Bachelor of Community Services

Get the up-to-date skills and knowledge you’ll need to work in a wide range of Community Services fields.
CRICOS Code 096281C
Intake Dates
February, May, September
Duration 3 years
Campus Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane
Delivery Mode Face-to-Face
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About the Course

Course Overview

The Bachelor of Community Services is a fully accredited Australian higher education degree. The course is designed to prepare you for ethical, competent, and culturally relevant community service generalist practice and to equip you with the skills you need for life-long learning and professional development. You will work at the interface between people and their environments, focusing on the experiences of individuals, families, groups and communities. Areas of service provision include child welfare, hospice and palliative care, and juvenile justice and corrections and advocacy.

You will learn about the theory and values base of human services practice, as well as the knowledge and skills required to work as a professional at a managerial level in the community services sector. You will have the foundational knowledge and skills in community services management you need to continue to a relevant post-graduate higher education program at a university or private education provider.

Course Description

The Bachelor of Community Services is delivered through teacher-led classroom work in the form of lectures and tutorials. Most units require students to attend a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. The course is conducted over trimesters, with three semesters in each academic year. The units are taught concurrently within the trimester, and the course will be completed within three years. The course is comprised of 24 units across eight trimesters, covering community services, counselling, systems and policy, coordination and support, specialist skills, and fieldwork.

The course also requires you to complete two separate work placements in a community welfare agency, totaling 400 hours (combined). These placements are designed to meet the requirements of the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA).

Course Structure

To be eligible for the Bachelor of Community Services, you are required to complete 24 units (360 credit points) from among those described below.

You will study three units per trimester, with most units comprised of a two-hour (lecture) and one-hour (tutorial) per week. You will also undertake seven hours of personal study per unit per week. The number of days per week depends on your timetable, but is typically two to three days (and potentially evening classes at some campuses).

For your placement units (FLD202 and FLD304), you will negotiate your work hours with your placement agency and the AE placement team, in line with ACWA requirements.

Units
Core
Introductory Community Services (INT)

INT101  Introduction to Community Services
INT102 Interpersonal Communication Skills
INT103 Human Development Across the Lifespan
INT204 Introduction to Management in Community Services

Counselling (COU)

COU101 Counselling Theory and Practice (1)
COU202 Counselling Theory and Practice (2)
COU303 Supervision and Debriefing

Systems and Policy (SAP)

SAP101 Foundations of Sociology and Politics for Community Service Workers
SAP102 Welfare Systems and Services in Australia
SAP103 Introduction to Welfare Law
SAP203 Developing Social Policy
SAP304 Social Research Methods

Coordination and Support (CAS)

CAS101  Community Development
CAS102 Group Work
CAS203 Principles of Case Management
CAS204 Managing Multiculturalism and Diversity

Specialist Skills (SPS)

SPS201  Alcohol and Other Drugs
SPS202 Working with Young People and their Families
SPS303 Family and Domestic Violence
SPS304 Mental Health and the Community

Fieldwork (FLD)

FLD201 Ethics and Professional Practice
FLD202 Fieldwork 1
FLD303 Transition to Professional Practice
FLD304 Fieldwork 2

Fieldwork Placement

Acknowledge Education is fully committed to the ideals and goals of the community work profession and to preparing our students for a successful entry into the workforce. When you undertake work-based training and assessment as part of our Community Services courses, you are participating in what is known as ‘fieldwork placement’. This is a structured educational program that is a requirement of your course as well as of the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA), the professional accrediting body.

Placements provide you with unique opportunities to:

  • Develop your competencies by linking theory with current practice
  • Experience a real work environment in community services, such as in community development, disability, youth work, children and family services, mental health, casework, and multicultural services
  • Learn about industry trends, practices, and career options
  • Build your professional network and resume
  • Explore job prospects at your host agency

At Acknowledge Education, we understand the importance of maximising your learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. This is why we provide significant support and guidance before, during, and after your placements. We offer students preparation seminars, individual appointments to find you a good agency match, interview coaching and résumé writing assistance, debriefing, placement materials, and an allocated Liaison Officer while you are on placement,.

Fieldwork placements are a valuable component of our Community Services courses, and we work with all our students and host agencies to provide them with a mutually beneficial and rewarding placement experience.

Academic and English Requirements

Academic Requirements

FOR ENTRY INTO FIRST YEAR

Completed Year 12 or equivalent.  The minimum age is 18 years old.

International students must also demonstrate that they have English language ability equivalent to IELTS 6.0 (Academic).

Competency to IELTS 6.0 means that the student has documentary evidence of having completed an IELTS exam at an official IELTS testing centre, or an equivalent recognised English language test, within the previous 24 months of the student’s application date for Bachelor courses, and that the student was given an overall score of 6.0 with no single band lower than 5.5 (see our International  Student Admission Policy).

Applying for Credit Transfer:

If you have completed prior tertiary studies, you may be eligible for some credit exemptions. For further information, please refer to our Awarding of Credit Policy.

Additional Requirements

You must also meet these requirements prior to commencing your fieldwork placements:

  • National Police Record Check and/or Police clearance from country of residence
  • Working with Children Check

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

1. Applicants with recent secondary education (within the last 3 years)

Applicants who have recently completed their secondary education and meet the following criteria can apply for entry to this program.

Admission Criteria

Evidence of successful completion of a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education to Year 12 or equivalent,* including Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or 20 in any other English and an ATAR of 68.

*This includes all Commonwealth, State and Territory final year secondary school certificates of education as well as an International Baccalaureate (IB).

Students who have completed their secondary education overseas, where that education was equivalent to an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, will be assessed for their suitability for the program on a case-by-case basis.

