision. Attendance is mandatory for the fieldwork component of each unit.

Where a student's skill or knowledge is found to be inadequate, access to the fieldwork component of the unit will be denied. A student may be withdrawn from a fieldwork practicum if required skills and knowledge are deemed inadequate, or on other grounds deemed appropriate by the head of school.

Fieldwork expenses

Students are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses during fieldwork placements.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers.


This course comprises compulsory social work units in addition to the required number and sequence of health science units. Students undertake the core social work honours units in the final year.


First year

Semester one

  • HSC1061 Data, evidence and critical thinking
  • HSC1101 Biological basis of health and disease 1
  • PSY1011 Psychology 1A
  • SWK1011 Introduction to human services practice

Semester two

  • HSC1052 Health and social care systems and policy
  • HSC1082 Foundations of Public Health
  • HSC1102 Biological basis of health and disease 2
  • HSC1112 Global health: Opportunities and challenges

Second year

Semester one

Semester two

  • HSC2022 Culture, society and health
  • HSC2051 Health program planning
  • HSC2052 Health and social care systems and policy 2
  • HSC3002 Health for all in a Global World

Third Year

Semester one

  • HSC2062 Communicating health
  • HSC3011 Contemporary health challenges
  • SWK3400 Critical Social work 1 - Individual & Families: Context and practice

Semester two

  • SWK3180 Supervised Professional Practice 1
  • SWK3410 Critical Social work 2: Community work, context and practice
  • SWK3440 Leadership in Social Work & Human Services

Fourth year

Semester one

  • SWK4001 Honours research methods
  • SWK4030 Human Rights, Law and ethics contexts for social work practice
  • SWK4032 Working with complexity: Honours
  • SWK4441 Leadership and social policy: Honours
  • SWK4410 Community Work

Semester two

  • SWK4002 Honours project seminar
  • SWK4003 Honours dissertation
  • SWK4560 Supervised Professional Practice 2
  • SWK4401 Critical Social Work 4 - Individual, Health & Society: Context and practice


Bachelor of Health Science
Bachelor of Social Work (with Honours)