About the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences

The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences at CQUniversity is committed to providing a quality education that ensures an experience of study that is both successful and enjoyable for students across our range of courses in VET and Higher Education. The staff of the School encourage engagement in the education process regardless of the student's mode of enrolment. Curricula are built on solid foundations of educational principles and reflect the needs of the contemporary health care setting. The emphasis on work integrated learning ensures that the theoretical content of each course is transferable and applied in the variety of environments in which nurses, midwives and health professionals are employed.

Research activities of staff in the School ensure that the curriculum for each course is evidence-based and reflective of current practice. The globalised environment of health care requires an emphasis on internationalisation of curricula and courses offered by the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences are developed and implemented with these principles in mind. Opportunities for international student experiences are one example of how a global perspective of health care is instilled in graduates. Ultimately the School produces nurses and midwives that are highly sought after by industry through recognition of the quality of education that CQUniversity provides. Information about the various courses is offered below.

Our units and courses offer opportunities in study on an education continuum from certificate level through to postgraduate qualifications, with a range of short courses and professional development modules for industry, awarded with CPD hours for annual registration with AHPRA.

Undergraduate courses

Bachelor of Nursing

The Bachelor of Nursing (CQ23) offers a combination of theoretical and practical units to prepare you for your nursing career. You will cover areas such as nursing patients across the age spectrum, clinical assessment skills, acute nursing, mental health, wound and pain management, professional issues, pathophysiology and health promotion. Students can undertake study from Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns or Bundaberg campuses, or study online and attend regular residential schools. Upon completion, you will be eligible to apply for registration as a nurse with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. This registration opens up opportunities to work as a nurse across Australia and to apply to work anywhere in the world.

Bachelor of Midwifery (Graduate Entry)

The Bachelor of Midwifery (Graduate Entry) offered by CQUniversity is based on a philosophy of primary health care and partnership with the woman. The midwife/woman partnership model of care is woman-centred. Woman-centred care embraces trust, empowerment, a supportive environment and continuity of care. Continuity of care enables women to establish trusting relationships with their midwifery partners. The Bachelor of Midwifery (Graduate Entry) encourages students to provide woman-centred care which is holistic encompassing, as accepted by the woman herself, the emotional, psychological and social as well as physical needs of the baby, the family and the community. Woman-centredness' places the woman in the position of power and control as the decision-maker during her unique childbearing journey. The midwifery course at CQUniversity teaches midwives to use their expertise and evidenced-based knowledge to support and help women discover their individuality and uniqueness to birth resulting in physical and psychological growth. In other words, the woman's ability to trust and know that her body can birth her baby is acknowledged and honoured by midwives.

Bachelor of Social Work

The Bachelor of Social Work (CL71) aims to produce professionally qualified social workers who have fulfilled the practice standards of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and will be eligible for membership of the AASW. Social workers pursue social justice and work to redistribute resources that assist client groups to achieve social inclusion, support people to enjoy a better quality of life, and facilitate individual and community wellbeing.

Social Work is a profession committed to social justice and respect for human rights and provides a range of services including counselling, group work, mediation, advocacy, social support, legal reports, crisis intervention and referral advice. Social workers contribute to policy development and advise governments on specific welfare issues and as such can influence how services are delivered and how society responds to social issues.

This course includes a range of units focusing on social work knowledge, values, and skills with cognate disciplines also enhancing your social work education such as psychology, sociology and Indigenous studies. Students will gain advanced knowledge of social work theory, utilise technical skills to design and use research in a project in their final year and develop skills in research design and methods. At CQUniversity, our education and training philosophy focuses on learning from contemporary social work scenarios that are often authored by colleagues working in the human services sector in collaboration with academic staff. We also have well-established industry relationships, as well as student exchange programs with several international universities. Your learning is supported with online resources and one intensive three-day residential school per term, on-campus. This combination of face-to-face residential schools, regular online activities with staff and peers, and small learning groups will equip you with advanced level skills, including critical reflection, self-directed research and learning, problem-solving and teamwork.

The flexibility of assessment items across many units allows you to focus your learning around workplace issues you may be experiencing or the community in which you live. The course incorporates two unpaid field education experiences; one undertaken at the beginning of the third year of the program (13 weeks of equivalent full-time work) and one in the final term of the fourth year (16 weeks of equivalent full-time work).


Bachelor of Social Work


Social work is a great career choice for people that are really interested in social justice. People who are interested in creating change, being change agents in their community. It’s a profession for the future really and so if anyone’s interested in social justice, counselling, a whole range of ways or creating change then it’s definitely a career choice that I’d be recommending.

