Student sitting across from someone and smiling

Course snapshot

Domestic snapshot

  • Start Date

    March, October

  • Duration

    2 years full-time; 4 years part-time

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Online
    All students, including those enrolled online, are required to participate in on-campus learning for a minimum of 20 days/150hrs over the duration of the course. This requirement is stipulated by the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS).

  • Placement

    Yes  Learn more

  • Course abbreviation

    MSW(ProfQual)

  • Course code

    1207269

  • Credit points

    192

  • Equivalent units

    16

  • Scholarships

  • Indicative fee

    Commonwealth supported

    All students, including those enrolled online, are required to participate in on-campus learning for a minimum of 20 days/150hrs over the duration of the course. This requirement is stipulated by the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS).

Please note, some locations may not have all intake periods available. See the full availability details for further information.

International snapshot

  • Start Date

    February, October

  • Duration

    2 years full-time

  • Location

    Gold Coast

  • Placement

    Yes  Learn more

Please note, some locations may not have all intake periods available. See the full availability details for further information.

Overview

Social workers can be a lifeline for people facing difficulties related to financial, medical, mental health or relational circumstances. This course enables you to develop the skills, knowledge and values to become a strategic, ethical and reflective social work practitioner.

Our accredited Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) is suited to applicants with previous experience in the study of the social sciences, social welfare, psychology or related fields.

In this program, you'll examine child protection, social policy and law, mental health, health issues impacting Indigenous communities, and leadership in social work organisations. You'll also undertake practice under the supervision of an experienced social worker. As a graduate, you'll be ready for a career as a professional social worker in Australia and may also be eligible for employment overseas.

Please note: All students, including those enrolled online, are required to participate in on-campus learning for a minimum of 20 days/150hrs over the duration of the course. This requirement is stipulated by the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS). Students meet this requirement by attending compulsory residential schools conducted at the Gold Coast campus.

Naomie Rigaud, SCU graduate stands smiling in a blue shirt in front of a healthplace reception

“I liked the location, the flexibility of studying online and meeting face-to-face for residentials. The learning content had a great mix between direct practice and critical reflection which was really valuable.”

The Southern Cross Model is a game-changer in higher education study.

Our students now engage in shorter, six-week unit structures designed around immersive and interactive learning experiences. The shorter unit structure gives students a greater sense of momentum as they achieve milestones quickly, resulting in increased student success rates, and course and teacher satisfaction. Lectures are a thing of the past - students will be engaged in active, interactive and discussion-based learning.

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes.

Our online study option is highly interactive and may include a combination of podcast or video-linked lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes.

The method of teaching and assessment may vary from unit to unit.

Learn more

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 (GA).

Course Learning Outcome

GA1: Intellectual rigour

Ability to apply social work values, knowledge and skills in research processes to address client needs, organisational goals and social policy change.

GA2: Creativity

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.

GA3: Ethical practice

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.

GA4: 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.

GA5: Lifelong learning

Demonstrate a commitment to continually increase professional knowledge and skills and to continuing education and lifelong learning.

GA6: Communication and social skills

Effectively communicate with a wide range of stakeholders, including clients, colleagues, and managers, including within a multi-disciplinary team environment.

GA7: Cultural competence

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.

In line with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) requirements, students will be required to undertake 1,000 hours of supervised practice. All students, whether 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) in 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) in 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.

Please note: All students must obtain a National Police Check and Working with Children Check. Some agencies also require students undertaking placements to be immunised for a number of conditions and to have up-to-date vaccinations. Most agencies require students to have a current Australian driver’s licence.

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.

Please note, in accordance with Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) accreditation standards, this course requires online students to attend mandatory residential schools throughout the year. Students will be notified of the residential school dates on commencement.

Location Teaching period
Gold CoastTerm  1, Term  5
OnlineTerm  1, Term  5
Location Teaching period Annual Fees CRICOS
Gold CoastTerm  1, Term  5$29,400 ($3,675 per unit)082686G

Tuition fees are in Australian dollars, and are subject to change, including annual increases over the duration of a course. Annual tuition fee is based on completing 8 units per year. In addition students are required to pay OSHC for the duration of their visa in advance. Non-tuition fee covers textbooks, stationery and excursions.

Career Outcomes

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.

This is an Australian Association of Social Workers accredited qualification. It is an entry qualification into the social work profession and meets the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS). Graduates are eligible for AASW membership.

Requirements

We encourage you to apply for the courses you most want to study. If you are not eligible to enter your chosen course right now, our team will work with you to find the best pathway option.

Before applying, make sure you double check all entry requirements, gather required documentation and review the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, noting any specifics listed below.

Entry requirements

Students admitted to the MSW(Prof Qual) are required to have completed a relevant three year AQF Level 7 degree course that contains at least one year, or the equivalent, of full-time studies in the social and behavioural sciences.

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) (or equivalent) test upon application.

Language requirements

English language requirements apply to International applicants and other applicants whose previous study was undertaken in a language other than English. The minimum English language requirements for such applicants for entry to this course are as follows

CategoryScore
Overall Score7.0
Reading7.0
Writing7.0
Listening7.0
Speaking7.0

Credit for prior learning

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.

