Master of Social Work (Qualifying) | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

Advance your skills and knowledge for a fairer world. As societies tackle modern challenges, social workers address structural inequalities and ensure people do not experience marginalisation. This professionally accredited, post-qualifying degree enables you to effect meaningful change.

In this program 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
  • 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


Save over 50%*

*All eligible domestic applicants will receive a guaranteed Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), reducing the program cost from $44,956 to $20,012.

Fees are indicative for 2023 and subject to yearly changes.





2 years 2 years Full-time or equivalent part-time Only a full-time option is available to international students on a Student visa. Online programs are not available to Student visa holders.
Full-time or equivalent part-time Only a full-time option is available to international students on a Student visa. Online programs are not available to Student visa holders.

Indicative fees

Indicative 2024 fees (A$)

A$10,788 / A$24,204 - 2024 Fees CSP / Fee-paying
CSP / Fee-paying
A$27,000 Annual fee
Annual fee


  • Semester 1
  • Semester 2
  • Semester 1
  • Semester 2
Semester 2 commencement is available as part-time only and is not available to international students on a Student Visa. Semester 2 commencement is available as part-time only and is not available to international students on a Student Visa.

Career opportunities

  • Aged care
  • Child protection
  • Community agencies
  • Community development
  • Family support
  • Government organisations
  • Health
  • Human service management
  • Income support
  • Indigenous rights
  • Mental health
  • Private practice
  • Refugee and migrant support
  • Social work
  • Youth work


Graduates may be eligible to become members of:

  • Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)

Membership to the AASW enables graduates to apply to become a mental health accredited practitioner, which attracts a Medicare rebate for private practitioners.


The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) is fully accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

  • Semester 1
  • Semester 2
  • Semester 1
  • Semester 2
Delivery mode
  • Blended Learning
Total courses
Total units
2 years 2 years
UniSC program code
Program coordinator
Program structure
Required courses (12) 192 units

SWK700 Master of Social Work Field Education 1(36 units)
SWK701 Master of Social Work Field Education 2(36 units)
SWK703 Introduction to Social Work
SWK704 Advanced Direct Practice 1
SWK705 Advanced Direct Practice 2
SWK706 International and Global Social Work
SWK708 Engaging and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
SWK710 Advocacy and Leadership in Social Policy and Legal Contexts
SWK777 Children, Youth and Families: Challenges, Critique and Change
SWK785 Social Work in Health and Mental Health
SCS725 Advanced Social Research
SCS730 Advanced Social Work Theories for Practice

Note: Not all UniSC courses are available on every UniSC campus.


Study sequences

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.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you also need to meet the minimum English language requirements for your chosen program. If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you may like to enrol in one of our English Language Programs.

Post admission requirements

A student’s enrolment in field education will be conditional upon the following:

• the student’s eligibility for a Blue Card at the time of the first enrolment in the program
• maintenance of that eligibility throughout the entire program
• acquisition of a Blue Card prior to commencement of field education cable

Program requirements
In order to graduate you must:
  • Successfully complete 192 units as outlined in the Program Structure
  • All students are required to complete a minimum of 140 hours (equivalent to 20 full days) of face-to-face classroom-based learning, the focus of which is professional practice skills. At least 35 hours (equivalent to 5 full days) of face-to-face professional skills learning must occur before the first placement.
  • Professional skill competencies that must be demonstrated in classroom learning include but are not limited to: advanced oral communication skills and professional documentation; assessment, engagement and decision-making with individuals and groups; developing the personal and professional insight and emotional intelligence required for effective use of self as a professional.
  • Successfully complete 2 field education placements for a total of 1000 hours in different settings
In order to commence field education placement, you must:
  • Hold a valid Blue Card, throughout the duration of your program, which is issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (CCYPCG). You should allow 12 weeks for CCYPCG to issue the card. Note: students who do not possess a valid Blue Card or become ineligible will be unable to complete the field education component of their program and will be unable to meet graduation requirements
  • Have a National Criminal History check (by Queensland Police Service or other state/territory authority)
  • Travel to attend field education placements at your own expense
  • Please note, while all endeavours 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
  • Have all required mandatory vaccines
Program notes
  • Semester 2 commencement is available as part-time only (please see the study sequence for further details).
  • Semester 2 commencement is not available to international students on a Student Visa
  • 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.
WIL notes
  • It is a Queensland Government requirement that students undertaking a placement within a clinical setting are fit tested annually for an approved respirator. Clinical settings include hospitals, residential aged care facilities, residential disability care facilities, prison health services, youth detention health services, community health care settings, and vaccination clinics. If the Fit Testing requirement applies to placement activity within your Program, it will appear in your mandatory checks on Sonia Online. In accordance with Australian Standards, you must be clean shaven for your fit test. Facial hair that lies along the sealing surface of a tight-fitting respirator prevents an effective seal. Therefore, it is a requirement that there is no hair growth between the skin and the facepiece sealing surface in order to achieve a fit. At this stage, there is no exemption in Queensland to this requirement for religious or other reasons and UniSC is unable to waive this requirement.
  • It is no longer a requirement that students in Master of Social Work (Qualifying) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

    Please note that some placement host organisations have chosen to continue requiring COVID-19 vaccination. If you are not fully vaccinated, it is important to know that placement opportunities in your program may be limited and may result in a delay to your placement.

