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last modified: 2013/09/09

Social Work


Who should study with us?

Persons who wish to prepare themselves for a career in Social Work or in the welfare or related fields where the mission is to empower people in various size systems to develop their full potential, enrich their lives and prevent dysfunction; who have a genuine interest in and concern for people, have good communication abilities, be touched by and concerned about people's and communities' problems and needs, and have good intellectual abilities, will find these programme stimulating and satisfying.

All practical work is compulsory

Students must be able to attend the workshops as well as the practice and supervision sessions from Level 2 to 4. At Level 4 students must, inter alia, be able to undertake practical work at an accredited (welfare) organisation. Those interested but living outside the areas specified, must contact the Head of the Department before they register.

The training is professionally directed with the implication that, even though it is satisfying and challenging, it is also structured and very demanding and time-consuming. It is therefore important for you to take note of the following:

  1. You need to meticulously analyse your time available to ensure you have sufficient at your disposal to undertake the practica at the various centres.
  2. Should you be employed, your work situation will have to enable you to take leave for certain practical tasks. We suggest, beforeregistering for the degree, you discuss the contents and requirements of the BA(SS) degree with your employer and reach an agreement with him regarding the time you are going to require.
  3. Should you be married, it is essential that you have the support of your husband/wife and family for this venture.

Take your personal circumstances into account when you decide on the number of modules you want to register for. You may register for five modules per semester, but where practical work is involved, it is much more demanding. A busy personal life, small children and work obligations must also be taken into account

Qualification as a Social Worker by BA graduates:

BA graduates can qualify as a social worker by passing Social Work 1 to 4 for non-degree purposes (NDP) on the condition that they have completed a BA degree at a South African university and have passed their third year in one of the following courses: Sociology, Psychology, Communication, Criminology, Development Studies or Anthropology.

In addition to Social Work 1 to 4 such students must also register for Counselling skills (PYC204-9), Marriage guidance and counselling (MGG201-W) or Sexual trauma (MGG202-X), and the two Welfare Law modules. In compliance with rule G19 in Calendar 1 such a student can, with special permission of the Senate and at the recommendation of the Faculty simultaneously register for the modules on Level 1 and 2 - on the proviso that the Level 1 modules are passed before sitting for the examinations on Level 2. Due to the nature and scope of the practical work involved Level 2 and 3, or 3 and 4 cannot be offered simultaneously. After completion of their studies, such students can register with the SA Council for Social Service Professions as social workers, and can apply for admission to MA studies.

Persons who want to obtain the BA(SS) degree specifically:

A graduate who has complied with the requirements contained in Rule A31(1) in Calendar 2, can register for the BA(SS) degree. In this case two new majors need to be selected, of which one must be Social Work. Refer particulars of the BA(SS) degree.

Students from other institutions who wish to join Unisa:

A student who wishes to switch over from another university need to first contact the Head of this Department and will only be accepted on submission of a written recommendation from the Departmental Head of the university attended to date, and on condition that an appropriate practica placement can be arranged. The recommendation must be submitted at registration for the first Social Work modules. Should no arrangements for the practical placement be feasible, registration with Unisa cannot be permitted. Students can only switch over from other universities until the end of Social Work II.

Registration with the SA Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP):

As from Social Work Level 2, all BA(HSSS)(WFS) and BA(SS) students must register once off for the duration of their studies with the above named Council as student social workers. The registration forms for this purpose will be sent to all Level 2 Social Work students by the Council. The completed forms together with the stipulated amount payable must be sent to the Council. Each student is subject to the stipulations of the Act on Social Service Professions (Act 110 of 1978), which, inter alia, describes ethical behaviour. Students who fail to comply with this specification will not be allowed to continue with their practical work.

Postgraduate Social Work students studying in South Africa must also be registered as social workers with the Council. Take note:

In Accordance with Act 110 of 1978 all qualified social workers or auxiliary social workers must be registered with the Council in order to work in these capacities. For more information, please contact:

SA Council for Social Service Professions
Private Bag X14, Gezina, Pretoria 0031
Tel: 012 329-9164
Fax: 012 329-9160