Graduate-entry social work course launched

2 September 2010

Applications have opened for the faculty's first new postgraduate degree program in five years, the Master of Social Work (Qualifying).

The degree took three years to develop in a process that involved consultation with the employers, prospective students and the accrediting body for social workers, the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). According to MSW(Q) program co-director Dr Rosalie Pockett, the course is expected to appeal to people who already have a bachelor's degree in another discipline and whose work in human services has led them to consider becoming accredited social workers.

"The system of accreditation that required a bachelor's degree in social work excluded people who might not be interested in completing a second undergraduate degree but would be attracted to the idea of a higher level of study," Dr Pockett said.

"The AASW requirements were changed to accept a qualifying master's degree, and that opened the way for us to develop the course ... which has provisional accreditation from the association."

Applications for enrolment in the first intake of the two-year, full-time MSW(Q) students opened on August 31 but one of the great attractions of the course for students already in the workforce is that, except for field experience, all units are available part time and some are delivered online.

Dr Pockett said the first intake was expected to be about 20 students, including a small number of international enrolments as well as people working in human services who completed an initial degree in social work overseas and need to complete one or two units of study for Australian accreditation.

Apart from a AASW requirement of 140-days' supervised field education, key units of study within the degree will cover: social work practice; health and inequality; poverty and social exclusion; child well-being and protection; violence against women; and social perspectives on aging.


Contact: Dr Rosalie Pockett | Dr Margot Rawsthorne