Bachelor of Applied Social Science Community Services
Student Domestic International
Study mode Online On campus
Campus locations Sydney Adelaide Online
DurationFull-time: 3 years Part-time: Options available
Start date

31 May 2021

13 Sep 2021

14 Feb 2022

This course is provided by Torrens University Australia Ltd, ABN 99 154 937 005, RTO 41343, CRICOS 03389E.

Code BASSCOM18 | CRICOS 097401C

What is a Bachelor of Community Services?

The Bachelor of Community Services prepares you with theoretical and practical skills necessary to pursue a career in community and public sectors. It delivers effective skills in counselling, social policy, advocacy and welfare, as well as practical experience working with individuals and communities. Upon completion, you may apply for membership in the Australian Community Workers Association, the peak body for community service professionals.

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Designed to fit in with you
With some of your learning materials online, you can tailor a schedule to fit your personal needs. 

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Learn from specialists in their field 
Our academics understand where the industry is heading and will guide you on your learning journey.

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A dedicated Success Coach
An ally to encourage, inspire and guide, your Success Coach will help you achieve your goals and create the right trajectory for your career.

Subjects and units

Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study.

International students must not enrol in more than one-third (33%) of online subjects over their course and must study at least one face-to-face subject each study period. Most face-to-face courses are also available online. Please note that due to COVID-19 pandemic, authorities have provided exceptions to the usual face-to-face learning requirements.

International students on a student visa are required to study full time, i.e. the student must complete a minimum of 1.0 EFTSL of study per year.
  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3
  • Electives
8 Core subjects:
  • Interpersonal Communication | COU101A
    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses. This subject explores aspects of counselling as a form of interpersonal communication and considers the role of self and culture, as well as important relational skills such as perception, listening and reflection. Students learn about different modes of interpersonal communication including verbal, nonverbal, written and oral, as well as the barriers to effective communication and approaches for overcoming them. The subject also examines how different types of relationships (family, work, personal, and social groups) can be enhanced through effective communication. An informed awareness of power and rank is discussed.
  • Theories of Counselling | COU102A
    In this subject students are introduced to influential counselling theories, including Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic theories, Person-centred Therapy, Existential Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Family Therapy, Feminist Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy and Narrative Therapy. The subject utilises a range of experiential learning strategies including skills modelling and case studies, and introduces students to the counselling interventions used for each of these models. Such understanding is further developed in COU104A Applied Counselling 1, where students have the opportunity to observe and practise some of the therapeutic interventions used within these modalities.
  • Human Development Across the Lifespan (F2F & Online) | COU103A
    This subject introduces students to the field of developmental psychology and explores what drives or motivates human behaviour throughout their life from birth to death.
  • Applied Counselling 1 | COU104A
    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    In this subject, students are introduced to the core skills for counselling and change work, with specific reference to working with adults. The subject provides students with an opportunity to develop their counselling skills in an interactive and supportive learning environment with feedback from others, and to begin considering their preferred counselling style. The interrelationships between counselling theories and models and skills are explored. This subject also focuses on the research into counselling outcomes and effective change processes.

  • Understanding Societies: An Introduction to Social Analysis | SOC102A
    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses. In this subject, students are introduced to the interdisciplinary practice of social analysis and its role in understanding the various human elements and social institutions that constitute our communities and societies. It covers a variety of important social theories through which to understand human practices, identities and social structures. In particular, students learn how cultural, historical, economic and political factors shape the human experience.

    Students develop social analysis skills to critically examine how human and social elements shape our views about equality, justice and fairness. The subject encourages students to assess the relevance of these elements to our social and professional relations.

  • Developing Social Policy | SOC103A
    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    In this subject students examine the nature and practice of social policy development through a study of key public policy areas such as education, health, welfare, the family, crime and law and order policy, drug and alcohol policy and employment policy. The focus of policy discussions is primarily within the context of Australian social, economic and political systems.

    Students examine the theoretical underpinnings of policy development, the role of politics and lobby groups in influencing social policy, the policy process, and how policy decisions are monitored and evaluated. The role of associations, such as NCOSS and ACOSS, and churches in monitoring the impact of government policy and advocating for vulnerable groups within society are also examined, with a view to students considering ‘how else’ policies can be informed and used effectively to bring about change and improvement to social conditions.