Our Social Work program specializes in online and distance education. So we’ve been doing this for decades, we’re probably once of the first Social Work programs in Australia to develop this  mode of delivery and we do that because we’re really committed to regional, rural, remote communities having access to higher education so we’ve developed a significant expertise in how to do that, in a way that’s really engaging.

We use a lot of simulation, we use a lot of technology, we do get together for residential schools to teach face to face. Some courses will have a residential school attached to them so these are usually our skills courses so if you’re learning about your counselling skills, your group work and family work skills. You’ll come to a campus whether that be in Rockhampton where you’ll spend three to five days working with the academic team and your colleagues and you’ll develop the skills that you need to be an effective social worker. Residential schools are really an important part of the degree and one that most people say is their favourite part. You get socialized to the profession, you learn about the values, you learn about the skills. For many students who are located all over Australia this is an opportunity to come together and just focus on what you’re passionate about. What you’re loving doing.

Important for social work practices is being able to communicate effectively, undertake a counselling roles to work effectively with groups and families creating change environments, so at those residential schools you get to actually practice in duos and trios and learn how to, using case studies and simulation, what it would be like in the field to do that. You get feedback from the academic staff so you’re constantly learning and being able to develop in essence confidence to be able to go out and do the work that you’ve signed up to do.

You can expect to if you are studying full-time to attend at least one residential school a term so they’re normally for three days but then just before you undertake your first placement in third year you spend five days at residential really consolidating your skills, preparing your confidence being ready to go into that first placement experience.

Field education is central to social work education. So you would undertake a 1000 hours of placement over the four years so in third year you undertake about 460 hours and then in fourth year the remaining hours for your placement.

So social work is a practice profession so you’ve got your academic learning and then you need to be in the field doing. Students get to do two placement, one usually in a non-government environment and the other in a government setting and that can be where you live. Students are often offered positions after their placement so even in their third year that very first placement, they can be offered positions as a result of the three months that they’ve been working in the environment and then in fourth year we find that most students are offered even locum or permanent positions within those organisations.

There’s an increasing demand for social workers in Australia, in fact in the next three to four years we know there’s nearly a 30% increase in demand for social workers to provide a whole range of services to communities. Their qualification is quite transferrable and portable and in their studies we actually have opportunities for students to experience overseas placement and experience international, global social work issues. So that’s been really something students really love.

The Bachelor of Social Work program is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers so that means that when you’re graduating you’re eligible for membership to that professional association. Many employers nationally require students or graduates to be eligible for membership to that professional association. So this qualification is accredited and it does allow you to be able to have a range of options available to you such as the government, non-government leadership positions and roles and clinical positions.

Well the Academic team are really available.  I often speak to students on the phone irrespective of where they are. I have students enrolled internationally and some that are local so being able to communicate with your academic staff helps you feel confident to undertake the study.

Social work to me is an amazing profession, it’s one where you get to be creative, you get to be involved in change processes, whether that’s at the individual level at or at the community level. I really enjoy it because you can never be bored. You can work across industries across sectors. Whether it’s in policy research, direct practice or community development. You can work with young people, children, older people or inside working with structures to create change, so to me it’s a profession that is really future orientated but it’s also something that can draw on a diversity of practice experience.

Postgraduate courses


Professional nursing practice is no longer only a matter of keeping up-to-date with changes in practices. Health care professionals including nurses are at the forefront of change in practice, utilising new techniques and knowledge and acting as leaders in change processes in the workplace. The courses are designed to assist today's busy practitioners by developing the knowledge and skills in proactive practice while they gain a relevant postgraduate award.

Mental Health Nursing

CQUniversity offers a suite of courses that provide you with foundation skills and knowledge required to practice in the specialised field of mental health nursing. You will build your skills and knowledge in undertaking mental health assessments, diagnostic formulations and risk assessments, along with psychotropic medication and recovery.


Advance your skills as a health professional responding to the growing challenges of a diverse ageing population. You will develop an advanced understanding of the health of the older person, as well as leadership skills, by participating in new paradigms of thinking. You will enhance your practical skills and research capabilities using interdisciplinary perspectives and ageing theories that can be applied across health care contexts and cultures.

Domestic and Family Violence Practice

The postgraduate courses in Domestic and Family Violence Practice provide an opportunity to deepen skills and understanding of key practice and specialist areas in relation to domestic and family violence which are reflected in unit electives covering child safety, men's behaviour change and working with victims and survivors. The knowledge and skills gained by completing these courses are transferable across a wide range of professions and occupations where workers encounter domestic and family violence issues and include responding to victims and perpetrators, and leadership and management from a domestic and family violence perspective.

Short courses & professional development

Our school offers a range of short courses and professional development modules and workshops through the Centre for Professional Development.

Our courses are based on contemporary health topics custom built in response to industry demand. Visit our Learning site.