Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)

Why study the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) at UNE?

The Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) provides graduates with the theoretical and practical skills required to work as a professional social worker and eligibility to become a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers. Social Workers typically work with disadvantaged and marginalised individuals, groups, and communities within a social justice framework in counselling, advocacy, and the enhancement of quality of life. Social workers work toward addressing barriers, inequality and injustices faced by many groups and sub-groups in our community. Social work education is grounded within a framework that examines the interface of and between human behaviour and complex social interactions. While covering all the core requirements of a professional social work degree, the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) provides students with a rural focussed program, with additional foci on Indigenous peoples, child protection and law. The course incorporates the mandatory supervised professional fieldwork experience in relevant social work settings and is available to students to study either on campus, off campus or mixed mode to suit their own study needs over their candidature.

This course has accreditation with the Australian Association of Social Workers.

This is an approved Student Income Support course. Eligible students may apply for Youth Allowance or Austudy.

Career Opportunities

Social work has many fields of practice, providing a diverse and rewarding career path with multiple opportunities to make a difference. Amidst a growing demand for social workers this MSW(ProfQual) offers graduates highly sought research skills. Career opportunities are found in hospitals; government and private human services (such as employment services, justice, housing and youth and child protection services); women's refuges and community legal centres; city councils; mental health, disability and aged care facilities and schools, to name just a few. Social work skills are portable and Australian graduates are highly regarded internationally.

Need assistance?

Degree Snapshot

DURATION

2 Years Full-time
Up to 6 years Part-time

FEES

CSP (quotas apply)
Full Fee
International

2017 STUDY OPTIONS
Armidale

Trimester 1, Off Campus
Trimester 1, On Campus
Trimester 2, Off Campus

Official Abbreviation MSW(ProfQual)
Course Type Postgraduate
CRICOS Code 084828E
Commencing
Responsible Campus Admission Period Mode of Study
Armidale Trimester 1 Off Campus
Armidale Trimester 1 On Campus
Armidale Trimester 2 Off Campus
Course Duration
  • 2 Years Full-time
  • Up to 6 years Part-time
Fees CSP (quotas apply) / Full Fee / International
Total Credit Points 96
Entry Requirements

1. A candidate shall hold an AQF Level 7 three year undergraduate degree in a discipline other than social work from a recognised university, which includes the equivalent of one year of full-time study (48 credit points (8 units or equivalent) in any Social Science Discipline as defined by the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In other words, the 48 credit points may include units in courses such as Accounting, Anthropology, Economics, Education, Geography, History, Law, Linguistics, Marketing, Management, Political Science, Social Medicine, Sociology, Statistics, etc.

2. Candidates who have not completed one year of study of social science units but have completed a health / allied health or Physical Science degree should complete:

(a) at least 6 credit points (1 unit or equivalent) of studies in Sociology; and

(b) at least 6 credit points (1 unit or equivalent) of studies in Social Policy.

Such candidates may be permitted to enrol and complete the pre-requisite units concurrently while enrolling in the approved units for the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying).

3. Where a candidate holds an international qualification in social work that does not meet the Australian Association of Social Workers eligibility for membership, admission may be sought to the degree through permission from the Social Work Course Coordinator and Head, School of Health. However, the candidate will be individually responsible for contacting the Australian Association of Social Workers regarding eligibility for membership based on their individual circumstances.

4. Applicants must meet the University's English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

Additional Requirements

Inherent Requirements: Students must meet the Inherent Requirements in order to complete this course.

Placement Requirements

Field placement experience is an essential part of the UNE Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) program. There are several mandatory requirements that need to be completed as part of the University enrolment process. Please note a number of these requirements take some time to complete, thus students are advised to commence processes immediately to ensure early compliance requirements are met. By week 9 of the first trimester of study students must submit a Working with Children Check for the state or territory in which they will undertake placement. NSW Working with Children Checks are valid for 5 years from date of issue.

