Over 2,000 accredited courses from leading Australian universities, TAFEs and colleges

Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)

  • Qualification:

    Master's Degree

  • Study mode:

    On Campus

  • Payment options:

    FEE-HELP may be available
    Upfront payment

  • Duration:

    2 years full-time; up to 6 years part-time

  • Start date:

    Enquire now for upcoming start dates!

  • Awarded by:

    University of New England

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What you'll learn

About this course

The Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying), from the University of New England (UNE), will help you expand your career in a profession that addresses barriers, inequalities and injustices faced by many groups and sub-groups in our community.

This course will cover all the core requirements of a professional social work degree. You will be provided with a rural-focussed program, with additional focus on Indigenous peoples, child protection and law.

Not only will you develop the theoretical and practical skills required to work as a professional social worker, you will also be provided with eligibility to become a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

To successfully complete this course, you will be required to undertake 1000 hours of fieldwork in relevant social work settings.

Practical industry experience

This course includes a mandatory work placement component to ensure that you graduate with a strong mix of practical industry experience that complements your learning. You will be required to complete 1000 hours of placement, in consultation with the School.


To be eligible for entry into this course, applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than social work from a recognised education provider. This includes 24 credit points (6 units or equivalent) being:
    1. At least 6 credit points of studies in psychology; AND
    2. At least 6 credit points of studies in sociology; AND
    3. At least 6 credit points of studies in political systems in Australia; AND
    4. At least 6 credit points (1 unit or equivalent) of studies in Research Methods; OR
    5. 24 credit points deemed by the course coordinator to be an equivalent and relevant combination of the above in line with accreditation requirements of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

If the candidate does not meet the above criteria, they may complete the required units as follows:

  • To meet criteria a) - 6cp of 100, 200 or 300 level psychology units
  • To meet criteria b) - 6cp of 100, 200 or 300 level sociology units
  • To meet criteria c) - 6cp of 100, 200 or 300 level Australian political system units
  • To meet criteria d) - 6cp at least of studies in research methods

If you are up to 12 credit points short of meeting the prerequisites for this degree, then you may be permitted to enrol and complete directed units concurrently while enrolling in the approved units for the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying).

For candidates who hold an international qualification in social work that does not meet the Australian Association of Social Workers eligibility for membership, your admission may be sought to the degree through permission from the social work course coordinator and Head, School of Health.

International students must meet the university's English language requirements.

You may be eligible for advanced standing if your previous education and experience meet certain criteria.

Areas of study

In this social work course, the subjects you may study include:

  • Foundations for mental health practice
  • Capstone project
  • Social work through the lifespan
  • Disadvantage and service provision
  • Social work direct practice skills
  • Law for social work
  • Fieldwork 1
  • Juvenile justice and child protection
  • Social work intervention models and skills
  • Groups and communities
  • Human rights and social justice
  • Fieldwork 2
Established in 1938, the University of New England (UNE) is Australia’s longest standing provider of distance education and continues to be at the forefront of innovations in online learning. The university offers over 200 courses at the undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree research levels. UNE is committed to offering a variety of flexible study options so that students are able to manage their personal commitments while undertaking a university education.
The University of New England (UNE) prides itself on providing the highest quality student support to ensure that students have the necessary tools to pursue their goals. Students can easily access a plethora of dedicated services including counselling, disability needs, academic and study skills, Aboriginal affairs and career development.

With over 60 years of distance education experience, UNE has devised flexible online study options over 3 study periods a year so that students are able to utilise their time more effectively or even accelerate their degree. For courses that require hands-on experience, UNE offers Intensive School programs where students are exposed to vital practical components of their course.

To support ongoing learning, students can get the help they need via email, phone or online chat. You can expect a well-rounded and supported experience throughout your UNE study journey.

Career outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a nationally recognised Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) from the University of New England.

Career opportunities in the social work industry are plentiful. You will be able to seek these opportunities in: hospitals, employment services, justice services, housing services, youth and child protection services, women's refuges, community legal centres, city councils, mental health, disability and aged care facilities, and schools.

Not only is there a growing demand for social workers in Australia, social work skills are portable around the world, and as an Australian graduate you will be highly regarded internationally.

UNE is committed to a holistic approach to education, ensuring that all graduates also possess the following transferable attributes:

  • Communication skills
  • Capacity for problem solving
  • Information literacy
  • Awareness of ethical conduct and social responsibility
  • Independence and collaboration
  • A thirst for lifelong learning

Curious about where a career in community services could take you? Potential job outcomes may include:

  • Social Worker
  • Health Care Worker
  • Medical Health Social Worker
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Child Welfare Worker

Payment options & support

Finance options

Eligible students can apply for FEE-HELP to cover the upfront costs of all or part of your fees. Alternatively, you can pay annually for the units you select to study in that year.

The University of New England also offers a number of scholarships to successful applicants.

You may be eligible to receive FEE-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the FEE-HELP government loan scheme. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.

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