Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

Course information for - 2023 entry

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

$8296 CSP

Start dates
ACU Online Term 1 - January, ACU Online Term 3 - July


The Master of Social Work 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.

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

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 - Term 1

SWTP620 Social Work Theories, Context and Fields of Practice data-versionlabel=3 >

SWTP633 Social Work, Mental Health and Wellbeing data-versionlabel=3 >

Term 2

SWTP622 Social Work with Individuals data-versionlabel=3 >

SWTP634 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Social Work data-versionlabel=3 >

Term 3

SWTP625 Field Practicum 1 data-versionlabel=3 >

Term 4

SWTP625 Field Practicum 1 data-versionlabel=3 >

SWTP624 Social Work with Children, Youth and Family data-versionlabel=3 >

YEAR 2 - Term 1

SWTP629 Social Work Research

SWTP632 Social Policy, Contemporary Issues and Social Work

Term 2

SWTP626 Social Work with Groups data-versionlabel=3 >

SWTP627 Social Work with Communities data-versionlabel=3 >

Term 3

SWTP631 Field Practicum 2 data-versionlabel=3 >

Term 4

SWTP631 Field Practicum 2 data-versionlabel=3 >

SWTP635 Integration of Theory, Evidence and Ethics for Effective Practice

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.

Please note : SWTP625 and SWTP631 are Field Placement units and are continuing over two Terms

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 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 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

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ACU Online Applicants


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


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