Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

Course information for - 2023 entry

Offered at 2 locations

2 years full-time or equivalent part-time
Fees (first year)*

$8296 CSP

Start dates
Semester 1 intake: Beginning February 2024
Applications open August 2023
Midyear (Semester 2) intake: Not available


The Master of Social Work is a vibrant and challenging program. You will be encouraged to build on your existing knowledge and experience, gaining a sound understanding of social work values and practice approaches. The course emphasises social justice, human rights, and achieving the best possible outcomes for the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of our community. You will be taught by leading social work practitioners and academics, with a strong focus on experiential learning.

The program is offered face-to-face and online.

You can study face-to-face at our Canberra and Sydney (Strathfield) campuses with a February intake. Or you can study online via ACUOnline with two compulsory one-week intensives each year of the program in either Brisbane or Melbourne. Multiple intakes, commencing in January 2023.

Field education is a core element of the face-to-face and online program, and a major part of a student’s professional identity development. It provides an opportunity to observe, question and model social work behaviours, translate social work theory into practice, and apply knowledge drawn from other units of study. The course includes a total of 1,000 hours of supervised field education and training and ACU will match you to your placements based on where you are geographically located.

Commonwealth Supported Places are available for this course. See the Courses costs section below, under Fees.

Professional experience

You will be required to complete 1,000 hours of supervised field education and training over two years.

Work placement

ACU has strong industry ties with hospitals for placements and significant stakeholder engagement with many health partners.

Students are placed in a variety of different locations to give them experience in various settings. Locations and settings include: community mental health; CatholicCare; Life Without Barriers; Mission Australia; St Vincent’s Hospital; Department of Family and Community Services; Queensland Child Safety; Centrelink. Students may have some flexibility in choosing where you want to do your placements.

Field education is a core element of the program and a major part of your professional identity development. It provides an opportunity for you to observe, question and model social work behaviours, translate social work theory into practice, and apply knowledge drawn from other units of study.


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


Social workers may also work in different areas of practice, including:

  • family work
  • youth and child welfare services
  • medical and health services
  • disability services
  • psychiatric and general mental health
  • community services
  • aged care
  • income support
  • mediation
  • research 

Course details

Course structure

To complete the Master of Social Work, a student must complete 160 credit points (cp).

View course rules

Sample program map

Year - Study periodUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5

Year 1 Semester 1

SWTP634 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Social Work

SWTP620 Social Work Theories, Context and Fields of Practice

SWTP622 Social Work with Individuals

SWTP633 Social Work, Mental Health and Wellbeing

Year 1 Semester 2

SWTP624 Social Work with Children, Youth and Family

SWTP625 Field Practicum 1

Year 2 Semester 1

SWTP629 Social Work Research

SWTP627 Social Work with Communities

SWTP626 Social Work with Groups

SWTP632 Social Policy, Contemporary Issues and Social Work

Year 2 Semester 2

SWTP635 Integration of Theory, Evidence and Ethics for Effective Practice

SWTP631 Field Practicum 2

This is a sample program only and units will vary depending on your campus and mode of study. Please refer to the handbook for the prerequisite units and the current listing.

AQF framework

Masters (Coursework) - AQF Level 9

Entry requirements

An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

All students need to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements as defined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

To be eligible for admission to the course, applicants must have:

a.    Completed a Bachelor degree equivalent to an Australian Bachelor Degree in a related field which includes at least one year full-time study in the social and behavioural sciences.

These studies may include psychology, sociology, anthropology, policy studies, history, law, health and disability, nursing, disability studies, philosophy, Indigenous studies, culture and human diversity, media study, gender studies, social theory and population studies.


b.    The undergraduate degree must include study in human behaviour AND in sociology.


Domestic - as above

International applicants - as above AND GPA of 5.0 on the ACU 7-point scale


As above


As above

Disclaimer: The course entry requirements above are for 2023 Admission.

English language requirements

Applicants require an academic IELTS minimum overall score of 7.0 (with a minimum score of 7.0 in all bands), or an equivalent acceptable test score as outlined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy  (Schedule 3).

Adjustment factors

If you’re currently completing Year 12 you may be eligible for adjustment factors that can boost your rank and help you get into your desired course.

Adjustment factors may be applied to your TAC application if you study particular subjects, attend schools geographically close to our campuses or in certain regional areas, apply as an elite athlete or performer or meet certain other criteria.

Learn more about adjustment factors

Inherent requirement

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of that course or unit. You will need to be able to meet these inherent requirements to complete your course.

Learn more about inherent requirements for your course and how they affect you


Further study

Graduates may be eligible to progress to higher degree research programs within ACU.


Course costs

Average first year fee*

$8296 CSP

All costs are calculated using current rates  and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

the number of units studied per semester;

the choice of major or specialisation; and

elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.

A 10% rebate on fees will be offered to domestic ACU graduates (from any faculty) enrolling in full fee-paying postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Conditions apply.

Additional costs

You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support. 

Explore your options 

Payment options

You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support.

Explore your options


You could be eligible for one of the hundreds of scholarships we award each year to help students from across the university with the cost of studying, accommodation or overseas study opportunities. Some of our scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but these aren’t just for the academically gifted; ACU also recognises excellence in community engagement and leadership. We also offer a range of scholarships for those who may be struggling financially or who have faced other barriers to accessing education.

Search our scholarships

How to apply


Deferment is available for one year. Find out more about deferment.


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