NSW Ministry of Health requirements

To be eligible to attend field placement experience all Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) students must meet NSW Ministry of Health verification requirements within the ClinConnect system by week 9 of the first trimester of study. These include:

1. Adult Vaccination as per the NSW Ministry of Health requirements for Category A Health Care Workers (any interim compliance issued by NSW Ministry of Health has individual dates of issue and expiry).

2. National Criminal History Check: Students must have a current (expires three (3) years from date of issue) National Criminal History check and international students must also have an International Police Check or statutory declaration. A valid National Criminal history check must comply with the following requirements:

it must be from a CrimTrac Accredited Broker Agency (as listed on the CrimTrac website) or an Australian State NSW Police or Territory Police Force or the Australian Federal Police; and

it must state that it is a National or Australia wide check; and

it must include the student's full name and their date of birth; and

it must not have any offences listed (students with criminal history must provide a Clinical Placement Authority Card (CPAC) or conditional letter from the Employment Screening and Review Unit, NSW HealthShare); AND

The name on the Police Certificate must be the same name as on the Student's ID card.

3. Completion of mandatory NSW Ministry of Health forms.

Practical, Clinical or Work Experience

To be eligible for membership with the AASW, social work students are required to undertake a minimum of 980 hours (140 x 7 hour days) practical fieldwork during their training, with a minimum placement being 40 days, 2 days per week with a block of at least 2 x 5 day weeks. The AASW also require 5 face-to-face teaching days for every FTE trimester a student undertakes. Therefore a 5-day mandatory intensive school will be attended during fieldwork placements.

UNE will require that students undertake 1000 hours of fieldwork. In the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) this will be taken as two placements over two units.

The first fieldwork placement is (HSSW450:18) and is taken in Trimester 2 of year 1. This fieldwork placement is 500 hours (+ 5 days on campus). The number of days p/week will be negotiated with individual students and placement agencies, including a full time block of at least 2 weeks during the placement as per AASW requirements.

The second placement HSSW550 is taken in trimester 4 of study and is full time study load for that trimester. This second placement totals 500 hours (5 days on campus). The number of days p/week will be negotiated with individual students and placement agencies in compliance with AASW requirements. Due to the nature of fieldwork and the range of agencies involved, this unit will only be offered full time in trimester 2 of any year. Therefore, part time students will need to increase their study load for their final trimester of the award.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing will only be considered where a candidate meets admission criteria and prior social work units have been successfully completed with an accredited Australian social work program at a recognised Australian university.

Students who have prior work experience in the social work field may apply to the School of Health Social Work Course Coordinator for recognised prior learning in the trimester prior to enrolling in HSSW450 in accordance with the AASW guidelines and School of Health Social Work Fieldwork guidelines on RPL for fieldwork.

No advanced standing will be granted for HLTH554A.

Academic Colours

Old Rose (BCC 157)

Further Information

You can find instant answers to many of your questions or contact UNE directly via AskUNE

These course rules & plans are ONLY to be used if you commenced, transferred or changed versions in the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) in 2017.

Admission to Candidature

1. A candidate shall hold an AQF Level 7 three year undergraduate degree in a discipline other than social work from a recognised university, which includes the equivalent of one year of full-time study (48 credit points (8 units or equivalent) in any Social Science discipline as defined by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In other words, the 48 credit points may include units in courses such as Accounting, Anthropology, Economics, Education, Geography, History, Law, Linguistics, Marketing, Management, Political Science, Social Medicine, Sociology, Statistics, etc.

2. Candidates who have not completed one year of study of social science units but have completed a health/allied health or Physical Science degree should complete:
(a) at least 6 credit points (1 unit or equivalent) of studies in Sociology; and
(b) at least 6 credit points (1 unit or equivalent) of studies in Social Policy.
Such candidates may be permitted to enrol and complete the pre-requisite units concurrently while enrolling in the approved units for the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying).

