Unizulu Social Work

Unizulu Social Work, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is a generalist programme designed for the students’ acquisition of knowledge, skills and values, with the emphasis on preventive, pro-active and developmental approaches to social service delivery to individuals, groups and communities in accordance with developmental policy as outlined post 1994.

Structure / Composition of the curriculum

The curriculum shall consist of at least 32 semester modules as follows:
First year – a minimum of eight semester modules
Second year – a minimum of eight semester modules
Third year – a minimum of eight semester modules
Fourth year- a minimum of eight semester modules

Purpose of the programme

The purpose of the four year BSW professional qualification which serves as the driver of the core purpose of social work in South Africa, is to equip social workers with:

  • Skills to challenge structural sources of poverty, inequality, oppression, discrimination and exclusion
  • Knowledge and understanding of human behaviour and social systems and the skills to intervene at the points where people interact with their environments in order to promote social well-being
  • The ability and competence to assist and empower individuals, families, groups, organisations and communities to enhance their social functioning and their problem-solving capacities
  • The ability to promote, restore, maintain and enhance the functioning of individuals, families, groups and communities by enabling them to accomplish tasks, prevent and alleviate distress and use resources effectively
  • Understanding of and the ability to demonstrate social work values and the principles of human rights and social justice while interacting with and assisting the range of human diversity
  • Understanding and ability to provide social work services towards protecting people who are vulnerable, at-risk and unable to protect themselves
  • Knowledge and understanding of both the South African and the global welfare context and the ability to implement the social development approach in social work services
  • Understanding of the major social needs, issues, policies and legislation in the South African social welfare context and the social worker’s role and contribution
  • The skill to work effectively within teams,  including social  work teams, multi- and inter- disciplinary teams as well as multi-sectoral

The above purpose is consistent with the core purposes of social work as identified in the Global Standards for the Education and Training of Social Work (adopted by the IASSW and IFSW in 2004) (Sewpaul & Jones, 2005), as reflected below:

  • Facilitate the inclusion of marginalized, socially excluded, dispossessed, vulnerable and at- risk groups of people.
  • Address and challenge barriers, inequalities and injustices that exist in socie
  • Form short and longer-term working relationships with and mobilize individuals, families, groups, organisations and communities to enhance their well-being and their problem-solving capacitie
  • Assist and educate people to obtain services and resources in their commun
  • Formulate and implement policies and programmes that enhance  people’s  well-being, promote development and human rights, and promote collective social harmony and social stability, insofar as such stability does not violate human righ
  • Encourage people to engage in advocacy with regard to pertinent local, national, regional and international aspects.
Exit Level Outcomes of The BSW programme
  • Policy & Legislation
    • Critically appraise social welfare and social work from a global, region(African) and nation perspective
    • Critically appraise the current status and position of the social work profession within the South African welfare context
    • Apply and uphold the basic values and principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights in the SA Constitution in relation to social work service delivery
    • Elucidate national and local governance structures and the general laws and charters governing social welfare policy and social work services in South Africa
    • Demonstrate understanding of how social policies and legislation on social issues impact on these issues and how to use legislation, ethically and accountably in order to protect and improve the quality of life of client systems from a social work perspective
    • Demonstrate understanding of how social welfare policy and legislation are developed and influenced
    • Demonstrate understanding of the roles and functions of the social worker within relevant statutory frameworks
    • Identify how social security is used optimally for the benefit of client systems
  • Intervention
    • Develop and maintain professional social work relationships with client systems
    • Access clients social functioning
    • Plan and implement appropriate social work interventions strategies and techniques at micro, mezzo and macro levels
    • Access and utilise resources appropriate to client systems’ needs and strengths
    • Evaluate the outcome of social work intervention strategies, techniques and processes
    • Terminate social work intervention
    • Negotiate and utilise contracts during social work intervention
    • Demonstrate social work values while interacting with human diversity
    • Appraise and implement the ethical principles and values of social work
    • Work effectively with social workers and members of inter-sectoral and multi-and/or inter-disciplinary teams in social work service delivery
  • Inequality and Social Inclusion
    • Identify, select and implement various techniques, methods and means of raising awareness, developing critical consciousness about the structural forces of oppression, exclusion and disempowerment and use such awareness to engage people as change agents
    • Analyse human behaviour with regard to the intersections of race, class, culture, ethnicity, gender, differential abilities and sexual orientation
    • Identify the influence of the relationship between socio-political and economic factors on social services
    • Identify the purpose, functions and principles of social work within the social development paradigm
  • Management, Administration and Supervision
    • Produce and maintain records of social work interventions, processes and outcomes
    • Demonstrate understanding of the roles, functions, knowledge and skills for effective social work supervision and consultation
    • Demonstrate understanding of roles, functions and characteristics of management and administration within the social service delivery
    • Formulate a business plan for the funding to fund social services
  • Research
    • Use and plan social work research
  • Skills to be learned
    • Interviewing skills
    • Counselling skills
    • Communication skills
    • Report Writing skills
    • Research skills
    • Presentation Skills
    • Computer literacy skills
    • Human relations skills
    • Leadership skills
    • Administrative skills
    • Listening skills
    • Management skills
    • Planning skills
    • Policy formulation skills
  • Target group of students
    • The National Senior Certificate (NSC) as certified by Umalusi, with an achievement rating of four (50%) or higher in four (4) recognised NSC subjects with 26 credits and achievement rating 4 or higher in English.
    • Admission selection is done through the Central Applications Office (CAO) or some students who have registered with the University from other programmes who would like to modify and study social wor
    • Students shortlisted must attend selection interviews held in November
    • Must have satisfied the Department during the interview and in the course of his/her study that she/he possesses the qualities required to train as a social worker
Additional information relevant to the programme eg WIL, practicals, dress codes, etc Rules
  • General rules of the Faculty of Arts app
  • The curriculum shall extend over at least four years of stud

