Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

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Master of Social Work (Qualifying)


Program summary

Dr Athena Lathouras
Program coordinator

Dr Athena Lathouras

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.

Career opportunities

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).

Professional recognition

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.

Admission requirements

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 sociology and psychology, they may be required to undertake additional foundational study as determined by the School of Social Science (usually the Program Coordinator of Master of Social Work (Qualifying)), including: 

Applicants must complete a Personal Statement Form (up to 500 words) detailing the following:

  • What is your motivation to choose a career pathway into Social Work and what are the qualities you bring
  • How do your previous studies and experience align with the degree

Applicants may also be required to attend an interview.

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

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Contact Student Central
+61 7 5430 2890
Ground floor, Building C, Sippy Downs

What will I study

Select your location, starting year and starting semester below to display your program structure and a recommended study sequence.

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.

Program requirements

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.

Program notes
  • Completing this program within the specified (full-time) duration is based on studying 48 unit points per semester (normally 4 courses) and following the recommended study sequence
  • The unit value of all courses is 12 units unless otherwise specified
  • It is each students responsibility to enrol correctly according to your course requisites, program rules and requirements and be aware of the academic calendar dates
  • Prior to entry into the program applicants will be required to submit their current Blue Card.
  • Refer to the University's English language proficiency requirements
  • Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa
  • Refer to the Managing your progression page for help in understanding your program structure, reviewing your progress and planning remaining courses.

How to apply

Am I eligible to apply?
Domestic students
  1. Download and complete the Application for postgraduate coursework form.
  2. Lodge the completed application form with supporting documentation to Student Central by the due date.
International students

Apply direct to USC International

More information

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 the correct courses (subjects).

Continuing students

Before you enrol it's important to check your commencing program structure and the published recommended study sequence to make sure you study the right courses at the right time and will be ready to graduate from your degree when you plan to.

To better understand your program structure and for instructions on how to review your progress and plan your remaining courses, visit the Managing your progression page.

Visit How do I enrol? for enrolment instructions and key dates.

Need assistance?

View step-by-step instructions to enrol at How do I enrol?

Refer to the Academic Calendar for key dates, including the last day to add, drop or swap a course or class and Census dates.

Search for answers and ask questions about enrolling or contact Student Central.

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