3. Where a candidate holds an international qualification in social work that does not meet the Australian Association of Social Workers eligibility for membership, admission may be sought to the degree through permission from the Social Work Course Coordinator and Head, School of Health. However, the candidate will be individually responsible for contacting the Australian Association of Social Workers regarding eligibility for membership based on their individual circumstances.

4. Students must meet the University's English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

Additional Requirements

Inherent Requirements

Students must meet the Inherent Requirements in order to complete this course.

Placement Requirements

Field placement experience is an essential part of the UNE Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) program.There are several mandatory requirements that need to be completed as part of the University enrolment process. Please note a number of these requirements take some time to complete, thus students are advised to commence processes immediately to ensure early compliance requirements are met. By week 9 of the first trimester of study students must submit a Working with Children Check for the state or territory in which they will undertake placement. NSW Working with Children Checks are valid for 5 years from date of issue.

NSW Ministry of Health Requirements

To be eligible to attend field placement experience all Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) students must meet NSW Ministry of Health verification requirements within the ClinConnect system by week 9 of the first trimester of study. These include:

1. Adult Vaccination as per the NSW Ministry of Health requirements for Category A Health Care Workers (any interim compliance issued by the NSW Ministry of Health has individual dates of issue and expiry).

2. National Criminal History Check: Students must have a current (expires three (3) years from date of issue) National Criminal History check and international students must also have an International Police Check or statutory declaration. A valid National Criminal history check must comply with the following requirements:

  • it must be from a CrimTrac Accredited Broker Agency (as listed on the CrimTrac website) or an Australian State NSW Police or Territory Police Force or the Australian Federal Police; and
  • it must state that it is a National or Australia wide check; and
  • it must include the student's full name and their date of birth; and
  • it must not have any offences listed (students with criminal history must provide a Clinical Placement Authority Card (CPAC) or conditional letter from the Employment Screening and Review Unit, NSW HealthShare); AND
  • the name on the Police Certificate must be the same name as on the student's ID card.

3. Completion of mandatory NSW Ministry of Health forms.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing will only be considered where a candidate meets admission criteria and prior social work units have been successfully completed with an accredited Australian social work program at a recognised Australian university.

Students who have prior work experience in the social work field may apply to the School of Health Social Work Course Coordinator for recognised prior learning in the trimester prior to enrolling in HSSW450 in accordance with the AASW guidelines and School of Health Social Work Fieldwork guidelines on RPL for fieldwork.

No advanced standing will be granted for HLTH554A.

Period of Candidature

The period of candidature shall be:
(a) two years as a full-time candidate;
(b) up to six years as a part-time candidate.

Course Requirements

To qualify for the award a candidate must pass units to the value of 96 credit points including 1000 hours of fieldwork and 48 credit points at 500-level.

Program of Study

Candidates shall complete an approved program of study as outlined in the Course Schedule comprising:

Course Structure Credit Points
Core Units 96 cps
1000 hrs of Fieldwork -
Total 96 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

Award of Degree

Candidates who meet the course requirements including 1000 hours of fieldwork shall be awarded the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying).

Progress and Conduct

1. Candidates are referred to the Course Progression Rule and the Course Progression Procedures.
2. A candidate who twice fails HSSW450 shall not be permitted to re-enrol in the unit without the permission of the Head of School.
3. A candidate who twice fails HSSW550 shall not be permitted to re-enrol in the unit without the permission of the Head of School.
4. A candidate who breaches the Australian Association of Social Workers professional Code of Ethics will be excluded from the degree.

Appeals

Candidates are referred to the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy and the Academic Assessment Appeals Procedures.

Improper Conduct

Candidates are referred to the Student Coursework Academic Misconduct Rule and the Student Coursework Academic Misconduct Procedures.