Departmental Policy on Work Integrated Learning

  • A student shall complete the practical work/service learning programme for the second, third and fourth year levels and shall hand in all reports as determined by the Head of Departmen
  • A student who does not report at the school/community project/social welfare and social work agency where he/she is placed and does not produce satisfactory written justification for his/her absence, will not be considered to have met the requirements for the practical work programme.
  • A student who misses more than 3 days of Practical Work with no valid and satisfactory reason(s) will be disqualified and stopped from proceeding training in that year.
  •   Students undergoing practical work must register with the South African Council for Social Service Professions as a student social worker in terms of the regulations made under the Social Service Professions Act, 1978.
  • No student will undertake 4th year practical work if he or she has outstanding first semester module(s) from previous year(s).
  • All students undergoing practical work from 2nd year to 4th year must be registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professions, a statutory body regulating the Code of Ethics for Social Workers, as a student social worker in terms of the regulations made under the Social Service Professions Act, 1978.

Dress Code

Students must dress appropriately and formal for practical work, in comfortable clothing which adequately covers the body all the time.

Ethical Rules and Code of Conduct

  • Students in practical settings are required to maintain a Professional Relationship with clients, colleagues and other Professionals at all
  • Students are forbidden from engaging in sexual relationships with clien Any student who is found to be engaging in a sexual relationship with a client before the expiry period of 24 months will be PERMANENLY discontinued from the BSW Training Programme and struck off the roll as a student Social Worker or future practicing Social Worker by the SACSSP.

Departmental Policy on Portfolio of Evidence

Social work students from level one to four are required to keep a portfolio of evidence of all the work done (and other recommended documents) in the Bachelor of Social Work Programme in order for them to fulfill the requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. BSW qualification will only be conferred once the student has satisfied the Department that she/he has submitted evidence as stipulated above.

Assessment of students’ work

The Department uses the University assessment policy. Four(4) assessments per semester to be administered by all lecturers within the department for theory modules. Continuous assessments are implemented by the department. Practical work is done through the submission of weekly reports, and there are no examinations for practical work modules, unless if practical work has been infused into a theory module

Teaching and learning within the department

The Department uses the University teaching and learning policy. Students should demonstrate understanding and integration of BSW exit level outcomes in their learning and practicum tasks. A variety of teaching and learning methods should be utilized.Lecturers should prepare and review study guides annually.

University Exclusion Policy

The Department also applies the exclusion policy if the need arises.

Department:Social Work
Degree (Designator):Bachelor of Social Work
Majors:Social Work
Qualification Code (SAQA):
EXIT NQF Level:8
Admission  Requirements: The National Senior Certificate (NSC) as certified by Umalusi, with an achievement rating of four (50%) or  higher in four (4) recognised NSC subjects with 26 credits and achievement rating 4 or higher in      English. Admission selection is done through the Central Applications Office (CAO) or some students who have  registered with the University from other programmes who would like to modify and study social work. Students shortlisted must attend selection interviews held in November
Minimum Credits for Admission:26 NSC points
Minimum duration of studies4 YEARS
Presentation mode of subjects: DAY CLASSES
Presentation mode of subjects: DAY CLASSES
 Intake for the qualification: JANUARY
 Registration  Cycle  for  the subjects: JANUARY
Readmission: Subject to prior performance and current applicability of passed modules
 Total credits to Graduate: 480


