The best social work unis in Australia for 2017 are

  1. Curtin University
  2. Edith Cowan University
  3. Charles Darwin University

Uni Reviews ranked Australian universities by a formula using:

  • graduate satisfaction with social work courses (% satisfied)
  • indicative graduate salaries (based on pay, study and unemployment rates).

Social Work includes: Social Work, Children’s Services, Youth Work, Care for the Aged, Care for the Disabled, Counselling and Welfare Studies.

Curtin University

The School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work at Curtin tops the subject rankings for Social Work in 2017.

The School is quite small but is at the top for student course rating (96% satisfaction) and pay outcomes ($57,457 indicative starting salary).

Edith Cowan University

The Social Work program at ECU (Bunbury Campus) is ranked second in Australia.

The School is rated highly by students (92% satisfaction) and there is little unemployment among graduates.

Charles Darwin University

The School of Health at CDU is ranked in the top 3 in Australia for Social Work.

Employment rates for CDU social work graduates are very high.

Overall Social Work Rankings

Rank University Size* Satisfaction Grad salary Points
1 Curtin University 171 96% $57,457 200
2 Edith Cowan University 282 92% $52,778 158
3 Charles Darwin University 127 87% $53,836 143
4 Deakin University 203 93% $45,158 126
5 University of New South Wales 253 87% $48,438 117
6 Griffith University 404 90% $44,715 113
7 Charles Sturt University 774 80% $52,199 106
8 Western Sydney University 462 86% $45,012 97
9 James Cook University 204 85% $46,132 97
10 RMIT University 270 87% $43,463 93
11 University of Southern Queensland 257 87% $43,520 91
12 CQUniversity 196 81% $48,060 88
13 University of Sydney 192 84% $45,040 87
14 Southern Cross University 174 82% $45,911 83
15 University of the Sunshine Coast 206 90% $38,164 80
16 University of Newcastle 240 89% $38,667 80
17 University of South Australia 470 83% $42,517 71
18 Flinders University 339 81% $44,559 70
19 Queensland University of Technology 284 84% $40,662 69
20 Australian Catholic University 352 84% $40,589 67
21 University of Queensland 199 87% $36,477 61
22 La Trobe University 419 78% $43,832 57
23 Monash University 310 73% $47,581 53

Updated: 24 October 2016

* Combined sample size for student course satisfaction surveys. Universities with small sample sizes for satisfaction or salary components are omitted from overall ranking.

Student Course Satisfaction

Rank University Graduates Students Overall
1 Curtin University 100% 92% 96%
2 University of Notre Dame Australia 89% 95% 93%
3 Deakin University 90% 91% 93%
4 Edith Cowan University 91% 88% 92%
5 Griffith University 85% 91% 90%
6 University of the Sunshine Coast 84% 91% 90%
7 University of Newcastle 91% 84% 89%
8 Murdoch University 89% 89%
9 Swinburne University of Technology 85% 88%
10 University of Queensland 89% 84% 87%
11 Charles Darwin University 88% 84% 87%
12 RMIT University 86% 84% 87%
13 University of New South Wales 95% 80% 87%
14 University of Southern Queensland 95% 81% 87%
15 Western Sydney University 95% 78% 86%
16 James Cook University 81% 84% 85%
17 Queensland University of Technology 92% 78% 84%
18 Australian Catholic University 86% 80% 84%
19 University of Sydney 86% 80% 84%
20 University of South Australia 88% 78% 83%
21 Victoria University 83% 80% 83%
22 Southern Cross University 83% 79% 82%
23 University of Wollongong 79% 82%
24 CQUniversity 85% 76% 81%
25 Federation University Australia 78% 81%
26 Flinders University 80% 78% 81%
27 Charles Sturt University 81% 77% 80%
28 La Trobe University 76% 77% 78%
29 University of New England 83% 72% 77%
30 University of Tasmania 94% 67% 76%
31 Monash University 85% 64% 73%

Sources: Course Experience Questionnaire (2014-2015), University Experience Survey (2014-2015)

Universities are ranked by combined satisfaction of students and graduates, with an adjustment for lower average satisfaction rates for current students. For further details, see Course Ratings by Students.

Indicative Graduate Salaries

Rank University Employed Studying Other Salary
1 Curtin University 87% 0% 13% $57,457
2 Charles Darwin University 82% 4% 13% $53,836
3 Edith Cowan University 68% 16% 16% $52,778
4 Charles Sturt University 79% 4% 17% $52,199
5 University of New South Wales 80% 2% 18% $48,438
6 CQUniversity 55% 30% 15% $48,060
7 Monash University 70% 6% 23% $47,581
8 James Cook University 69% 5% 25% $46,132
9 Southern Cross University 64% 7% 29% $45,911
10 Deakin University 65% 8% 28% $45,158
11 University of Sydney 67% 7% 25% $45,040
12 Western Sydney University 56% 14% 30% $45,012
13 Griffith University 70% 6% 24% $44,715
14 Flinders University 61% 11% 28% $44,559
15 La Trobe University 54% 28% 18% $43,832
16 University of Southern Queensland 62% 16% 22% $43,520
17 RMIT University 65% 9% 26% $43,463
18 University of South Australia 64% 8% 28% $42,517
19 Queensland University of Technology 60% 5% 35% $40,662
20 Australian Catholic University 60% 11% 29% $40,589
21 University of Newcastle 51% 10% 39% $38,667
22 University of the Sunshine Coast 58% 3% 38% $38,164
23 University of Queensland 52% 6% 42% $36,477

Source: Graduate Destinations Survey (2013-2015)

The indicative graduate salary accounts for low incomes of unemployed graduates and potential incomes of students doing postgraduate courses.

For further details, see Graduate Salaries by University.