Course requirements

To be awarded the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying ) students must complete the equivalent of 16 units (192 credit points) comprising all 12 core units (192 credit points)

Professional Experience Learning / Field Education

This course includes professional experience learning via field education. Pre-requisites to meet national and state-based regulatory requirements, as detailed on Faculty of Health Professional Experience Field Education page must be met prior to attending professional experience placement. All professional experience learning hours must be completed and professional behaviour and conduct must be demonstrated.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent Requirements apply to this course as defined on the Student Equity & 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 Equity & Inclusion website for further information and contact details.

Other things to consider

Credit for Prior Learning, also referred to as ‘Advanced Standing’ or Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL), is the process of looking at your prior study and/or experience to assess if you can be awarded academic credit or gain entry to a course on the basis of your existing knowledge and skills.

Learn more


Course structure

Your course progression is in the recommended order you should complete your course in. It is important that you follow this to ensure you meet the course requirements. For further assistance see How to Enrol in Units using My Enrolment.

Students should use course progression information to select units specific to their course and enrol in these units using My Enrolment.

Current Students should select their units by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment as these may be different.

View Student Handbook

Unit CodeUnit TitleAvailableCredit pointsNotes

Complete units in the following order to satisfy the Requirements of the Award

First Year

SWRK5001Social Work Foundations for Practice
Term1,5
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Term1,5
Term1,5
Online
Term1,5
Term1,5
Enrolment informationFull-time students are advised to take this unit at the same time as SWRK5002 Social Work Direct Practice I. Students are required to meet participation requirements in this unit. Attendance is compulsory. Online students must attend a three-day residential and Gold Coast students must attend 3 one-day seminars across the term. Further details, including dates, will be advised via the Blackboard site.
SWRK5002Social Work Direct Practice I
Term1,5
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Term1,5
Term1,5
Online
Term1,5
Term1,5
Enrolment informationFull-time students are advised to take this unit at the same time as SWRK5001 Social Work Foundations for Practice. Students are required to meet participation requirements in this unit. Attendance is compulsory. Online students must attend a four-day residential and Gold Coast students must attend four one-day seminars across the term. Further details, including dates, will be advised via the Blackboard site and Timetables.
WELF3002Issues of Protection
Term2,3
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Term2,3
Term2,3
Online
Term2,3
Term2,3
SWRK5003Social Policy and Law for Social Work
Summer Term
Term2
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Summer Term
Term2
Summer Term
Term2
Online
Summer Term
Term2
Summer Term
Term2
SWRK5004Social Work Direct Practice II
Term3
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Term3
Term3
Online
Term3
Term3
Pre-requisitesSWRK5002 - Social Work Direct Practice I
Enrolment informationStudents are required to meet participation requirements in this unit. Attendance is compulsory. All students must attend for a total of 42 hours. Online students are required to attend a 6 day residential at the Gold Coast Campus. Gold Coast students are required to attend 6 x 7 hour seminars delivered as one day workshops across the term. Further details, including dates, will be advised via the Blackboard site. This unit should be completed after SWRK5001 and SWRK5002.
SWRK5007Social Work Field Placement I
Tri Term1,2
36 Note 1
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Tri Term1,2
Tri Term1,2
Online
Tri Term1,2
Tri Term1,2
Pre-requisitesSWRK5001 - Social Work Foundations for Practice AND SWRK5002 - Social Work Direct Practice I
Anti-requisitesSWRK5005 - Social Work Field Placement Ia
Enrolment informationInternational onshore students must enrol in the internal offering of this unit. This unit contains professional experience learning that requires students to meet mandatory compliance requirements prior to attending. Failure to comply by the compliance deadline may result in failure of the unit. Full details are available at www.scu.edu.au/healthplacements
Enrolment restrictionsStudents must seek approval to enrol having provided required documentation in accordance with Field Education guidelines.

