The Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) is an innovative course based on a problem-based learning paradigm. This course is suited to applicants who have undertaken prior study in the social sciences, social welfare, psychology, or related fields. The course enables students to gain the skills, knowledge and values to be strategic, ethical and reflective social work practitioners in a wide range of organisational settings, including working with individuals, groups and communities.
Major areas of study
The course includes core content in child protection, cross-cultural practice, mental health work, and work with people from Indigenous communities. It covers essential theories and methods of social work practice including effective practice in working with individuals, groups and communities. Students are also exposed to key knowledge in using social policy and the law to advance the rights of clients and community members.
Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.
|Graduate Attribute||Course Learning Outcome|
Ability to apply social work values, knowledge and skills in research processes to address client needs, organisational goals and social policy change.
Ensure that client needs, organisational goals and community expectations of social work services are met in the most appropriate manner, using social work knowledge, skills and resources.
Engage in direct social work practice, through mutual engagement and the application of knowledge, ethics and skills, to ensure that clients’ needs are met, that their potential is developed and that their control over their lives is fostered.
|Knowledge of a discipline|
Promote and implement policies and practices to achieve a fair, equitable and efficient allocation of social resources, and identify inappropriate or inequitable policy goals and outcomes.
Demonstrate a commitment to continually increase professional knowledge and skills and to continuing education and lifelong learning.
|Communication and social skills|
Effectively communicate with a wide range of stakeholders, including clients, colleagues, and managers, including within a multi-disciplinary team environment.
Ability to apply knowledge of organisational and societal systems and processes to identify inequality and ensure appropriate action is taken so that social barriers, inequality and injustice are reduced.
Assessment items may include essays, research reports, case analysis, assessment of competence on their field placements, and recording interviewing skills.
All students need to have access to high speed broadband in order to complete the online activities, which are a core part of this course.
On-campus students have unlimited internet and email access and can connect to the University’s library catalogues, online full-text journal databases and book and article request service. Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, workshops, and online discussion forums and problem-based learning material. Some units require compulsory class attendance in line with AASW accreditation standards.
The online study option for this course is interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students have contact with tutors, access to online problem-based learning material and discussion forums, study guides and access to all library services.
On-campus students take three units in online mode. For international students, this complies with international visa requirements.
Residential schools: Online students are required to attend three compulsory seven-day residential schools to be held at the Gold Coast campus, in line with AASW accreditation standards.
Graduates of this degree will qualify as social workers in Australia. Graduates may also be eligible to apply to work as social workers overseas.
Graduates will be suited to employment in a wide range of jobs in the health and community services sectors. These include positions that are designated solely for social work-qualified staff (e.g. in hospitals), as well as other human services jobs that are open to other graduates. Graduates may be employed in organisations such as Centrelink, public and private hospitals, child protection agencies, Australian Defence Force, domestic violence services, housing and homelessness agencies, aged care and disability services, mental health agencies, family counselling agencies, rehabilitation services and private practice.
In line with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) requirements, students will be required to undertake 1000 hours of supervised practice. All students, studying on campus or online, are required to attend two field education placements. These placements are completed in two separate organisations in different fields of practice so that students gain a diversity of experience.
The Social Work Field Placement I unit involves 400 hours (57 days) across Sessions 2 and 3 of the first year (of full-time study), with a minimum of three days per week spent on placement. In addition, the Social Work Field Placement II unit involves 600 hours (86 days) across Sessions 2 and 3 of the second year (of full-time study), with a minimum of three days per week spent on placement. These time commitments apply to both full-time and part-time students.
This is an Australian Association of Social Workers 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).
|Duration||2 years full-time; 4 years part-time|
Some classes for on-campus students are compulsory. Online students attend three compulsory seven-day residential schools at the Gold Coast campus.
|Fees|| Commonwealth supported
|Duration||2 years full-time; 4 years part-time|
Qualification equivalent to an Australian Bachelor degree. Refer to the Course Structure tab for specific admission requirements.
|English language IELTS||
MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.
The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.
Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.
The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.
The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the ‘Connect Now’ button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.
Equipment and facilities
General campus resources are available including access to computer laboratories for individual study purposes. Access to video recording facilities will be made available to on-campus students during classes and for online students during residential schools.
See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.
Table of contents
- All applicants must have completed a three-year undergraduate degree.
- All applicants must have undertaken some prior study in the social sciences, psychology, or related fields.
- All applicants must have an assessable entry qualification from a country where English is the main language and where the medium of instruction for that qualification was English, or demonstrate proficiency of English by an IELTS overall score of 7.0 with no less than 6.5 across each of the bands of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
To be awarded the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying ) students must successfully complete the 14 units (192 credit points) listed in the Schedule of Units.
Students can exit with the Graduate Diploma of Human Services Studies if the equivalent of 8 units (96 credit points) from the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) have successfully been completed.
Students who, while enrolled in the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying), have completed the requirements for the Graduate Diploma of Human Services Studies, may elect to be awarded the Graduate Diploma of Human Services Studies following withdrawal from the Master Degree.
Inherent Requirements apply to this course as defined on the Student Access & Inclusion website. If you have a disability or health condition which may impact on your ability to meet these requirements please refer to the Student Access & Inclusion website for further information and contact details.
Candidates, who have completed the SCU Bachelor of Social Welfare, or equivalent degree, may apply to have not more than 25% or four (4) units assessed for advanced standing, on a case by case basis.
Schedule of units
Students should use course progression information to select units specific to their course and enrol in these units using My Enrolment
Commencing Session 3
BSocWelf Pathway Commencing Session 1
Part-time Commencing Session 1
|Year 1, Session 1|
|WEL91003 - Social Work Foundations for Practice||Note 2|
|WEL91004 - Social Work Direct Practice I||Note 2|
|Year 1, Session 2|
|WEL91005 - Social Work Direct Practice II||Note 2|
|Year 2, Session 1|
|CSL10297 - Issues of Protection|
|WEL91002 - Social Policy and Law for Social Work|
|Year 2, Session 2|
|WEL91006 - Social Work Field Placement Ia||Note 1|
|Year 2, Session 3|
|WEL91007 - Social Work Field Placement Ib|
|Year 3, Session 1|
|WEL92001 - Social Work across the Lifespan||Note 2|
|WEL92002 - Social Work in Groups and Communities||Note 2|
|Year 3, Session 2|
|WEL92004 - Social Work Organisations, Leadership and Management|
|Year 4, Session 1|
|IHE03386 - Health and Indigenous Peoples|
|WEL92003 - Research for Social Work|
|Year 4, Session 2|
|WEL92005 - Social Work Field Placement IIa||Note 1|
|Year 4, Session 3|
|WEL92006 - Social Work Field Placement IIb|
Full-time Commencing Session 1
BSocWelf Pathway Commencing Session 3
|Note 1:||Double-weighted unit.|
|Note 2:||Residential School|
This course is available to:
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The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer
From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'