Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

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Master of Social Work (Qualifying)


Program summary

Student profile
Dr Athena Lathouras
Program coordinator

Dr Athena Lathouras

Advance your skills and knowledge to create a more just world.

Social work is becoming an increasingly important discipline in our rapidly changing world. As societies reckon with the challenges posed by globalism, populism, social and economic exploitation, and climate change, social work practice works to address structural inequalities and ensure people do not experience marginalisation based on their gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, age or geographical living situation. This professionally accredited, post-qualifying degree builds on your prior knowledge and experience, and gives you the advanced knowledge and skills you need to work with people – both individually and collectively – to effect social change.

In this degree you will:

  • Develop your skills as a critically reflective and analytical social work practitioner 
  • Build the advanced innovative knowledge and skills required to undertake social action, community development, policy analysis and development, advocacy and research
  • Complete two field education placements (1000 hours in total) to integrate 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
Career opportunities

This program opens up jobs in diverse social work settings including health, mental health, family support, child protection, aged care, youth work, income support, community development, refugee and migrant support, Indigenous rights and human service management. Employment opportunities as a social worker are in demand in government organisations, community agencies, and in 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 are eligible for membership to the AASW and to practice as professional social workers. Membership to the AASW enables graduates to apply to become a mental health accredited practitioner, which attracts a Medicare rebate for private practitioners.

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 contains at least one year, or the equivalent, of full-time studies in social and behavioural sciences. This is the minimum entry requirement as set out by the ASWEAS guidelines (2019).

If an applicant's prior degree has not specifically addressed the above, 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)).

To be accepted into the program, international students who have not completed a Year 12 or equivalent secondary school level qualification or higher qualification in the English language consistent with the requirements for admission to AQF Level 9 degree course in Australia must have a minimum score of 7.0 or higher in each component (listening, reading, writing and speaking) of the Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test upon application.

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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What will I study

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

The recommended study sequence ONLY represents the CURRENT program structure. Students MUST follow their commencing structure and use this recommended study sequence to guide enrolment.

Program structure

Total units:

Study sequence

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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