Health Sciences

Master of Social Work

Since 2010, ACU offers a two-year full-time or equivalent part-time professional course in Social Work leading to the degree of Master of Social Work (MSW). This is a qualifying degree and is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers.

For full time MSW students, the course extends from February to December with the second semester primarily allocated to the field placement. The course prepares students to practice in a wide range of social work roles in both direct and indirect practice including:

  • social work theory and practice
  • counselling and casework
  • policy and planning
  • research and evaluation
  • community development
  • administration.

Study areas include social work and social welfare history, social work practice methodologies, social-personal systems, community work, research methods design and evaluation, social policies and programs, skills workshops and field studies.

Professional experience

In order to meet the requirements of the AASW, students must complete 1,000 hours of supervised field education. This is undertaken in two placements in approved agencies. Each placement is normally of 14–20 weeks duration.

Admission requirements

To gain entry to the Master of Social Work you must have completed:

1. a three year Bachelor degree, including studies in "understanding of society" and "knowledge of the individual"


2. a three year Bachelor degree and additional undergraduate studies in "understanding of society" and "knowledge of the individual".

Master of Social Work graduates will be able to:

  • understand the role of values in social work, incorporating social justice, respect for human rights, and non-sexist, non-racist and non-discriminatory practice;
  • critically analyse and use theories, research findings and innovative developments in social work theory and the social and behavioural sciences;
  • apply analytical and interactional skills in professional practice with individuals, families, groups and communities
  • assist in efforts to secure social reform.

You will be taught by leading academics and practitioners in the field and will be supported throughout your compulsory field work education practicums, which will give valuable practical experience.AASW accreditation logoThis 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).