Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

Human rights, social justice, social changes
CRICOS Code 114804E
Intake Dates
September (2024), February, May, September (2025)
Duration 2 years
Campus Melbourne, Sydney, Perth
Delivery Mode On-campus and online, Full-time
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About the Course

Course Overview

Social work is an academic, practice-based profession that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people (AASW Practice Standards 2013). Consistent with this statement, upon completing the course, you will be equipped with a sound knowledge of the underlying principles, concepts, and critical skills in social work as well as demonstrated capabilities in critical thinking, ethical and reflective practice, and continuous professional development. The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) will incorporate theoretical content that builds on knowledge acquired by students in previous higher education.

In line with the accreditation standards set out by the AASW (ASWEAS 2021), the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course will prepare students with the requisite theoretical knowledge, skills, and ethical framework for social work practice within diverse client systems across various practice contexts. This two-year course will encompass required AASW (ASWEAS 2021) core curriculum content on constructions of social work purpose, place, and practice; power, oppression, and exploitation; culture, identity, and discrimination; psychosocial health and wellbeing across the life course; and working with First Nations people including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. The course will focus on assisting individuals, groups, and communities at the personal and structural levels to bring about positive social change.  In keeping with this dual focus, the contemporary curriculum is ensconced within a human rights and social justice framework and  the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) will develop student knowledge about a wide range of fields and methods of social work practice, including direct practice, social policy and research, group work, community development, management and leadership, while at the same time situating this knowledge to take into account local, national, international and global trends.

You will be encultured into the profession of social work through an integrated curriculum that merges direct practice with leadership and advocacy social work roles within a contemporary and transformative approach to practice and social change. Field education through placements will contribute to opportunities for experiential learning, application and development of theoretical knowledge and understanding across a variety of workplace settings where social work takes place. Experiential learning via classroom activities, online activities and, field practicums will assist you to link theory to practice and apply learning to practice.

Course Description

The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course will be conducted over six trimesters, three trimesters in each academic year. Units will be taught concurrently within the trimester, with the course being completed within two years of fulltime study. You will be required to complete two separate field education placements at an approved field education agency, a total of 1,000 hours (combined). These placements will be consistent with the requirements set out by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) (ASWEAS 2021) and adhere to placement guidelines and protocols.

In the second year the student cohort divides into one of two pathways, the Capstone pathway, or the Dissertation pathway.

Students in the Capstone pathway undertake a Capstone seminar unit (MSWRE501A) to prepare for the Capstone project which is integrated into the final field education placement and culminates in designing a project for the placement organisation where the final field education placement takes place. This project brings together learning from across the two-year program to create a project that allows the student to exhibit their mastery of knowledge, skills, values, and ethics to produce an outcome that has the potential to bring about change for the placement organisation. This project builds a portfolio of skills and knowledge that the student can carry into the workforce for employment post-graduation.

The Dissertation pathway culminates in a dissertation allowing these students to apply for future entry into higher degrees. Students in this pathway undertake a Research Dissertation seminar unit (MSWRE501B) to prepare for developing their dissertation and are also enrolled in the Research Dissertation Unit (MSWRE502) that guides them via academic supervision through the process of producing their dissertation thesis. MSWRE502 Research Dissertation stretches across the full second year and students in this pathway develop their dissertation alongside their other studies and the final field education placement. NB: This pathway is subject to availability of suitably qualified staff to supervise the thesis.

Course Structure

Qualifications for this award will require successful completion of 96 credit points including the units listed in recommended sequence below comprising 14 core units for the Capstone Pathway and for the Dissertation Pathway 108 credit points including the units listed below comprising 16 core units.

Students who complete all units of the degree course will be entitled to graduate with the degree of Master of Social Work (Qualifying).

Units

Core units of study: All students

MSWFE401 Field Education Preparation 1

MSWSW401 Becoming a Social Worker

MSWTP401 Social Work Theory & Practice 1

MSWCU401 Working with First Nations People (Online)

MSWSTP402 Social Work Theory & Practice 2

MSWSTP403 Social Work Theory & Practice 3

MSWRE402 Social Work Research (Online)

MSWFE402 Field Education 1

MSWFE501 Field Education Preparation 2

MSWCU502 Culture Identity and Discrimination (Online)

MSWCU503  Challenging Systems & Cultures of Oppression, Violence & Abuse

MSWSW501 Human Rights, Ethics, Law (Online)

MSWTP504 Social Work Theory & Practice 4

MSWSW503 Leading Sustainable Community Change

MSWFE502A/B Field Education 2

Capstone students only

MSWRE501A Capstone Seminar

Dissertation students only

MSWRE501B Research Dissertation Seminar

MSWRE502 Research Dissertation

Academic and English Requirements

Academic Requirements

Students admitted to the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) are required to have completed a relevant three-year AQF Level 7 degree course that contains at least one year, or the equivalent, of full-time studies in the social and behavioural sciences.

