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Master of Social Work

Study social work with us

Why study with us?

  • Our internationally recognised social work program is led by faculty members who are experts in their fields.

  • With our Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences ranked 17th in the world in the 2018 QS World University Rankings by Subject, you will learn from leading experts across more than 45 areas of study.

Overview

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 clientscircumstances. It equips you to analyse and investigate theories and initiatives in social policy and their impacts.

Subject areas

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your fee

How to apply

What you'll study

To qualify for the Master of Social Work you will complete 48 credit points, including:

  • 2 units of study (12 credit points) of core units; and
  • a minimum of 1 unit (6 credit points) of capstone units; plus
  • a minimum of 4 units (24 credit points) of elective units to be chosen from the units of study table below.

Units of Study

Completion requirement

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. You are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for your units of study.

Capstone (compulsory project)

A capstone unit is completed in the final semester of enrolment. It provides you with an opportunity to integrate ideas and understandings drawn from units of study taken in the course. The capstone is undertaken by completing either:

  • the Authorised Independent Study and Report (6 credit points; 6000 words); or
  • a dissertation (12 credit points; 12,000 words).

If you intend to undertake a higher degree by research (MPhil, PhD, DSW) in future, you should enrol in the dissertation. Entry requirements apply for this unit of study - consult your Course Coordinator for further details.

Admission requirement

Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit. Admission to candidature for the Master of Social Work requires:

  • completion of the embedded Graduate Diploma in Social Work, or equivalent qualification; or
  • 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
  • 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.

If you do not meet the requirements listed above for direct entry to the Master’s degree, you may be able to enter via a Graduate Diploma in the same subject area and upgrade to the Master’s after successful completion of the shorter course.

Professional accreditation

This course does not lead to professional recognition.

Career Pathways

Upon completion of the Master of Social Work, you will have the skills and knowledge to further your career 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.

Future study

The University of Sydney is Australia's premier research university, and the Sydney School 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 School, including the Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Social Work, and Master of Philosophy in Social Work.

Professional development

The Sydney School of Education and Social Work offers a wealth of experience and expertise in the development and delivery of professional development activities. Click here to find out about the range of consultancy and customised programs, conferences, colloquia and symposia, and professional learning courses offered by the School.

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount


The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee


The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 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 increase


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, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% 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 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 costs and health insurance


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html. 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.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% 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.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.