Master of Social Work by Research - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Master of Social Work by Research

Use your research skills to drive social change.

Social work is a dynamic profession that is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of society and individuals. This advanced program lets you address the growing need for practice-based research by completing your own original research project.

Study locations
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Fraser Coast
  • Gympie
  • Caboolture
Refer to the program footnotes
Semester 2
Program length (full-time)
2 years
Annual tuition fee 2021
Estimated total tuition fee *
  • Only a full-time option is available to international students on a Student visa. Online programs are not available to Student visa holders.
  • * Estimated tuition fees are based on 2021 rates. Refer to international fees for more information.
  • Not all majors/minors and elective options are available at every campus. You should refer to the What Can I Study tab, and the proposed study sequence for your chosen campus and intake for further information.
Study locations QTAC code
  • Caboolture
  • Fraser Coast
  • Gympie
USC program code
Semester 2
2 years full time or equivalent part time
Study mode
Blended Learning
Fee type 2021
Total units

You'll be guided by expert supervisors to develop your research skills and make an important contribution to your chosen area of social work practice. This is an ideal way to explore an area of professional interest and advance your academic qualifications in the field.

In this program you will:

  • Tailor your research project to suit your area of interest.
  • Work with highly experienced supervisors to complete an original thesis that contributes to the body of knowledge in your field.
  • Advance your research skills and build your knowledge of professional social work practice.
Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission to Master of Social Work by Research candidature, applicants must have completed a professional qualification in social work, duly accredited or recognised by the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Entry by non-graduates who have relevant governmental or industry experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In exceptional cases applications may be considered on the basis of other evidence of general and professional qualifications as approved by the Research Degrees Committee.

Refer to the University’s English language requirements.

Admission is subject to availability of appropriate supervision and facilities.

Advanced standing

No advanced standing will be granted to students with an undergraduate qualification.

Program structure

During candidature you must complete one course, SCS725 Advanced Social Research and compile a thesis of 30,000–35,000 words.

You are required to conduct research that can be written up as a scholarly thesis. You must demonstrate research competency and the ability to make a significant and original contribution to the body of knowledge in your chosen area of specialisation.

As a candidate you must clearly articulate in your research outline, the topic, background, rationale, research question, aim and objectives, methodology, research methods and techniques, and timeframe. Your research outline is to include a literature review that relates to the research question and objectives.

The results of your research activities should be presented succinctly and accurately and as necessary could be supported by more detailed annexures.

Your syntheses analysis and discussion must clearly focus on the research question and the objectives of the work.

Conclusions and recommendations must be drawn from your analysis and discussion and reflect the attainment of the aim and the way in which the research question is addressed.

Program requirements and notes
  1. Prospective applicants wishing to undertake a Master of Social Work can use the Research Supervisor Search to find a suitable supervisor.
  2. Students are required to successfully complete one 24-unit course and a thesis as specified in the Master of Social Work program structure.
  3. For further information, refer to the Higher Degrees by Research - Academic Policy.
  4. Refer to related policies, rules, plans and procedures.
  5. Refer to the research areas for the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.
  6. Refer to the University's English language proficiency requirements.
  7. Not available to international students on a Student Visa.
Enrolment and fees
  1. Domestic candidates: Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents will be assessed for a Research Training Program Fee Offset Scholarship as part of the admission process. The RTP Fee Offset Scholarship may cover tuition fees for a period of up to 2 years for Masters candidates. Candidates who do not complete their degree within the 2 year period will be required to pay fees for any additional periods of enrolment. Please refer to Higher Degree by Research fees.
  2. International candidates: tuition fees apply. Refer to International HDR tuition fees.
  3. In any semester, full-time enrolment comprises 0.500 EFTSL.*
  4. In any semester, part-time enrolment comprises 0.250 EFTSL.*
  5. The census date for withdrawal without financial penalty or academic penalty is the Semester 1 or 2 census date.

* EFTSL - Equivalent Full-Time Student Load. One year of full-time study equates to 1.000 EFTSL.

Total units: 192

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Questions? Ask us anything about studying this program. Alternatively, contact Student Central with any student-related enquiries.

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