Social Work – Course Structure

The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) is a two-year full-time (four-year part-time) program. MSW(Q) students must complete 96 credit points, consisting of 78 credit points of core units and three elective units of study worth 18 credit points. The core units comprise seven campus-based units of study and two field education placements, each of which is worth 18 credit points. Note that:

  • The core unit, Social Work Practice (SCWK5010), must be taken in your first semester.

  • One elective must be a research unit.

  • Some core units and electives are offered in alternate years.

An overview of the program, including units of study and course resolutions, can be viewed at the faculty handbook entry for the MSW(Q). It incorporates greater flexibility for students and enables greater choice in tailoring the course to their own learning goals. The timetable allows students to continue in paid employment, at least part time, recognising that their life stage will typically differ from that of undergraduates. Because some units of study are delivered flexibly in block mode, students are encouraged to plan their studies at least two semesters in advance, in consultation with a program director or program administrator if necessary.

Field Education placements and availability are negotiated between each student and the faculty’s Director of Social Work Field Education, ensuring each candidate is able to meet the Australian Association of Social Workers requirement that all social work students undertake 140 days of practice learning under the direct supervision of a suitably experienced and qualified social worker. Field Education arrangements are committed to maximum flexibility for students, including exploring the possibilities for recognising prior learning, as well as placement in existing workplaces

Detailed information about course structure for specific years – whether study is undertaken full- or part-time – is available by expanding the headings below.

Part Time, Entering Year 1 in 2016

Note: Social Work Practice (SCWK5010) is a required unit of study for MSW(Q) students in their first year of study. With this in mind, students should complete the following:

Unit of study Credit points

Semester One

Social Work Practice (SCWK5010)


Child Wellbeing and Child Protection (SCWK5008)


Semester Two

Practice Learning 1 (SCWK5004)


Social Perspectives on Ageing (SCWK5007)
and one of the following elective units of study:



12 (total: 6 + 6)

Part Time, Entering Year 2 or Year 3 in 2016

All continuing MSW(Q) (part time) students must consult the 2016 Faculty of Education and Social Work Undergraduate and Preservice Handbook to determine their unit selection.