Rise, and create a more socially just world.
This program is an academically advanced 2-year post-qualifying degree that builds on the prior knowledge and experiences that students bring to their studies. Our professionally accredited program develops critically reflective and analytical practitioners, equipping them with innovative knowledge and skills to undertake social action, counselling, community development, policy analysis and development, advocacy and research to work with people individually and collectively for change.
Students complete two field education placements (1000 hours in total), enabling integration of classroom learning with practical workplace experience in a huge range of fields including: health and mental health, child protection, disability, substance abuse, family violence, homelessness, working with young people, families, the elderly, refugees and Indigenous communities. Employment opportunities are extremely diverse in both government and community settings.
The degree also provides a pathway to become a Medicare rebated, mental health accredited practitioner through the AASW for graduates who want to pursue a career in private practice.
This program opens up jobs in social work, aged care, health services, youth work, and as a counsellor. You can use your Master’s degree to advance your existing career, too. Employment opportunities as a social worker or counsellor are in demand in government organisations, community agencies, and private practice in Australia and overseas.
The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) is fully accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).
Graduates will be eligible for membership to the AASW and to practice as professional social workers. Membership to the AASW enables you to apply to become a mental health accredited practitioner, which attracts a Medicare rebate for private practitioners.
Fully accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).
Blue Cards are issued by the Public Safety Business Agency. More information on Blue Cards, and how to apply.
To be eligible for admission:
- Applicants must hold a relevant 3-year Bachelor degree (AQF Level 7) that includes the equivalent of at least one year of full-time studies in social sciences (studies of the individual and society). This is the minimum entry requirement as set out by the ASWEAS guidelines (2012).
- If an applicant's prior degree has not specifically addressed social work, sociology and psychology, they may be required to undertake additional foundational study as determined by the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law (usually the Program Coordinator of Master of Social Work (Qualifying)), including:
- Applicants may also be required to attend an interview
- Please refer to the English language requirements
- Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa.
The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) offers a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) as well as domestic fee paying places. Offers for both CSP and fee paying places will be made after the application due date for the program.
CSP will be allocated on the basis of your Grade Point Average in the degree used to meet admission requirements. In cases where a potential student has undertaken recommended additional courses in order to gain entry to the degree (as per details on the USC website), GPA in these additional courses will be used as the basis for entry using the same entry cut-off applied to other CSP entrants during that admission period. Applicants falling below the demand-driven cut-off for a CSP may be offered a domestic fee paying place (with the option to access FEE-HELP) subject to capacity limitations. USC reserves the right to offer a small number of CSP to students from ATSIC or disadvantaged backgrounds.
Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and permanent visa holders enrolled in a fee paying place will have the option of applying for a CSP in subsequent semesters if one becomes available. In these cases, the student’s current GPA in the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) will be used to assess eligibility for a CSP place using the same entry cut-off applied for new CPS entrants during that admission period.
Application and admission advice
Contact Student Central
+61 7 5430 2890
Ground floor, Building C, Sippy Downs
30 September 2016
Passion for social justice fuels Chancellor’s Medallist
Taking the plunge into a new career path to help more of society’s most vulnerable people has earned Natalie Alexander a University of the Sunshine Coast Chancellor’s Medal.
18 August 2014
Social work book aims to drive change
The founding Associate Professor and Head of Social Work at USC will give a public lecture and launch her new book on campus on Tuesday 19 August.
27 May 2013
USC study program inspires whole family
The University’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway program has inspired a whole family to pursue their career dreams.
29 April 2013
Women's advocate to give free USC lecture
The head of Sisters Inside Inc, a group advocating for the rights of women in Queensland’s criminal justice system, will give a free public lecture at the University of the Sunshine Coast tomorrow, Tuesday 30 April, from 2-3pm.
5 March 2013
Social Work student receives Indigenous scholarship
Mt Coolum resident Nicole Watson, who is starting a Master of Social Work at USC, has received a USC Indigenous Postgraduate Scholarship.
What will I study
Select your location, starting year and starting semester below to display your program structure and a recommended study sequence.
Required courses (12)
SCS701 Engaging Effectively with Aboriginal People
SCS725 Advanced Social Research
SCS730 Critical Social Theory: Power, Critique and Praxis
SCS790 Engaging effectively with culturally diverse people
SWK700 Master of Social Work Field Education 1 (36 units)
SWK701 Master of Social Work Field Education 2 (36 units)
SWK702 Collective Critical Practice: Developmental Approaches
SWK707 Ethical Social Work Practice in Complex Contexts
SWK710 Advocacy and Leadership in Social Policy Contexts
SWK766 Mental Health and Social Work
SWK777 Children, Youth and Families: Challenges, Critique and Change
SWK785 Social Work in Health and Mental Health
Note: Not all USC courses are available on every USC campus.
Total units: 192
Recommended study sequence
This recommended study sequence ONLY represents the CURRENT program structure. Students in previous structures should use this sequence to inform order of courses and current course details. For courses in your commencing structure not included in the current sequence, search the course code for current course offerings and requisites.
In order to graduate you must:
- Successfully complete 192 units as outlined in the Program Structure
Requirements for field education
To complete this program you must successfully complete field education (ie SWK700 Master of Social Work Field Education 1 and SWK701 Master of Social Work Field Education 2) for which you are required to obtain a Blue Card (issued by the Public Safety Business Agency).
Your enrolment in field education will be conditional upon the following:
- your eligibility for a Blue Card at the time of the first enrolment in the program
- maintenance of that eligibility throughout the entire of the program
- acquisition of a Blue Card prior to commencement of field education.
In the event that you become ineligible for a Blue Card, at any time between the date of first enrolment and the date of completion of the program, you will not be able to complete the program.
Please note, while all effort will be made to place students in a given semester, this is not guaranteed and students may need to enrol at a later time should a position in an agency be unavailable in the preferred semester.
Field education includes professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake these placements away from the campus at their own expense.
How to apply
Am I eligible to apply?
- Confirm that you meet the program specific admission requirements, prerequisites and recommended prior study outlined on Why study this program?
- Confirm that you meet the general postgraduate admission requirements and English Language Proficiency requirements
- Download and complete the Application for postgraduate coursework form and submit directly to USC.
- Lodge the completed application form with supporting documentation to Student Central by the due date.
Apply direct to USC International
International students should contact USC International
How to enrol
New to USC?
Once you have applied and received your offer of a place from USC, follow the steps to Get Started at USC to respond to your offer, plan your study and enrol in your courses.
Before you enrol, visit Planning your study to plan your study to make sure you study the right courses at the right time so you can finish your degree when you plan to.
Visit How do I enrol? for enrolment instructions and key dates.
Refer to the Academic Calendar for key semester, session and/or trimester dates.