Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

This is an Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) -accredited qualification. It is an entry-level qualification into the social work profession and has been determined to meet the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS).
Inherent requirements for programs in social work

To assist students to make informed choices about their study, the Sydney School of Education and Social Work has identified inherent requirements for coursework-award courses in Social Work. In order to successfully complete such a course, students must possess the qualities and skills listed in the document below.


This program prepares students who have non-social-work bachelor's degrees for employment in an environment that is complex, diverse and changing.

Human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work, according to the International Federation of Social Work definition of the profession. In response to this, the school's program is designed to produce graduates who are reflective, versatile and skillful in a range of practice areas and able to translate professional values into action.

Entry requirements

People applying for the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) program must have a recognised bachelor's degree in a discipline other than social work as well as demonstrable understanding of the development and organisation of both human society and human behaviour.

Applications for the entry into the MSW(Q) must include:

  • proof of graduation from a recognised bachelor’s degree (other than Social Work)

  • employment or other records showing a minimum of three years’ full-time experience in the human and community services industry during the previous eight years

  • a statement (500 words) by the applicant that about their suitability for the program, demonstrating their knowledge of human society and behaviour.

  • referee report/s outlining the applicant's suitability for the program (domestic students must provide one report; international students must provide three).

For more information about the application process, please download all three supplementary forms for the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) after expanding the "Postgraduate coursework" heading on the University's how-to-apply page.

Because the course requires considerable use of computers in the delivery of course materials and information, as well as in communications and coursework during the course, applicants who do not have basic computer proficiency, including Internet skills, should consideration undertaking appropriate computer training prior to enrolment in Semester One.

All applicants will be required to complete the online "Working with Children" check prior to undertaking field work. Health immunisation certificates will also required in many cases.

Applying for Advanced Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning

Applicants who have previously completed postgraduate units of study without taking out the degree have the option of applying for advanced credit. Advanced credit is dependent on several criteria, and not all postgraduate units of study are eligible for advanced credit. There are also limits in terms of how much advanced credit a student can receive.

Applicants who would like to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) through work experience should apply only after the orientation seminar in late January. Applicants should not apply for RPL during the initial application process. More information will be given during the orientation.

For more information regarding advanced credit and RPL, please contact Program Coordinator Dr Susan Heward-Belle or the manager of Field Education, Andrea Small.