Social Work and Community Development

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Why study social work?If you want to make a difference in people’s lives then social work is a good choice.
Possible careers include:CSI, social worker in industry; hospitals; child care, gender; trauma; mental health facilities; schools; etc
Majors and elective modules to combine with Social Works as major include:Psychology and Sociology OR Development Studies.
For the departmental 2021 yearbook, click here
The Department of Social Work at the University of Johannesburg offers professional qualifications at UNDERGRADUATE and POSTGRADUATE level.



This is a four-year qualification offered full-time at the Auckland Park Campus only.

Students must register for specific courses withi​n the Faculty of Humanities with majors in Social Work (at 4th year level) and Psychology and Sociology (one up to 3rd year level), register for Internship whereby the student must attend Internship classes at the university as well as complete set number of hours of field instruction at approved welfare organisations in the social services sector each year.

The BSW program is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and is aligned with the 27 Exit Level Outcomes defined by the Standards Generating Body (SGB) for Social Work and the Council for Higher Education (CHE).


This is a three year qualification offered under the Department of Social Work, at the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg.

Students must register for prescribed modules for the fulfilment of the Bachelor of Arts (Community Development and Leadership) degree.

POSTGRADUATE level: (see programmes​)

We offer four postgraduate programmes

  • A structured master’s programme in clinical social work
  • A structured master’s programme in community development
  • A master’s programme by research
  • A doctoral programme

Curriculum Statements for Each Year Group of the BSW

To give expression to the above statements, each year group of the BSW has a particular and cumulative focus:

1.First Year Curriculum Statement. The first year curriculum lays the foundation of essential knowledge required for social work practice, by introducing students to macro social issues, the welfare context and response to these issues, the philosophy of social work and generalist social work practice. In addition, the first year programme contributes to two aspects of formation: (1) the development of academic competencies required for higher education, and (2) the formation of the professional self.

  1. Second Year Curriculum Statement. The second year curriculum lays a foundation of knowledge, skills and values of professional practice, according to a planned change process at the three levels of generalist practice, with diverse population groups, with emphasis on basic micro (individual) and meso (group).
  2. Third Year Curriculum Statement. The third year curriculum develops professional social work practitioners in specialised fields of social work practice, by facilitating critical analysis and self-reflection, with emphasis on macro and advanced micro work.

4.Fourth Year Curriculum Statement. T​he fourth year curriculum consolidates, integrates and advances professional competencies, and develops the competencies for research, policy, management and supervision, in preparation for professional practice.​​


Acceptance into social work programme is conditional on a successful Police Clearance obtained from the South African Police Service, as well as clearance from the National Child Protection Register with the Department of Social Development. (Details of these can be found at This is required by law, in order to do volunteer and internship work with children. Students should obtain clearances as soon as they are informed that they have been accepted into the programme and should bring the original certificates with them when they come to register. These certificates will be collected from them during their first classes – failure to obtain these clearances will result in the student being withdrawn from the internship programme.

Registration as a student social worker with the SA Council for Social Services Professions (SACSSP) is compulsory at the start of their second year of study – failure to register with the Council will result in the student being deregistered from the internship programme. Students have to remain registered throughout their degree.

Students are responsible for their own transport when involved in practical assignments. They must budget for transport costs, especially from their second year of study.

Students must be able to type. It is also recommended that students must have a driver’s license.