  • Introduction to Community Services | WEL101A
    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors. This subject introduces students to the structure, purpose and nature of the Australian health care system and community services. It explores the many contexts, settings and roles within this area of work, including the policies, theories and practices applicable to this field. Students learn about the important role and function of occupations in community services, and the practices involved such as advocacy, lobbying, networking, and support and service coordination. Students develop an understanding of the variety of community sector organizations that operate in Australia, sources of funding provided by local, state and federal governments, and the challenges, barriers and opportunities for accessing and providing the relevant but scarce resources to those in need. Attention will also be given to community development and programs through examples such as public housing, Indigenous community development, community consultation and public fora.
7 Core subject
Choose 1 elective subject from the electives tab
  • Developing Social Policy | SOC103A
    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    In this subject students examine the nature and practice of social policy development through a study of key public policy areas such as education, health, welfare, the family, crime and law and order policy, drug and alcohol policy and employment policy. The focus of policy discussions is primarily within the context of Australian social, economic and political systems.

    Students examine the theoretical underpinnings of policy development, the role of politics and lobby groups in influencing social policy, the policy process, and how policy decisions are monitored and evaluated. The role of associations, such as NCOSS and ACOSS, and churches in monitoring the impact of government policy and advocating for vulnerable groups within society are also examined, with a view to students considering ‘how else’ policies can be informed and used effectively to bring about change and improvement to social conditions.

  • Introduction to Community Services | WEL101A
    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors. This subject introduces students to the structure, purpose and nature of the Australian health care system and community services. It explores the many contexts, settings and roles within this area of work, including the policies, theories and practices applicable to this field. Students learn about the important role and function of occupations in community services, and the practices involved such as advocacy, lobbying, networking, and support and service coordination. Students develop an understanding of the variety of community sector organizations that operate in Australia, sources of funding provided by local, state and federal governments, and the challenges, barriers and opportunities for accessing and providing the relevant but scarce resources to those in need. Attention will also be given to community development and programs through examples such as public housing, Indigenous community development, community consultation and public fora.
6 Core subjects
Choose 2 elective subjects from the electives tab
  • Interpersonal Communication | COU101A
    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses. This subject explores aspects of counselling as a form of interpersonal communication and considers the role of self and culture, as well as important relational skills such as perception, listening and reflection. Students learn about different modes of interpersonal communication including verbal, nonverbal, written and oral, as well as the barriers to effective communication and approaches for overcoming them. The subject also examines how different types of relationships (family, work, personal, and social groups) can be enhanced through effective communication. An informed awareness of power and rank is discussed.
  • Theories of Counselling | COU102A
    In this subject students are introduced to influential counselling theories, including Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic theories, Person-centred Therapy, Existential Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Family Therapy, Feminist Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy and Narrative Therapy. The subject utilises a range of experiential learning strategies including skills modelling and case studies, and introduces students to the counselling interventions used for each of these models. Such understanding is further developed in COU104A Applied Counselling 1, where students have the opportunity to observe and practise some of the therapeutic interventions used within these modalities.
  • Human Development Across the Lifespan (F2F & Online) | COU103A
    This subject introduces students to the field of developmental psychology and explores what drives or motivates human behaviour throughout their life from birth to death.
Choose 3 elective subjects from below:
  • Understanding Societies: An Introduction to Social Analysis | SOC102A
    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses. In this subject, students are introduced to the interdisciplinary practice of social analysis and its role in understanding the various human elements and social institutions that constitute our communities and societies. It covers a variety of important social theories through which to understand human practices, identities and social structures. In particular, students learn how cultural, historical, economic and political factors shape the human experience.

    Students develop social analysis skills to critically examine how human and social elements shape our views about equality, justice and fairness. The subject encourages students to assess the relevance of these elements to our social and professional relations.