Second Year

INDG6002Health and Indigenous Peoples
Term1,5
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Term1,5
Term1,5
Online
Term1,5
Term1,5
SWRK6003Research for Social Work
Term1
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Term1
Term1
Online
Term1
Term1
SWRK6001Social Work across the Lifespan
Term2
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Term2
Term2
Online
Term2
Term2
Enrolment informationFull-time students are advised to take this unit at the same time as SWRK6002 Social Work in Groups and Communities. Students are required to meet participation requirements in this unit. Attendance is compulsory. All students must attend for a total of 24.5 hours. Online students are asked to attend a 3.5 day residential. Gold Coast students are asked to attend 7 × 3.5-hour seminars delivered as one day and ½ day workshops. Further details, including dates, will be advised via the Blackboard site. This unit should be completed after SWRK5001, SWRK5002 and SWRK5004.
SWRK6002Social Work in Groups and Communities
Term2
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Term2
Term2
Online
Term2
Term2
Enrolment informationFull-time students are advised to take this unit at the same time as SWRK6001 Social Work across the Lifespan. Students are required to meet participation requirements in this unit. Attendance is compulsory. All online students must attend a 3.5-day residential and Gold Coast students must attend four seminars across the term. Further details, including dates, will be advised via the Blackboard site. This unit should be completed after SWRK5001, SWRK5002, and SWRK5004.
SWRK6004Social Work Organisations, Leadership and Management
Term4
12
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Term4
Term4
Online
Term4
Term4
SWRK6007Social Work Field Placement II
Tri Term1,2
36 Note 1
LocationDomesticInternational
Gold Coast
Tri Term1,2
Tri Term1,2
Online
Tri Term1,2
Tri Term1,2
Pre-requisitesSWRK5007 - Social Work Field Placement I
Anti-requisitesSWRK6005 - Social Work Field Placement IIa
Enrolment informationInternational onshore students must enrol in the internal offering of this unit. This placement should be completed at the end of your degree. This unit contains professional experience learning that requires students to meet mandatory compliance requirements prior to attending. Failure to comply by the compliance deadline may result in failure of the unit. Full details are available at www.scu.edu.au/healthplacements
Enrolment restrictionsStudents must seek approval to enrol having provided required documentation in accordance with Field Education guidelines.


Note 1:

Triple-weighted unit.

Unit CodeUnit TitleNotes
WELF3002Issues of Protection
SWRK5003Social Policy and Law for Social Work
SWRK5001Social Work Foundations for Practice
SWRK5002Social Work Direct Practice I
SWRK5004Social Work Direct Practice II
SWRK6001Social Work across the Lifespan
SWRK5007Social Work Field Placement I Note 1
SWRK6002Social Work in Groups and Communities
INDG6002Health and Indigenous Peoples
SWRK6003Research for Social Work
SWRK6004Social Work Organisations, Leadership and Management
SWRK6007Social Work Field Placement II Note 1

Why Social Work and Community Welfare at SCU

No.1 in QLD for Skills Development

We're ranked No.1 in QLD for skills development in Humanities and Social Sciences

(GUG 2023)

Global top 5% in Social Sciences

We're in the global top 5% in Social Sciences

(THE World University Rankings 2020)

Student Support

We're also ranked No.1 in Australia for student support and learning resources in Social Work

(GUG 2020)

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Fees and Scholarships

Domestic students

You are a domestic student if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, New Zealand citizen, or Australian humanitarian visa holder. Your course will either be a Commonwealth Supported Place or a full fee-paying place. This is noted in the course snapshot.

Commonwealth Supported Places:

In a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), the Government pays some of your fees and you pay the rest as the Student Contribution Amount (SCA).

SCA is calculated per unit, not per course. Eligible students can defer the SCA through a HECS-HELP loan.

Full Fee-Paying Places:

A full fee-paying place is where you pay the full (unsubsidised) tuition fee for your course. Eligible students can defer the payment of their tuition fees through the FEE-HELP scheme (including employer-reserved places for The Hotel School courses).

Also known as SSAF, the Student Services and Amenities Fee is a compulsory fee for most students used to provide important services and amenities to students both on and off campus. It’s charged per unit, based on the unit’s credit point value. Eligible domestic students have the option of deferring this fee through the SA-HELP loan scheme. More about SSAF

Depending on your course, your costs could also include computer equipment and software, books, stationery, field trips, uniforms or other course-specific expenses such as art materials, musical equipment or travel for practicums, internships, vaccinations or industry experience.

Southern Cross University offers a range of scholarships for undergraduate (your first degree), postgraduate, Indigenous Australian students as well as international students. There are also scholarships available to help you study overseas for a short period as an international exchange student. Scholarships range from a few hundred dollars a year to several thousand dollars a year.

More about scholarships

Further fee information

Fees and Scholarships

International Students

If you're an international student, you can find the annual course cost in Australian dollars (AUD$) on our International Courses and Fees page or on the web page for your course under fees.

Also known as SSAF, the Student Services and Amenities Fee is a compulsory fee for most students used to provide important services and amenities to students both on and off campus. It’s charged per unit, based on the unit’s credit point value. Eligible domestic students have the option of deferring this fee through the SA-HELP loan scheme. More about SSAF

Depending on your course, your costs could also include computer equipment and software, books, stationery, field trips, uniforms or other course-specific expenses such as art materials, musical equipment or travel for practicums, internships, vaccinations or industry experience.

Southern Cross University offers a range of scholarships for undergraduate (your first degree), postgraduate, Indigenous Australian students as well as international students. There are also scholarships available to help you study overseas for a short period as an international exchange student. Scholarships range from a few hundred dollars a year to several thousand dollars a year.

More about scholarships

Further fee information

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Dates for the diary

Our shorter, more focused six-week unit structure gives students a greater sense of momentum and motivation as they achieve milestones quickly. Application dates per Term are shown on each course page however refer to our key dates and teaching calendar for detail on when enrolment opens, studies commence and when grades are published. There are also Dual Term and Tri Term calendars for those who have specific subjects.

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Credit Transfer

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Entry Pathway

We believe in equal access to further education, so we offer a range of pathways to university.

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