Examples of studies in behavioural science include:

  • Psychology, including psychology research and policy
  • Counselling/therapeutic roles in areas that may include, play therapy; rehabilitation counselling; art therapy; disability and inclusion
  • Specialist clinical areas that may include, child development; drug and alcohol; working with ageing/disability populations; emergency services; education; family violence
  • Allied health areas that may include, nursing/midwifery; health promotion; occupational/speech/physiotherapy; occupational health; audiology

Examples of study of social sciences include:

  • Anthropology
  • Community development
  • Criminology
  • Economics with health/social focus
  • First Nation/Indigenous studies
  • Geography
  • International relations
  • Legal studies with health/social focus
  • Politics/political sciences
  • Public health
  • Sociology/social sciences
  • Sustainability with health/social focus

Students who have successfully completed an AQF(7), Bachelor degree with four relevant units of study (typically two units in the study of behavioural sciences and two units in the study of social sciences and equal to 0.5 EFTSL) AND who have successfully completed the Acknowledge Education’s Graduate Certificate in Health and Community are eligible for direct entry to the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) at Acknowledge Education.

Candidates entering the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) who have completed a three-year social welfare program may be granted a maximum of 25% or four units as long as they can meet all required learning outcomes for Australian social work graduates as defined in ASWEAS 2021.

Any articulation, RPL or credit transfer will be done in accordance with criteria specified in the ASWEAS (2021) guidelines.  Please click here to download Awarding Credit in Higher Education Programs Procedure and Awarding Credit in Higher Education Programs Policy.

English Language Requirements

To be accepted into the course, you must complete one of the following English proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 7.0, (with no band below 7.0), or
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE(A): minimum overall score of 65 (with no communication band less than 65), or
  • TOEFL iBT: MSW(Q) minimum overall score of 94 (with no minimum of 24 of Reading, 24 in Listening, 24 in Speaking and 27 in Writing), or
  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): minimum 185 with no less than 185 in any component

Please click here to download Admissions Procedure for Overseas Students (HE and VET)

Entry Requirements

Students admitted to the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) are required to have completed a relevant three-year AQF Level 7 degree course that contains at least one year, or the equivalent, of full-time studies in the social and behavioural sciences.

Examples of studies in behavioural science include:

  • Psychology, including psychology research and policy
  • Counselling/therapeutic roles in areas that may include, play therapy; rehabilitation counselling; art therapy; disability and inclusion
  • Specialist clinical areas that may include, child development; drug and alcohol; working with ageing/disability populations; emergency services; education; family violence
  • Allied health areas that may include, nursing/midwifery; health promotion; occupational/speech/physiotherapy; occupational health; audiology

Examples of study of social sciences include:

  • Anthropology
  • Community development
  • Criminology
  • Economics with health/social focus
  • First Nation/Indigenous studies
  • Geography
  • International relations
  • Legal studies with health/social focus
  • Politics/Political Sciences
  • Public health
  • Sociology/Social sciences
  • Sustainability with health/social focus

Candidates entering the Master of Social Work program who have completed a three-year social welfare program may be granted a maximum of 25% or four units as long as they can meet all required learning outcomes for Australian social work graduates as defined in ASWEAS 2021.

Any articulation, RPL or credit transfer will be done in accordance with criteria specified in the ASWEAS (2021) guidelines. Please click here to download Awarding Credit in Higher Education Programs Procedure and Awarding Credit in Higher Education Programs Policy.

Additional Requirements

Other requirements required prior to commencing fieldwork placements:

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Record
  • National Police Record Check and/or Police clearance from country of residence
  • Working with Children Check

Professional Recognition

Students who have undertaken the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) can seek the Australian Association of Social Work full membership.

For more information, please visit the AASW website.

Course Outcomes

The Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) for the Master of Social Work are designed to align with the AASW Attributes of Australian Social Work Graduates and the Australian Quality Framework specifications for Master’s Degrees (AQF Level 9).

Occupational titles for graduates with this qualification may include:

  • Social Worker
  • Program Coordinator
  • Child Protection Officer
  • Mental Health Practitioner
  • Family Counsellor
  • School Counsellor
  • Case Manager
  • Youth Worker
  • Juvenile Justice Officer
  • Child and Family Practitioner
  • Community Development Worker 

Dates

View all dates here.

Fees - Local Student

Tuition fees: 

Capstone Pathway

$3,275 per unit x 12 units

$6,550 per unit x 2 units

Dissertation Pathway

$3,275 per unit x 12 units

$6,550 per unit x 3 units

Administration fee: $250

FEE-HELP

FEE-HELP is a loan scheme available to eligible local full fee-paying higher education students which assists with the payment of part or all of their student contribution.

Please click here for more information on admissions for local students.

Fees - International Student

Tuition fees: 

Capstone Pathway

$3,275 per unit x 12 units

$6,550 per unit x 2 units

Dissertation Pathway

$3,275 per unit x 12 units

$6,550 per unit x 3 units

Administration fee: $250

 

View fee list here.

How to Apply

How to Apply

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