 

Special admission program*

Our special admission program covers a range of access and equity schemes that allow applicants from participating schools or disadvantaged social, economic or cultural environments to receive additional consideration.

2. Applicants with Vocational Education and Training (VET/TAFE) Study

Applicants with previous VET study who meet the following criteria can apply for entry to this program.

Admission Criteria

Full or partial completion of an Australian Advanced Diploma or Diploma (or equivalent) in any discipline.

OR:

Full completion of a Certificate IV in a related discipline.

Special admission program*

Our special admission program covers a range of access and equity schemes that allow applicants from participating schools or disadvantaged social, economic or cultural environments to receive additional consideration.

Applying for Credit Transfer

If you have completed prior tertiary studies, you may be eligible for some credit exemptions. For further information, please refer to our Awarding of Credit Policy.

3. Applicants with Higher Education Study

Applicants whose highest level of study since leaving secondary education is a higher education course and who meet the following criteria can apply for entry into this program.

Admission Criteria

Full or partial completion of an Australian Higher Education award (or equivalent).

OR:

Completion of two units of Higher Education studies.

OR:

Completion of a bridging or enabling course, for example, Foundation course or equivalent.

Special admission program*

Our special admission program covers a range of access and equity schemes that allow applicants from participating schools or disadvantaged social, economic or cultural environments to receive additional consideration.

Applying for Credit Transfer

If you have completed prior tertiary studies, you may be eligible for some credit exemptions. For further information, please refer to our Awarding of Credit Policy.

4. Applicants with Work and Life Experience

Applicants who have left secondary school more than three years ago and who have not undertaken VET or higher education study since then can also apply for entry based on other evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent, such as relevant work or life experience.

Admission criteria

Five years (minimum) work/life experience in Community Services or similar.

OR:

Applicants who completed an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate more than two years ago.

PLUS:

Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or 20 in any other English (or equivalent).

Special admission program*

Our special admission program covers a range of access and equity schemes that allow applicants from participating schools or disadvantaged social, economic or cultural environments to receive additional consideration.

Applying for Credit Transfer

If you have completed prior tertiary studies, you may be eligible for some credit exemptions. For further information, please refer to our Awarding of Credit Policy.

*Special Admission

Applicants who fall under the following categories can discuss their admission and course options with the admission team prior to applying. Each application will be assessed on its merits, and the applicant’s capacity to successfully complete the course will be carefully considered. The categories are:

  • applicants recognised as Indigenous Australians,
  • applicants whose school or home location is in rural or isolated areas,
  • applicants with non-English speaking background,
  • applicants with difficult living circumstances that have impacted their preparation for post-secondary study,
  • applicants with disadvantaged financial background, and
  • applicants with disability or medical condition affecting their education.

Additional Requirements

Other requirements prior to commencing fieldwork placements:

  • National Police Record Check and/or Police clearance from country of residence
  • Working with Children Check

Professional Recognition and Accreditation

In choosing to study the Bachelor of Community Services course at Acknowledge Education, you are giving yourself an advantage in breaking into the community services industry. The course is accredited by the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA), which means that it has been reviewed and approved by the national professional body as meeting the educational and practice standards required for community work practitioners. This reaffirms our commitment to delivering a quality program that will produce graduates who can practice competently and ethically in various fields in community services. To this end, we regularly consult with ACWA to ensure that the course upholds the values of the profession and responds to the current trends and expectations in the sector. This is reflected in various components of the course, from employing qualified and experienced educators to partnering with relevant welfare organisations for our fieldwork placement program. Upon completion of the course, you are eligible for ACWA membership and can enter the workforce with confidence in your knowledge and skills.

Course Outcome

Upon completion of the course, you are eligible for full membership of the Australian Community Workers’ Association. For more information, please visit the ACWA website.

Occupational titles for graduates with this qualification include:

• Welfare Centre Manager
• Program Coordinator
• Community Worker
• Counsellor
• Case Manager
• Youth Worker
• Juvenile Justice Officer
• Child and Family Practitioner
• Community Development Worker
• Community Health Worker

The Careers page explores the relevant career options for the Diploma and Bachelor of Community Services. Note, the third ring is equivalent to a diploma-level qualification and the fourth ring to a Bachelor qualification. For more information regarding your potential career outcomes, please contact one of our experienced course advisors.

Training Levels and Requirements

Level 1:

Usually has a skill level equal to the completion of Year 10, a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, or Certificate I or II. Australian Apprenticeships may be offered at this level.

Level 2:

Usually has a skill level equal to a Certificate III or IV, or at least three years’ relevant experience. Australian Apprenticeships may be offered at this level.

Level 3:

Usually requires a level of skill equal to a Diploma or Advanced Diploma. Study is often undertaken through TAFEs or Registered Training Organisations. Some universities offer courses at this level.

Level 4:

Usually requires a level of skill equal to a Bachelor’s Degree or higher qualification. Study is often undertaken at a university.

Information:

This chart shows a selection of occupations that have some relation to the learning area you have selected.

The four education and training levels are to be used as a guide only. These levels indicate the most common education and/or entry requirements for these occupations.

The title of an occupation viewed may differ from the title of the occupation selected. This is a result of a new data source for occupation information.

(Reference: Education Services  Australia Limited website)

Dates

View all dates here.

Fee - Local Student

Tuition Fee :$2,100 per unit x 24 units
Administration Fee:  $200
Materials Fee: N/A

FEE-HELP

FEE-HELP is a loan scheme available to eligible local full fee-paying higher education students which assists with the payment of part or all of their student contribution.

Please click here for more information on admissions for local students.

Fee - International Student

Tuition Fee: $2,475 per unit x 24 units

Administration Fee:$200
Materials Fee: N/A

View fee list here.

How to Apply

How to apply

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