Current Students

Social Work and Social Policy

Further information

SW 50

In 2015 UWA Social Work and Social Policy celebrated their 50th anniversary.


  • 50th Anniversary Social Work & Social Policy
  • Social Work Field Education at UWA
  • Social Work and Social Policy - A-Z Staff Profiles

Social Work and Social Policy is concerned with the social dimension of life and the relationship between individuals, families and groups and the social structures, systems and policy frameworks that impact on their lives.

Social workers seek to help individuals, families and communities to enhance their personal wellbeing, self-fulfilment, social engagement and through redressing social inequalities. Often the barriers faced by individuals and groups are the result of complex interactions between people, organisations, systems and national and international policy contexts. Developing an understanding of these structural constraints and seeking to improve social conditions is the focus of work in the field of social policy.

Social work and social policy combines approaches that relate to different dimensions of social issues. This includes social work approaches such as interpersonal work, advocacy, group work and community development along with policy and program development. Research and teaching staff are also keenly interested in social trends and innovative new approaches to social issues.

Mission and Objectives

The Discipline of Social Work and Social Policy will seek to influence policies, organisations and practice to promote social justice and decrease social exclusion through the generation and communication of knowledge.

Social Work and Social Policy aims to achieve this by:

  • Delivering contemporary social work education at qualifying and post qualifying levels
  • The supervision of research degree students in emerging areas of research importance
  • Conducting research funded by competitive grants and consultancies
  • Publication in academic journals and relevant professional publications and public media
  • Membership of relevant advisory, policy and management committees
  • Provision of advice and consultancy to governments
  • Presentation of research findings and knowledge translation to key groups of stakeholders
  • Maintaining active networks with key stakeholders in industry and other researchers nationally and internationally


The discipline of Social Work and Social Policy currently offers Postgraduate qualifications in Social Work, Child Protection Practice, Mental Health Practice, and Advanced Social Work. There is an increasing demand for social work practitioners to become more skilled in preferred areas of practice such as child protection, family support and mental health practice.

Course enquiries (all courses)

Ms Rosa Catalano

Administrative Officer

Telephone: (+61 8) 6488 2990


Postgraduate Research

The discipline of Social Work and Social Policy also supports postgraduate research students. To see the range of interests current postgraduate students are exploring, visit their individual Postgraduate Research Profiles.

Postgraduate Research Inquiries

For further information about postgraduate research contact

Dr Susan Young

08 6488 2998

Research Unit for Social Policy and Social Work Innovation

The Research Unit for Social Policy and Social Work Innovation draws together and co-ordinates research and consultancy activities relating to a broad range of social policy and practice issues. Staff and Honorary Research Fellows bring an extensive range of research skills and experience to the Research Unit. To find out about the research interests of each, visit their individual Staff Profile.

Postgraduate research in Social Work and Social Policy can cover a wide range of topics. To explore some ideas refer to the social work and social policy section of the booklet "Research Projects 2015". Please contact us if you would like a word version of this project list.


Graduates are employed across the spectrum in government, non-government and community settings, in health, welfare, education, corrections and in services targeted to the needs of a wide range of populations. The discipline also has an active research and consultancy program, which works closely with government, industry and community groups to develop knowledge and influence policy and practice.