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Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)

Masters by Coursework

Course snapshot

Domestic snapshot

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Social workers can be a lifeline for people facing difficulties related to financial, medical, mental health or relational circumstances. This course enables you to develop the skills, knowledge and values to become a strategic, ethical and reflective social work practitioner.

Our accredited Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) is suited to applicants with previous experience in the study of the social sciences, social welfare, psychology or related fields.  

In this program, you'll examine child protection, social policy and law, health issues impacting Indigenous communities, and leadership in social work organisations. You'll also undertake practice under the supervision of an experienced social worker.  

As a graduate, you'll be ready for a career as a professional social worker in Australia and may also be eligible for employment overseas.

Residential Schools 2020 (mandatory for online students)

Session 1: 15-21 April 2020 

Session 2: via weekly online workshops

Session 3: 15-21 November 2020 (usually held at the Gold Coast campus but will be conducted online in 2020).

Course Learning Outcome

Ability to apply social work values, knowledge and skills in research processes to address client needs, organisational goals and social policy change.

Ensure that client needs, organisational goals and community expectations of social work services are met in the most appropriate manner, using social work knowledge, skills and resources.

Engage in direct social work practice, through mutual engagement and the application of knowledge, ethics and skills, to ensure that clients’ needs are met, that their potential is developed and that their control over their lives is fostered.

Promote and implement policies and practices to achieve a fair, equitable and efficient allocation of social resources, and identify inappropriate or inequitable policy goals and outcomes.

Demonstrate a commitment to continually increase professional knowledge and skills and to continuing education and lifelong learning.

Effectively communicate with a wide range of stakeholders, including clients, colleagues, and managers, including within a multi-disciplinary team environment.

Ability to apply knowledge of organisational and societal systems and processes to identify inequality and ensure appropriate action is taken so that social barriers, inequality and injustice are reduced.

In line with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) requirements, students will be required to undertake 1,000 hours of supervised practice. All students, studying on campus or online, are required to attend two field education placements. These placements are completed in two separate organisations in different fields of practice so that students gain a diversity of experience.

The Social Work Field Placement I unit involves 400 hours (57 days) across Sessions 2 and 3 of the first year (of full-time study), with a minimum of three days per week spent on placement. In addition, the Social Work Field Placement II unit involves 600 hours (86 days) across Sessions 2 and 3 of the second year (of full-time study), with a minimum of three days per week spent on placement. These time commitments apply to both full-time and part-time students.

Please note: All students must obtain a National Police Check and Working with Children Check. Some agencies also require students undertaking placements to be immunised for a number of conditions and to have up-to-date vaccinations. Most agencies require students to have a driver’s licence.

The course includes core content in child protection, cross-cultural practice, mental health work, and work with people from Indigenous communities. It covers essential theories and methods of social work practice including effective practice in working with individuals, groups and communities. Students are also exposed to key knowledge in using social policy and the law to advance the rights of clients and community members.

Please note, in accordance with Australian Association of Social Work (AASW) accreditation standards, this course requires online students to attend mandatory residential schools throughout the year. As an online student, you must be available to attend the residential schools on the following dates:

Session 1: WEL91003/4 and WEL92001/2: 15-21 April 2020. 

Session 2: WEL91005: Delivered via weekly online workshops in 2020.

Session 3: WEL91003: 15-17 November 2020 and WEL91004:18-21 November 2020. Please note: these will be conducted online in 2020).

Location Teaching period UAC code QTAC code
Gold Coast Session 1 N/A N/A
Online Session 1 , Session 3 N/A N/A

Career Outcomes

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).


We encourage you to apply for the courses you most want to study. If you are not eligible to enter your chosen course right now, our team will work with you to find the best pathway option.

Before applying, make sure you double check all entry requirements, gather required documentation and review the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, noting any specifics listed below.

Course requirements

To be awarded the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying ) students must successfully complete the 14 units (192 credit points) listed in the Schedule of Units.

Exit Award

Students can exit with the Graduate Diploma of Human Services Studies if the equivalent of 8 units (96 credit points) from the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) have successfully been completed. 

Students who, while enrolled in the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying), have completed the requirements for the Graduate Diploma of Human Services Studies, may elect to be awarded the Graduate Diploma of Human Services Studies following withdrawal from the Master Degree. 

Inherent Requirements

Inherent Requirements apply to this course as defined on the Student Access & Inclusion website. If you have a disability or health condition which may impact on your ability to meet these requirements please refer to the Student Access & Inclusion website for further information and contact details.

Course structure

Your course progression is in the recommended order you should complete your course in. It is important that you follow this to ensure you meet the course requirements. For further assistance see How to Enrol in Units using My Enrolment.

Students should use course progression information to select units specific to their course and enrol in these units using My Enrolment.

Note 1:

Double-weighted unit.

Note 2:

Residential School

Unit Code Unit Title Level of learning Notes
WEL73001 Issues of Protection Advanced
WEL91002 Social Policy and Law for Social Work Introductory
WEL91003 Social Work Foundations for Practice Introductory Note 2
WEL91004 Social Work Direct Practice I Introductory Note 2
WEL91005 Social Work Direct Practice II Intermediate Note 2
WEL91006 Social Work Field Placement Ia Intermediate Note 1
WEL91007 Social Work Field Placement Ib Intermediate
WEL92001 Social Work across the Lifespan Intermediate Note 2
WEL92002 Social Work in Groups and Communities Advanced Note 2
IHE03386 Health and Indigenous Peoples Intermediate
WEL92003 Research for Social Work Advanced
WEL92004 Social Work Organisations, Leadership and Management Advanced
WEL92005 Social Work Field Placement IIa Advanced Note 1
WEL92006 Social Work Field Placement IIb Advanced