Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

Course information for - 2024 entry

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

$8944 CSP

Start dates
Applications open in August for ACU Term 1


The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) is a vibrant and challenging program. You will be encouraged to build on your existing knowledge and experience, and gain 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.

You must attend a compulsory, 10-day on-campus component in Year 1 and a 10-day on-campus component in Year 2 of your program (i.e., 20 on-campus days in total), delivered at ACU's Brisbane and Melbourne campuses

There has never been a better time to study Health Sciences, with State and Territory governments and other external bodies offering various scholarships and support at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.. Check out these initiatives and others , and don’t forget to look at ACU’s own scholarships.

Professional experience

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.

Work placement

ACU has strong industry ties with organisations such as health, community and Government departments for 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. The course includes a total of 1,000 hours of supervised field education and training and ACU will match you to your placements.

Before undertaking a placement unit, all students are required to have completed the pre-requisite units and completed the Faculty of Health Sciences Mandatory Compliance by the 31st May of each year. (, including a Fitness for Practice survey. Students should refer to the checklist for placements in social work, and the Social Work Field Education Handbook for full details of the requirements to ensure that they meet eligibility for enrolment in a placement unit.

This program is offered in full-time and part-time mode. However, if you are intending to study part-time, it must be noted that the two field placements components of the program are to be completed within a full-time study load (at a minimum of three days per week). 

There are two field placement units in the MSWQ. These field placements are of 1000 hour minimum duration in agency or project contexts that meets the requirements of the University. In accordance with Section 4 of the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS) 2020 "Placements will be undertaken over at least two years of the professional social work program of study". Placements are allocated by ACU, based on the requirements of the AASW. 

Students will be supervised by a qualified social worker for the duration of the field placement, either on-site or via external supervision. In some situations, it may be possible to negotiate a work-place based placement or receive Recognition of Prior Learning for all or part of the first placement unit ( 

Community engagement


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

Students undertaking a provisionally accredited course have the same standing and eligibility as graduates from all other AASW accredited courses.


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

Course map

Open all

Please note: Course maps are subject to change.

Commencing ACU Term 1

  • Specified UnitsSWTP620Social Work Theories, Context and Fields of Practice

    Mode of delivery OU

    10 cp
  • Specified UnitsSWTP633Social Work, Mental Health and Wellbeing

    Mode of delivery OU

    10 cp
  • Specified UnitsSWTP622Social Work with Individuals

    * (Includes a 5-day compulsory week intensive)

    10 cp
  • Specified UnitsSWTP634Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Social Work

    * (Includes a 5-day compulsory week intensive)

    10 cp
  • Professional Experience UnitsSWTP625Field Practicum 1

    (Pre: SWTP620, SWTP622, SWTP633, SWTP634)

    30 cp
  • Professional Experience UnitsSWTP625Field Practicum 1


    (Pre: SWTP620, SWTP622, SWTP633, SWTP634)

    30 cp
  • Specified UnitsSWTP624Social Work with Children, Youth and Family

    Mode of delivery OU

    10 cp

Commencing ACU Term 3

Please note, the program is scheduled over an additional two terms for student's enrolling mid-year

Thus, completion time for students who enter mid-year is 2.5 years.

Graduate statement


As an ACU graduate you have personal insight founded on an understanding of who you are as a professional, a citizen and a scholar. You embrace change and growth through critical self-awareness and learning autonomy. You are empowered to seek truth and meaning, drawing on the principles of justice, equity, and the dignity of all human beings.


As an ACU graduate you value human dignity and diversity. This appreciation is founded on deep reflection, and empathy. You have experience of Indigenous Knowings and perspectives and can engage respectfully when working alongside Australia's First Peoples. You can connect with people and cultures and work with community in ways that recognise the dignity of the human person and all cultures


As an ACU graduate you utilise imagination and innovation to solve problems. You critically analyse information from a range of sources to creatively solve practical problems and use critical thinking to make decisions and advance the common good. You appreciate the role of innovation and creative thinking in developing a better future for each person and community.


As an ACU graduate you recognise your responsibility to work for social justice and a sustainable world founded on a commitment to human dignity and the common good. You lead change through respectful collaboration and effective communication of ideas to diverse peoples, groups and communities in local and global contexts. You are empowered to positively impact your profession and the community.

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.

Disclaimer: The course entry requirements above are for 2024 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 (see English Language Proficiency).

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*

$8944 CSP

All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 20 credit points (normally 2 units) per Term.

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

Apply for this course

ACU Online Applicants


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

Staff Profile

Professor Suzanne Hodgkin

Professor of Social Work, Discipline Lead, School of Allied Health

Professor Suzanne Hodgkin is the Social Work Discipline Lead within the School of Allied Health, based in our Melbourne campus. She has a background in management, supervision, research, teaching and social work practice experience in the tertiary, government and non-government sectors.

In 2013Professor Hodgkin was awarded a teaching Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. She has an international record of research that is  based and related to critical social challenges such as developing sustainable rural health and aged care workforce models, improving comprehensive geriatric assessments and examining support provided to palliative care patients and their caregivers. Translation of this research has occurred in industry commissioned reports, media reports, conference proceedings, monographs, book and book chapters. In 2019, called as an expert academic witness to the Royal Commission into Aged Care and Safety to highlight issues for carers of older people, her work and expert testimony was cited in the released interim report, Neglect.


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