Social Work


Social Work is an internationally accepted profession recognized by the United Nations (UN) which hosts a special UN Social Work day every year. The School of Social Work is affiliated with the International Association of Schools of Social Work. Global Standards for the education and training of social workers have been adopted by two international social work bodies. Social Work is concerned with improving the quality of life of people and the promotion of peace, human rights, equality and social justice at local, regional, national and international levels. By using theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. The School of Social Work offers an integrated programme approved by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for social work students wishing to register with the South African Council for Social Services Professions (SACSSP) as professional social workers. The School offers both undergraduate and postgraduate education with extensive skills and field practice training.


A leading School in the promotion of citizenship education, innovative research and practice excellence in South Africa in pursuit of enhanced psychosocial functioning and development of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities, and the promotion of peace, human rights, social justice and equality of all people at local, regional, national and international levels.

Who would social work appeal to?

The academic entrance requirement to study social work at the University of KwaZulu-Natal is a minimum of 30 matric points. Students often choose to study social work because they want to help people and to uplift communities. Social work is defined by terms such as social justice, human rights and empowerment. The values of the social work profession are rooted in a belief in the dignity and growth of every human being and a recognition of the need for a democratic, just and ca ring society. The ethical behaviour expected of social workers flows from these core values. Social workers have an ethical responsibility to clients, colleagues, employers, the social work profession and to society which is enshrined in the SACSSPS? Code of Ethics. From their second year of study, social work students are expected to not only register with the SACSSPS but need to sign a Code of Ethics form with the School of Social Work committing themselves to ethical practice.

Career Opportunities:

Social work education and training equips students to work with individuals, groups, organisations and communities in a range of contexts such as:

  • Child and family welfare,
  • Specialist areas such as the aged, disabled, mental health, substance abuse and correctional services,
  • HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment,
  • Youth programme
  • Gender issues
  • Social policy, research, programme development, lobbying and advocacy
  • Industry, Trade Unions, Employee Assistance Programmes, Public Service and Private Practice.
  • International job opportunities

The joy of social work is its depth, breath and scope of practice. A social worker can sit in the living room of a child and help the child heal from child sexual abuse. He/she can, at the same time, be involved in formulating policy to prevent child abuse and neglect.


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