Master of Social Work

2 years full-time, Parkville — Domestic and International students. CRICOS code: 061212E

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The MSW degree:

  • Prepares students for professional social work practice in a diverse range of contexts;
  • Provides students with foundational theories informing social work practice;
  • Introduces students to the methods of social work practice, including casework, counselling, groupwork, community development, policy and research;
  • Introduces students to the fields of social work practice, including child and family, health and mental health;
  • Immerses students in practice through the two 500 hour (approximately 67 days) fieldwork placements;
  • Provides a pathway for graduates wanting to pursue doctoral study.

Course Description

Our Master of Social Work (MSW) offers you an outstanding postgraduate course of study, preparing you for professional practice in a diverse range of social work contexts. It provides you with a nationally and internationally benchmarked course of study in the theory and practice of social work. On completion you will be eligible to apply for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

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).

Learning and teaching

You will benefit from our research-led teaching, based on up-to-date research that allows you to apply the most relevant theory to your social work practice. We offer mixed teaching methods: lectures, tutorials, seminars, collaborative learning and practice simulations. This ensures a rich and diverse learning environment, and is inclusive of all students. Our specially designed interview simulation rooms allow you to practice and review your skills in a safe environment before commencing your fieldwork placements.


  • This is one of the first masters degrees accredited nationally by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). A masters degree in social work is a portable qualification, enabling you to work locally, nationally or internationally
  • Our staff are highly qualified, experienced, research-active and accessible teachers, with strong ties to the profession and community services. This means that your practice will be informed by the most up-to-date research available
  • We have a well-developed field education program, including several student units in key agencies in the health, ageing, child and family, drug and alcohol and women's services, giving you the broadest possible placements to practice your skills
  • Our staff have extensive expertise in particular fields of practice, such as mental health, child and family practice, health, ageing and substance abuse, so you can access the best available knowledge in your special area of interest
  • The University offers excellent student facilities and services on campus, contributing to a rich and diverse learning environment
  • Our graduates have an excellent employment record in a wide range of fields and job descriptions. Our reputation for producing top graduates further enhances your employment prospects
  • We give you strong research preparation through specific skill development in social work research. This is important in teaching you to utilise current research to inform your practice and as preparation for research studies
  • We are part of one of the most research-intensive faculties in Australia
  • You will undertake a specialist elective in the final semester. Throughout the degree you will find special areas of social work that interest you. You can follow these up more closely by undertaking a specialist elective in health, psychiatric disability, group work, aged care, child and family, social policy or mental health
  • You will be part of a diverse and talented population of students at entry-to-practice, advanced practice and research levels. We employ internationally recognised social work researchers with extensive affiliations within community services and international universities.

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