  • Alcohol and Other Drugs | COU304A
    This subject introduces students to theories and research in the area of substance abuse. It examines the continuum between drug use, abuse, dependence and addiction, and the physical dependence created by the use of prescription and recreational drugs. It also examines the role of family, community, residential and detox services. Students investigate and apply analytical skills for discussing the controversies and social stigma surrounding drug and alcohol use, and the contrasting ideologies underpinning harm minimization, risk and abstinence. Attention is given to programmes such as Alcoholics Anonymous, AI-Anon and Narcotics Anonymous that use the 12-step programme, step reduction programmes available on the web such as Smart Recovery, assessment methods such as the CAGE questionnaire. The subject also covers policy informing programmes, and the dominant models for drug and alcohol counselling, including motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • Narrative Therapy | COU306A
    In this elective, students will become familiar with key narrative concepts and there will be some comparison with ideas found in other modalities. The central practices and skills associated with narrative therapy will be illustrated and, by drawing on students’ own stories, they will have vivid, first hand experiences of narrative from both a practitioner’s and client’s point of view.
  • Existential Psychotherapy | COU307A
    The practice of existential counselling and psychotherapy is grounded in three thousand years of Western philosophy, involving itself with the everyday concerns of human existence and attempting to seek answers to what it means to be human. This subject will explore how existential philosophy is practised both as a specific psychotherapy modality as well as how the existential themes and questions can be integrated into any practice.
  • Focusing: Enhancing the Mind-Body Connection in Therapy | COU308A
    Usually we refer to our thoughts and feelings to guide us in life, yet there is a more profound knowing: our "felt-sense", the body's own wisdom. Focusing is a process that enables us to access this inner knowing. In this experiential workshop you can learn how to consistently tap into and trust your inner knowing. Your body never just holds your struggles, it also holds the way forward. Through Focusing you naturally arrive at your own healing and a lasting and deep change in your relationship with yourself. You can use the skill of Focusing to enhance your own life and to enhance the work that you do with clients. It is a method which can be integrated with and supports any modality of psychotherapy. The importance of body-sensing in healing was discovered by Dr Eugene Gendlin in collaboration with Carl Rogers at the University of Chicago in the 1960's.
  • Introduction to Gestalt Therapy | COU309A
    The elective provides an introduction to the foundation principles and core concepts of Gestlat Therapy theory, methodology and contemporary practice. The electives are also designed to provide the students with an introduction to a creative approach to working sensitively and systematically within the professional relationship. The focus in this unit is on assisting students to understand and apply the Gestalt Therapy Approach to their personal and professional experience and the group process. Particular attention is given to the core concepts of: (1) awareness; (2) the personal narrative; (3) the cycle of experience; (4) organismic self regulation; (5) contact, contact styles and boundary functions; (6) dialogues and the personal conversation; (7) the paradoxical theory of change; and (8) experimentation and a unit of work.
  • Spirituality and Psychotherapy | COU310A
    This program highlights our evolving understanding of that vital yet mysteriously elusive reality termed “human intimacy”. Special attention will be given to notions of romance, sexuality and spirituality. The course also seeks to highlight parallel dimensions and contrasts between personal and therapeutic relationships. The discussion seeks to foster an integrated path for understanding psychotherapeutic intimacy beyond the inadequacies of diagnosis, symptomology and pathology.
  • Fieldwork 2 for Community Services | FLD301A
    This is a core unit for the Community Services major.

    This placement is of 200 hours duration. Placements are in the community sector or in an organization where students will gain further practical experience in working with individuals and groups. The practical placement experiences will be supported with supervision in a variety of formats; this provides students with the opportunity to practice a range of activities such as case management, client services, program planning and development, individual and group assessment, advocacy and support work. Students are required to engage in community service work in these placements working alongside other professionals. Students are also required to attend two 3-hour workshops in weeks 1 and 5 to prepare them for the fieldwork.

    Formal supervision will occur at a rate of 1 hour per 40 hours of placement work.

  • WEL203A Chronic Illness and Disability
    With the growth in the ageing population, there has been a significant increase in the number of people living with a chronic illness and/or disability. This subject adopts a critical sociology approach for understanding chronic illness and disability, with a focus on both the dominant discourses and subjective experiences. The subject includes an overview of what is meant by chronic illness and disability, and of the disciplinary discourses that construct both the conditions and the people ‘affected’ by them. Also covered are the different support needs and the challenges to meeting these, with an emphasis on socio-cultural and structural factors that exist in the contemporary Australian context, and the complex inter-relationships between discourses, structural challenges and subjective experience. Important theoretical paradigms and methodological perspectives in the social sciences will be used to examine a range of topics including: the discursive construction of chronic illness and disability, the subjective experience of living with these, patient/client and professional relationships, notions of risk, the medicalization of everyday life, and the values and norms that are inscribed in the body. Students are introduced to notions of embodiment through narratives of illness, disability, and ageing.
  • Death and Dying | WEL304A
    In this subject students learn about end of life matters including where death and dying take place. Central to this is understanding what is palliative care and what it involves, and the professional roles that operate in the field. Students learn about the practices of symptom control, pain assessment and management, as well as therapeutic communication skills for end of life. The subject explores cultural differences and diversity in attitudes toward death and dying, and culturally sensitive communication with patients and their significant others. Students also critically examine the availability of palliative care services in Australia as well as the medicalisation of death, dying and bereavement. Theories of grief and bereavement are examined, as well as the goals and principles underpinning palliative care philosophy and evidence based practices in the field. Finally an important aspect of this topic is the emotional impact of working in this area, the importance of practicing self-care and boundary management, team work participation and support.
  • Protection of Children | WEL305A
    While child welfare is about the care of children’s health and wellbeing, the term is now closely associated with child protection and statutory child protection agencies. The subject examines this concept and broadens the debate to include the mitigation of societal factors such as poverty, unemployment, family violence, culture and ethnicity, class and gender as part of the broader picture. The origins of the professional regulation of child welfare are examined, as well as the moral panic around child protection issues. Challenges and major issues for the care and protection of children are addressed, as well as the professional challenges in developing a ‘best practice’ approach. Other topics include the principle of child protection services, education and research into child protection, policy and the continued development of specific children and family services.

