Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

Course information for - 2024 entry

Offered at 2 locations

2 years full-time or equivalent part-time
Overall score: 7.0 Individual score of: 7.0 in all tests
Fees (first year)*
Start dates
January 2025, January 2026, January 2027


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

Course map

Open all

Please note: Course maps are subject to change.

Commencing Semester 1

  • Specified UnitsSWTP634Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Social Work10 cp
  • Specified UnitsSWTP620Social Work Theories, Context and Fields of Practice10 cp
  • Specified UnitsSWTP622Social Work with Individuals10 cp
  • Specified UnitsSWTP633Social Work, Mental Health and Wellbeing


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

    This unit is offered via ACU Online (ACU Online Term 4).

    10 cp
  • Professional Experience UnitsSWTP625Field Practicum 1

    (500 hours) (Pre: SWTP620 & SWTP622 & SWTP633 & SWTP634) 

    30 cp

All units are delivered in campus attendance mode, unless otherwise indicated in the map.

Prerequisites (Pre:) are other units that you must have passed before enrolling in this unit.

Graduate statement


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

International applicants

To be eligible for admission to the course, applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a recognised university which includes a minimum of 8 units (2 full-semesters) of study in the social sciences.

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

The undergraduate degree must have at least one unit in human behaviour AND one unit in sociology.

International students must have completed the above prerequisites, they must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy and 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 Coursework Programs Policy (see English Language Proficiency).

For International students, a GPA of 5.0 on the ACU 7-point scale is an admission requirement for Canberra campus only.

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

  • Unit fee: $3228
  • Average first year fee: $25824
  • Estimate total cost: $51648

The Tuition fees quoted above are for commencing students in the current year who undertake a normal full-time load. The Unit Fee is based on a 10cp unit. Fees are reviewed annually.

Tuition fees for continuing students may increase by up to 3 percent each year for the minimum duration of the course as provided on your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCOE). Students who continue to study beyond the minimum duration will have the relevant annual commencing rate applied to their fees for subsequent study periods.

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

International applicants

Direct application

Apply now


Yes. See Defer your offer.

Students with a Student Visa will need to complete the program in minimum duration, study at least one subject on-campus each semester and must not undertake more than 33% of the program online.

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 2013 Professor 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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