The Master of Social Work is a 72-unit program offered by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. This course can be studied in internal and external mode.

Graduates of the Master of Social Work (Graduate Entry) are eligible to join the Australian Association of Social Workers.

All students commencing their MSW (Graduate Entry) studies in 2014 are required to attend at least 20 days on campus throughout their full period of study for the MSW. This course requirement can be achieved by attending the compulsory intensive SOAD9106 as well as other nominated intensives.

This applies to students who are enrolled and studying while living overseas as well as to those who live in Australia. This requirement is set by the AASW (Australian Association  of Social Workers). At least one of these blocks of face-to-face study must be completed prior to the first placement. Students in the Adelaide area can achieve this requirement by attending some of their classes on campus. Distance students can achieve this requirement by attending a series of on-campus intensive topics that run 3-5 days. Normally, at least one intensive will be available each semester. Questions related to studying the MSW by distance/externally can be directed to the Course Coordinator

Admission requirements

There are two points of entry into the Master of Social Work:

  1. Applicants who have completed a bachelors degree other than in social work are eligible to apply for entry to the Master of Social Work (Graduate Entry) and if admitted they must complete the full 72 units of the course.
  2. Applicants who have completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree recognised by the Australian Association of Social Work (AASW) or a qualification deemed equivalent by the Faculty Board are eligible to apply for entry to the Master of Social Work (Qualified Social Worker Entry). Such applicants may be granted up to 36 units of credit. Applicants for the MSW (Qualified) must have completed either (a) an AASW-accredited Bachelor of Social Work Honours or (b) an AASW-accredited Bachelor of Social Work plus at least 2 years professional work experience (paid or volunteer) or equivalent.

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • provide students with the knowledge and skills to practice responsibly and reflectively as a professional social worker, in keeping with the standards set by the Australian Association of Social Workers
  • involve students in researching, analysing and articulating a framework for inclusive and ethical professional social work practice
  • inform students about, and enable them to critically reflect and comment on, relevant current social justice debates
  • educate students about the colonial history of Australia and its long-term effects on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including analysis of current policies and social work practices affecting ATSI families and communities
  • develop students’ knowledge about current evidence-based professional social work practice models and approaches
  • enable students to carry out research, assess the value of research to social work practice, and articulate a framework for inclusive and ethical professional social work practice research
  • enable students to develop their professional values, knowledge and skills and demonstrate their practice judgement and expertise, normally through involvement in two agency-based field placements
  • help students identify the cultural context of various practice,  approaches and their relevance to specific situations and populations
  • delineate the connections between interpersonal practice, social policy and research at a national and international level

Learning outcomes

At the conclusion of this course students will be able to:

  • practice as a professional social worker in a knowledgeable, competent, reflective and responsible manner
  • understand and assess the complex individual, family, societal and systemic factors that contribute to the ISSes experienced by social work clients
  • articulate the theory, rationale and methods involved in various professional practice approaches and demonstrate the ability to utilise these approaches differentially
  • identify, interpret and respond professionally to the major social justice issues facing Australian society and the international community
  • show awareness of the historical, cultural and interpersonal contexts that affect how Aboriginal Australians approach social work services, and demonstrate ways of moving toward mutual trust and engagement
  • conduct, analyse, interpret and contribute to the current research related to social issues, social policy and social work practice
  • demonstrate a commitment to ongoing professional learning as a critically reflective practitioner

Programs of study