The social work programme was established in 1991 and the founding professor was Brian English, who had been a Prof of SW at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Following the principle already well-established for 30 years in medical sw education in order to encourage diversity in the medical profession, the programme was set up as a problem-based learning course, with no lectures or tutorials. Instead, interactive, field-linked workshops take the place of formal classes. The current UG degree is a 4 year programme and in the first two years, students are able to do other courses including Psychology, Child Law, Aboriginal Studies etc.
At the time Newcastle began, it was before the wave of lots of new courses starting. In 1991, there were only 5 or 6 programmes, all in the capital cities; there are 30 accredited social work courses today.
Source: Dr Amanda Howard, Head of Social Work