Course Aims

This Masters program is designed to enable students with an undergraduate degree to become a professional social worker and gain a postgraduate degree. The Australian Association of Social Workers accredits the course. With a wide range of practice possibilities within Australia and internationally, in a diversity of employing organisations, graduates are equipped with:

(i) values, skills and knowledge for social work practice aiming to address issues of social change and social justice;

(ii) evidence-aware, creative and accountable responses to people's presentations of social work issues;

(iii) structured learning experiences in a supervised agency setting assessed against the Practice Standards of the Australian Association of Social Workers;

(iv) lifelong learning skills with a firm preparation for further study; and

(v) capstone experience in research skills for social work.

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. demonstrate commitment to the five key value areas integral to social work practice, being; human dignity and worth; social justice; service to humanity; integrity; and competence;
  2. demonstrate knowledge of, and respect for, the varied social, ethnic, cultural and religious groups that make up Australian society, with a particular emphasis on the needs of Indigenous people within a sociohistorical framework;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to, respond to rapidly changing social and environmental issues that impact the lives of individuals within a given community at local, national and international levels;
  4. integrate and apply knowledge, key skills and ethical principles as required by AASW Practice Standards for Social Workers and AASW Education and Accreditation Standards;
  5. employ relevant theories and skills for in-depth analysis, reflection, judgement and ethical engagement with individuals, families, groups, and communities across a range of contexts;
  6. develop research skills to advance the discipline of social work as relating to effective practice with individuals, groups and communities; and
  7. maintain and extend social work skills and knowledge through a commitment to life-long learning through reading, reflection and research on practice.
Graduate Attributes
Knowledge of a Discipline

Students study theory and practice units covering increasingly complex social work practice knowledge, skills and values. Students build on theoretical knowledge covered in their undergraduate degree and are exposed to the global perspectives of social work including the manner in which issues of social justice at the global level have local impacts on populations and social work practice. This perspective is gained as students develop an understanding of human rights and marginalisation and the ways in which change, society, culture and practice are connected. Students demonstrate their developing knowledge, skills and values through assessment tasks in all units, including field practice. Completing a discipline related research project is integral to the capstone field unit.

Communication Skills

Working interactively and responsively with a range of stakeholders is a core social work skill. Cooperative peer feedback will be an important part of tutorial/online discussion as students are taught to collaboratively explore and develop their understanding of course materials. Field placement is a site for the further development of communication skills.

Problem Solving

Social work students learn to practice a global perspective of social work highlighting the manner in which extra-local factors impact on local lived experience. This perspective is gained as students develop an understanding of disadvantage, marginalisation and the ways in which change, society and culture connectedly contribute to this. This attribute will be assessed through assignment tasks.

Information Literacy

All social work theory and practice units are taught in the problem-based learning framework where students will make use of a variety of sources of information and contribute to group learning. This attribute will be assessed through assignments and the three-trimester long conduct of practice research will further develop these skills.

Ethical Conduct and Social Responsibility

Social responsibility and justice are key practice requirements in social work. Students are expected to demonstrate these values in practice and identify possible responses to a range of client and professional situations. This attribute is assessed through assignment tasks.

Lifelong Learning

Students are expected to seek independent learning opportunities during their course. They learn to reflect on the integration between practice experiences and theoretical units and identify future learning needs.

Independence and Collaboration

Independence and collaboration are essential in social education and practice. Students are taught to be active learners, to develop independent thinking as well as collaborative practice skills. All social work theory and practice units are taught in case-based learning framework where students are expected to demonstrate independence and also contribute to group learning. This perspective is assessed and practised in all units.

How to Apply

Domestic Students

All domestic students apply direct to UNE

For more information, click here

International Students

International students apply direct to UNE through UNE International. This course is only available off-campus (distance education). Note: All social work students (including International Students) are required to spend 20 days face to face each year of their candidature on campus, as well as undertake one of their placements in Australia.

For more information, click here

Contact Us

Please select whether you are a current student or a future student:

Other Channels

Live chat Phone

Request Contact

Please contact me via

As a current student you need to send your enquiry through AskUNE.

Please click here to access your AskUNE account