    UniSC still strongly recommends that all students undertaking placement are fully vaccinated and provide evidence of this vaccination status to the University.

  • For more information on mandatory requirements refer to Social Work - Placement.
Inherent academic requirements

Prospective students must consider the Inherent Academic Requirements before applying to study this program.

Refer to Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work (Qualifying) - Inherent Academic Requirements

UniSC strongly supports the rights of all people to pursue studies. The University embraces diversity and endeavours to accommodate all students.

What are Inherent Academic Requirements (IARs)?

The IARs of a program are those fundamental skills, capabilities and knowledge that students must be able to demonstrate in order to achieve the essential learning outcomes of the program, while maintaining the academic integrity of that program.

Students with a disability or chronic health condition may be able to have reasonable adjustments made to enable them to meet these requirements.

UniSC is committed to making reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning, assessment, placement and other activities to enable students to participate in their program.

Reasonable adjustments must not fundamentally change the nature of the IAR.

Consideration is given to a student's cultural and religious background/beliefs, which may impact on participation in their program or course. For further information contact Student Support.

Why are Inherent Academic Requirements (IARs) important?

IARs ensure the academic integrity of a program is maintained and preserves the University's learning, assessment and accreditation processes. They must be met by all students.

How does this affect you?

To successfully complete a program at UniSC, you need to be able to meet all the Inherent Academic Requirements.

If you are applying for a program, you should read the IAR statement carefully to ensure you are able to meet them.

If you have a disability or chronic health condition, contact a UniSC Disability Advisor to talk about the adjustments that may be put in place so you can meet the requirements.

CSP estimate
Fee-paying estimate
A$24,204 - 2024 Fees
Annual tuition fee (A$, 2024)

International student fee information is available on the Tuition fees and other costs page. For information on how higher degree by research student fees are calculated, including the Student Services and Amenities Fee, visit the Higher Degree by Research Student Fee Calculation Information page. Visit the HDR scholarships page for information on available scholarships.

Estimated total tuition fees are based on 2023 rates and the minimum number of courses required within the programs standard duration.

Annual tuition fees are based on 2023 rates and the equivalent full-time student load as per the recommended study sequence in the relevant program.

Actual fees payable are based on the actual enrolment load in a teaching period (excluding Study Abroad and Postgraduate Qualifying Pathway).

All prices quoted are in Australian Dollars (A$).

Commonwealth supported places

Commonwealth supported places are substantially subsidised by the Australian Government so that students only pay 'student contribution" amounts. The student contribution amount will vary depending on the course you are studying and how much funding the Government provides.

If you accept a Commonwealth supported place you are a Commonwealth supported student. As a Commonwealth supported student you must make a contribution towards the cost of your education (unless you are enrolled in Enabling or Tertiary Preparation Pathway courses) with the majority of the cost met by the Commonwealth Government.

Commonwealth supported places are only available to domestic students. As a domestic student you are entitled to a Commonwealth supported place in an eligible program if you:

  • meet the citizenship and residency requirements
  • complete an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)
  • meet the University's entry requirements for your chosen program.

Fee-paying places

A fee-paying place is not covered by any government subsidy, and you are required to pay the full cost of the courses you are studying.

If you accept a fee-paying place, you can defer the cost of your studies via a FEE-HELP loan. Eligibility for a FEE-HELP loan is the same as for a Commonwealth-supported place. You must:

  • meet the citizenship and residency requirements
  • complete an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)
  • meet the University's entry requirements for your chosen program.

To apply for the Master of Social Work (Qualifying), submit the completed application form and personal statement form to USC. For more information visit Application forms.

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. 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. UniSC 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 CSP entrants during that admission period.

Domestic applicants apply for admission direct to UniSC.

Find out about how to apply and key application closing dates.

No matter what kind of future you’re looking for, you can find it at UniSC. Our programs offer the choice and flexibility you need to get started on any career goal.

Visit How to apply for simple steps to submit your international student application and start your UniSC experience today.

Need help with submitting your application?

UniSC has appointed representatives to assist you with submitting your application and provide information about the steps you need to complete to begin your studies. You can contact a UniSC Representative in your area.

Any questions? Contact us.

Fully accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
UniSC ranked in the global top 50 for Good Health and Wellbeing THE Impact Rankings 2023
#2 in Australia for overall experience in postgraduate Social Work Good Universities Guide 2023
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