Master of Social Work

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Master of Social Work invites you to reflect on your practice, appraise alternative practices and theories, and assess your clients’ needs in new ways.



It offers you an opportunity to critically evaluate your existing practice and provision, and gain skills to promote change, improve services and affect outcomes in the lives and situations of your clients. You will also learn to analyse and investigate theories and initiatives in social policy and their impacts.
− A strong focus on equity, social justice and social empowerment in teaching and research
− Ability to critically evaluate your existing practice and provision, appraise alternative practices and theories and investigate initiatives in social policy and their impacts
− Ability to develop and apply new knowledge to practice and social provision and assess your workplace and client needs in new ways

This program provides opportunities for careers in evaluating existing practice, promoting change and improving services and outcomes that affect clients’ circumstances. It equips you to analyse and investigate theories and initiatives in social policy and their impacts.

Course outline

Candidates are required to complete a total of 48 credit points (cp); including 12 cp (2 units of study) of core units; a maximum of 12 cp (2 units of study) of capstone units; and the balance consisting of elective units from the Social Work Units of Study Table

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a full-time student completes prescribed units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester. Part-time students may undertake prescribed units of study up to the value of 12 credit points per semester. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.

Capstone experience

A capstone unit is completed in the final semester of enrolment. It provides an opportunity to integrate ideas and understandings drawn from units of study taken in the course. The capstone is a compulsory requirement and is undertaken by completing the Authorised Independent Study and Report (6 credit points; 6000 words) or a dissertation (12 credit points; 12,000 words). Students who intend to undertake a higher degree by research (MPhil, PhD, DSW) in future should enrol in the dissertation (please note that entry requirements apply for this unit of study - consult your Course Coordinator for further details).

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Upon completion of the Master of Social Work, graduates will have the skills and knowledge to further their careers in evaluating existing practise and promoting change and improvement in services offered and outcomes effected in the lives and situations of clients. It offers opportunities for the analysis and investigation of theories and initiatives in social policy and their impact.

Course accreditation

This course does not lead to professional recognition.

Further study

The University of Sydney is Australia's premier research university, and the Faculty of Education and Social Work is a world-class research centre in education, the humanities, human services and related fields. Several higher degrees by research are available within the Faculty, including the Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Social Work, and Master of Philosophy in Social Work.

Other study options

The Faculty of Education and Social Work offers a wealth of experience and expertise in the development and delivery of professional development activities. Please visit http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/professional_learning/index.shtml to find out about the range of consultancy and customised programs, conferences, colloquia and symposia, and professional learning courses offered by the Faculty.

Admission

Admission requirements

Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit. Admission to candidature for the Master of Social Work requires:
(a) completion of the embedded Graduate Diploma in Social Work, or equivalent qualification; or
(b) both the four year Bachelor of Social Work degree of the University of Sydney, or equivalent qualification recognised by the Australian Association of Social Workers; and
(c) evidence of at least one year’s full-time employment in Social Work.
In exceptional circumstances the Dean may admit applicants without these qualifications who, in the opinion of the faculty, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made online directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty.

International students

How to apply

International applicants may apply (i) online directly to the University, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students

The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.