Industry partners and work placements

Work placements and Work-Integrated Learning programs provide a valuable resource for you to develop hands-on practical experience to ensure you graduate confident and job-ready. At Torrens University Australia, we are proud of our network of partners and always welcome new opportunities to build new industry relationships.
Work placement hours
120 hours
Natalia Londono - Bachelor of Applied Science Community Services student testimonial
Natalia Londoño
Graduate,Bachelor of Applied Science (Community Services)
I’m very passionate about helping people in disadvantaged communities. With the knowledge I’m getting at Torrens University, I can now plan what can be done to help a community.

Learning outcomes

  • Apply effective counselling interventions with people presenting with alcohol and/or drug addiction
  • Sharpen your communication to ensure suitable advice and support is offered
  • Establish a grounding in relevant theory, transferrable into real-life counselling scenarios
  • Explore the impact of mental illness on individuals and families
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Studying at Torrens University

Torrens University is Australia’s fastest-growing university. We bring a career-focused approach to higher education, offering innovative courses led by industry-experienced experts. Our flexible study options, personalised approach and partnership placements will help you find a career you love.
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Love the way you learn
Our fresh approach to teaching allows students to explore their passion.
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Get more out of passionate academics
With the guidance of our industry-leading experts, you can find a placement in the field you love.
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A more collaborative experience
Our smaller class sizes provide a more immersive and effective learning environment. Collaborate with peers and spend more time with academics in your field.
Hear from our current Health lecturers and industry professionals on how we deliver our career focused approach to your education.
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"The practical subjects were the most exciting subjects for me. I chose to complete them on campus. The experience with the state-of-the-art equipment and products that Torrens University provides was exceptional."
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Choose your student type for entry requirements, fees and scholarships


  • Domestic
  • International

Admissions criteria and pathways: Domestic students

Before you begin your course application, check you meet all the requirements listed below.
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Year 12 (Australian secondary school certificate) or equivalent.
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Vocational qualification (AQF Level 4), or above
OR Successful completion of a Higher Education qualification.

Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior Learning

If you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning. We also offer pathway opportunities to further your learning.

Fees: Domestic students

Domestic fees
Check the Domestic Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course. Fees for each trimester must be paid before the trimester commences.
FEE-HELP
Eligible Australian students may choose to defer some, or all, of their tuition fees through FEE-HELP, a loan scheme repaid through the tax system based on income.

Scholarships: Domestic students

If you are truly passionate about health, we want to hear from you. We have a variety of health scholarships on offer to assist you in becoming a key part of the health industry:

How to apply: Domestic students

Get started
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.
Apply
It’s easy! Apply online below or contact us and we can help on 1300 575 803.
Offer
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.

Admissions criteria and pathways: International students

Before you get started with your course application, check you meet all the requirements listed below.

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Australian Year 12 or equivalent; and
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Academic IELTS 6.0 (no band less than 5.5) or equivalent

OR alternative entry requirement may be available. Contact the International Admissions team for more information.

Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior Learning

If you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning. We also offer pathway opportunities to further your learning. Learn more about study pathways.

Fees: International students

International fees
Check the International Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course. Fees for each trimester must be paid before the trimester commences. Onshore international students requiring a student visa should choose campus-based / blended option.
How to pay
Course fees can be paid in 3 instalments, each instalment to be paid before the beginning of the academic stage census date.

Scholarships: International students

We want you to have the best possible chance to succeed, which is why we offer a range of financial scholarships to support our international students during their study journey.

How to Apply: International students

Get started
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.
Apply
It’s easy! You can apply online below or contact our International team on 1300 575 803.
Offer
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.

Key intake dates

31 May 2021 | 13 September 2021 | 14 February 2022

Frequently asked questions

  • What type of scholarships do you offer?

    We offer scholarships in different areas. These include Alumni, Industry, Indigenous, International, Business, Hospitality, Hotel Management, Nursing, Health, and Design, and Creative Technology.

    To find out more, visit Scholarships or let one of our Course and Career Advisors know you wish to be considered for a scholarship in your application.

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