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Study social work with us

Why study with us?

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Overview

Become an accredited social worker with the Master of Social Work (Qualifying). You'll advance your career and be equipped to take on social work roles in health and community services.

The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) equips you to take on leadership roles in social work, the health and community services sector and related fields of practice.

If your ambition is to make a positive difference in mental health, women's services, corrections, disability support, child and family services, migrant and refugee services or international development, then this is the program for you.

The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) equips you with the skills and knowledge to become a professional social worker in the health, community services or non-government sector. It is also a pathway to leadership roles in social work and related professions.

Commonwealth Supported Places

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for postgraduate study for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSPs are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

Domestic student applications for the Semester 1 intake open on the last Friday in August of the preceding year.

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Applicants are advised to download the supplementary application forms (supplementary form, referee report, supporting documents checklist) and complete the information before commencing their online application, as only completed applications will be assessed. 

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 31 October of the preceding year.

Only complete applications that include supplementary documentation will be considered. Applications received after this deadline may be considered if places are still available.

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Applicants are advised to download the supplementary application forms (supplementary formreferee reportsupporting documents checklist) and complete the information before commencing their online application, as only completed applications will be assessed. 

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March)

What you'll study

To qualify for the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) you will complete 96 credit points, comprising:

  • 78 credit points of core units, including a capstone unit; and
  • 18 credit points of elective units, including a minimum of one research unit.

The course is timetabled to enable students to continue to work on at least a part time basis. Some units of study will be delivered flexibly in block and/or on-line. Also, some core units are offered in alternating years.

The AASW guidelines indicate all students must complete 980 hours of work-based training under the direct supervision of a suitably experienced and qualified social work practitioner. Arrangements for practice learning will be negotiated on a case by case basis with students, exploring the possibilities for recognition of prior learning and placement in existing workplaces. These negotiations will be with the Director of Field Education and will be consistent with the requirements of the AASW for accredited practice. For further information regarding the course structure, please visit the School of Education and Social Work website.

Work component

Mandatory work component = 980 hours.

This mandatory work component must be completed as part of the award requirements for the course. 

Completion requirement

The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) is a 2-year full time or 4-year part time course of study. 

  1. Except with the permission of the Dean, a candidate must complete all unit of study requirements specified for each year, including field education units, before proceeding to the next year.
  2. Candidates must pass the core unit of study, SCWK5010 Social Work Practice, before proceeding to the core unit of study, SCWK5004 Practice Learning 1.
  3. Candidates must pass the core unit of study, SCWK5004 Practice Learning 1 and a minimum of 12 credit points before proceeding to the core unit of study, SCWK5005 Practice Learning 2A. Candidates must complete 980 hours of work-based training over the duration of the course.
  4. Candidates must complete the capstone unit in the final semester of the course.

Capstone (compulsory project)

In order to be eligible to enrol in SCWK5003 Intergration of Learning capstone, you must have completed or are about to complete 140 days of field education and at least one master's level research unit of study (6 credit points).

Intergration of Learning is undertaken during the final semester of the MSWQ and enables you to demonstrate your learning across all MSWQ units and contribute to knowledge building and practice in the profession.

Admission requirement

Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit. Admission to candidature for the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) requires:

  • a relevant Australian bachelor's degree (Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate) or equivalent qualification; and
  • evidence of the ability to meet the required prerequisite knowledge in relation to human development and of society; and
  • evidence of relevant employment history in human and community services industry (generally evidence of at least 2 years is required).

In exceptional circumstances, the Dean may admit applicants without a bachelor's degree who, in the opinion of the Faculty, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award. This may include evidence through publications or authorship of official documents.

Inherent requirements for programs in social work

To assist you to make informed choices about your study, the School of Education and Social Work has identified inherent requirements for coursework-award courses in social work. In order to successfully complete such a course, you must possess these qualities and skills. (PDF)

Professional accreditation

This is an AASW-accredited qualification. It is an entry qualification into the social work profession and has been determined to meet the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS).

Career Pathways

The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) responds to the key priority learning areas identified by the AASW accreditation process: child protection; cross-cultural practice; standards for practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities; and mental health. Graduates are able to take leadership roles in the social work profession, the health and community services sector, and other fields of practice.

Future study

The University of Sydney is Australia's premier research University, and the faculty is a world-class research centre in the humanities, human services and related fields. Several higher research degrees are available within the Sydney School of Education and Social Work, including Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Social Work, and Master of Philosophy in Social Work.

Professional development

The Sydney School of Education and Social Work offers a wealth of experience and expertise in the development and delivery of professional development activities. Please visit our website to find out about the range of consultancy and customised programs, conferences, colloquia and symposia, and professional learning courses offered by the school.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.