ASWK111Introduction to Social Welfare and Social Work155NoneASWK 121Y
ASWK 121Social Work Practice 1155NoneASWK 111Y
AENG121Practical English 1 A155NoneN
APSY111Introduction to Psychology155NoneN
ASWK112Introduction to Social Work Methods and Special Issues155ASWK121ASWK 122Y
ASWK122Social Work Practice 2 Purpose:155ASWK111ASWK 112Y
AENG122Practical English 1 B155AENG121NoneN
ASGY122Social Change and Development155ASGY 111NoneN
Total Credits: Level 1120


ASWK211Social Group work with reference to activity156ASWK 112ASWK221Y
ASWK221Social Casework, Family and Childcare156ASWK 122ASWK211Y
ASWK241Theories of Social Work156ASWK122ASWK 221 Y
SCPS121Computer Literacy 1155NoneNoneN
ASWK 212Cross-cultural understanding in professional  practice156ASWK221ASWK 222Y
ASWK222Life   Skills   (Fieldwork Practice)156ASWK211ASWK212Y
APSY222Developmental Psychology156NoneAPSY111N
ASWK232Substance Abuse from childhood to adulthood156NoneASWK222Y
Total Credits: Level 2120


ASWK311Programme and Project Management (Community Development  Practice)157ASWK222ASWK 321Y
ASWK321Preparation and Fieldwork Practice 1157ASWK221&ASWK 222ASWK 311Y
ASWK341Philosophy of social work and social ethics157ASWK221ASWK321Y
ACOR211Crime Prevention156NoneNoneN
ASWK 312Social Development for Social Service Professions157ASWK311ASWK332Y
ASWK322Research  Methodology: Beginning Social Work Research157NoneASWK 312y
ASWK332Integrative Service Learning (Fieldwork Practice 2157ASWK 321ASWK 312y
CBMG302Business Management 3B157NoneNoneN
Total Credit                          120


ASWK411Fieldwork Instruction 1: Direct Practice with individuals158ASWK 321ASWK421Y
ASWK 421Fieldwork Instruction 2: Direct Practice with groups and/or communities158ASWK 222&ASWK 332ASWK431Y
ASWK431Fieldwork Practice 3: Indirect practice: Agency  Assessment158ASWK321ASWK441Y
ASWK441Fieldwork 4: Indirect Practice:  Practical Work Assessment158ASWK321ASWK411Y
ASWK 412HIV/AIDS Counselling158NoneASWK422Y
ASWK422Research  Methodology: Guide for preparing a research document and production of a project of approximately 25 pages158ASWK322ASWK432Y
ASWK432Management and Administration in Social Work158ASWK332ASWK412Y
ASWK442Youth and Social Service (Social Policy)158ASWK312ASWK422Y
Total Credits: Year 4
Total credits for degree

Master of Social Work (AMAS23)

Admission  requirements

Students with an Honours degree in Social Work or a four(4) year degree in Social Work are accepted in this programme

Duration of the Proposed Degree

The curriculum shall extend over at least one year full time or  two(2) years part time.The  examination  of  the  Research  in  Master  of  Social  Work  consists  of  a  dissertation  of approximately 120 typed pages on an approved subject.

Social Work Students Ready to Help Communities

University of Zululand’s (UNIZULU) Department of Social Work recently held a ceremonious occasion on Thursday where proud students pledged to be true and ethical professionals in their field.

The occasion also saw level two and three students receive registration certificates from the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP). The certificates will serve as a license for Social Workers to lawfully operate in the field, as it is illegal for any social, social auxiliary and student social workers from second year of study onwards to practice without firstly registering with the Council.

Nomandla Ndlovu, Social Work Acting Head of Department, said through the oath, students commit themselves to always adhere to the professional ethics and values that governs the Social Work practicums and internships. “With the oath, they commit themselves to serve their community and their nationwide country. The certificates from SACSSP works to social workers as a license to intervene with real clients and real problems,” said Ndlovu.

Professor Gregory Kamwendo, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at UNIZULU, emphasised the importance of obeying the ethics and obligations of the profession. “Today is a great day for you students as you take your pledge. I want you to understand that social work is a calling, you are not going there for money but to serve. I also want to emphasise the fact that the calling has its ethics and obligations,” he told the students.

Vusi Khoza, Director of Victim Empowerment and Family Services who was the guest speaker at the event, challenged students to have ethical principles since the profession regularly deals with patients who are vulnerable.

“Level two and three students are going to go out there and begin to interact with real clients. The Dean spoke about Social Work being a calling. Well, that calling comes with lots of responsibilities There is sometimes some cases of inappropriate relationships with clients. As a professional, you must be able to establish professional boundaries,” Khoza told students.

Students conveyed their delight following the pledge and further expressed that they are “more than ready” to help communities.

“I am ready to help people, especially in South Africa as you know that we are still a developing country,” said Sikhumbuzo Mathe who is a student. “Social workers play a crucial role in developing the communities. So, I’m more than ready to help the people in the communities develop,” he said.