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, an occupation that the Australian government predicts will continue to experience very strong growth. This course is accredited with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and graduates are eligibe to become a member of the AASW. Social workers typically work with disadvantaged and marginalised individuals, groups, and communities within a social justice and human rights framework in counselling, advocacy, and the enhancement of health and well-being. Social workers address the barriers, inequality and injustices faced by many groups in our community. UNE's social work program embraces a framework that examines the dynamic interaction of human behaviour, institutions and complex social interactions. Covering all the core requirements of an accredited professional social work degree, the MSW (Professional Qualifying) at UNE emphasises practice in rural and complex community environments, and focuses on rights-based practice, mental health, Indigenous peoples, child protection and the law. The course incorporates the mandatory 1000 hours of professional fieldwork placement supervised by experienced practitioners indiverse social work settings locally and overseas. Study requirements allow students choice to study either on campus or online, with periodic compulsory intensive face-to-face classes for students who learn by distance.

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

Career Opportunities

Social work is an occupation that the Australian government predicts will continue to experience very strong growth. It has many fields of practice, providing a diverse and rewarding career path with multiple opportunities to make a real difference in people's lives. UNE's MSW(ProfQual) offers graduates highly sought after research skills. Career opportunities are found in hospitals; government agencies (such as justice, housing and youth and child protection services); community-based family support and welfare agencies; women's refuges and community legal centres; city councils; mental health, disability and aged care facilities, schools and for-profit human services (e.g. private practice counselling, employment services), to name just a few. Australian social work qualifications 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

2018 STUDY OPTIONS
Armidale

Trimester 1, Online
Trimester 1, On Campus
Trimester 2, Online

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

All domestic students apply through the link below

For more information, click here

International students apply direct to UNE through UNE International. This course is only available online (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

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. 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.

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

UNE specific Placement Requirements

Fieldwork 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 five years from date of issue.

UNE field education units are compliant with the AASW requirements for practical experience. 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. Students may be required to travel some distance to undertake the placement.

The first fieldwork placement is HSSW450 (18 credit points. There is a compulsory three-day intensive school to prepare students for their placement experience. The number of days per week will be negotiated with individual students and placement agencies (with a minimum of 3 days per week), including a full time block of at least 2 weeks during the placement.

The second placement is HSSW550 (18 credit points and is usually undertaken alongside the capstone unit HLTH554A. This second placement totals 500 hours plus two days on campus. The number of days per week will be negotiated with individual students and placement agencies (with a minimum of 3 days per week required) including a full time block of at least 2 weeks during the placement. Due to the nature of fieldwork and the range of agencies involved, this unit will only be offered full time during trimesters 1 and 2 of any year, with part time students needing to increase their study load for their placement trimester.

Advanced Standing

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Formal Learning:

Advanced standing for Formal Learning will only be considered where a candidate meets admission criteria and has undertaken prior units that have been successfully completed with an accredited Australian social work program at a recognised Australian university or, alternatively, have been successfully completed as part of another postgraduate qualification and which have learning outcomes that are substantially equivalent to units within UNE's Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) course.

Non-Formal Learning:

Students who have prior work experience in the social work field may apply for Advanced Standing for Non-Formal Learning for the first field education unit only (HSSW450) due to their Non-formal Learning achieved through prior work experience. Applications are submitted through the Directorate of Student Administration and Services via the Advanced Standing application after the student has first discussed this possibility with the School of Health Social Work Course Coordinator. Applications must be received in the trimester prior to enrolling in HSSW450 in accordance with the AASW guidelines and School of Health Social Work Fieldwork Procedures on Advanced Standing for Fieldwork. The application form and School of Health Procedures related to this can be found on the School of Health website: Advanced Standing for Social Work Students.

No advanced standing will be granted for HLTH554A or HSSW550.

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 2018.

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. 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.

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.

UNE specific 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 five years from date of issue.

UNE field education units are compliant with the AASW requirements for practical experience. 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. Students may be required to travel some distance to undertake the placement.

The first fieldwork placement is HSSW450 (18 credit points). There is a compulsory three-day intensive school to prepare students for their placement experience. The number of days per week will be negotiated with individual students and placement agencies (with a minimum of 3 days per week), including a full-time block of at least 2 weeks during the placement.

The second placement is HSSW550 (18 credit points) and is usually undertaken alongside the capstone unit HLTH554A. This second placement totals 500 hours plus two days on campus. The number of days per week will be negotiated with individual students and placement agencies (with a minimum of 3 days per week required) including a full-time block of at least 2 weeks during the placement. Due to the nature of fieldwork and the range of agencies involved, this unit will only be offered full-time during trimesters 1 and 2 of any year, with part-time students needing to increase their study load for their placement trimester.

Advanced Standing

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Formal Learning:

Advanced standing for Formal Learning will only be considered where a candidate meets admission criteria and has undertaken prior units that have been successfully completed with an accredited Australian social work program at a recognised Australian university or, alternatively, have been successfully completed as part of another postgraduate qualification and which have learning outcomes that are substantially equivalent to units within UNE's Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) course. Where candidates have completed a relevant undergraduate degree and have work experience in the human services, they are encouraged to apply for recognition of informal learning.

Non-formal Learning:

Students who have prior work experience in the social work field may apply for advanced standing for Non-Formal Learning for the first field education unit only (HSSW450) due to their Non-formal Learning achieved through prior work experience. Applications are submitted through the Directorate of Student Administration and Services via the Advanced Standing application after the student has first discussed this possibility with the School of Health Social Work Course Coordinator. Applications must be received in the trimester prior to enrolling in HSSW450 in accordance with the AASW guidelines and School of Health Social Work Fieldwork Procedures on Advanced Standing for Fieldwork. The application form and School of Health Procedures related to this can be found on the School of Health website: Advanced Standing for Social Work Students.

No advanced standing will be granted for HLTH554A or HSSW550.

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 90 cps
Listed Units 6 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 Course Coordinator.
3. A candidate who twice fails HSSW550 shall not be permitted to re-enrol in the unit without the permission of the Course Coordinator.
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

UNE's AASW accredited postgraduate program enables students with a relevant undergraduate degree to qualify and practice as a professional social worker. This course creates a pathway for those seeking to enter and progress a career within the diverse practice fields of social work. Graduates are prepared for professional practice across a wide range of employment opportunities within Australia and internationally, embracing the values of social justice, human rights and ethical practice.

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. demonstrate commitment to the social work professions three key value areas integral to social work practice, respect for persons; social justice; and professional integrity;
  2. create knowledge of, respect for, and ability to work professionally with varied social, ethnic, cultural and religious groups that make up Australian society, with a particular emphasis on marginalised and Indigenous people;
  3. interpret and assess the impacts of disadvantage, disability and trauma upon the health and well-being of people and its implications for practice responses;
  4. analyse and effectively respond to the rapidly changing social and environmental issues that impact the lives of individuals within a given community at local, national and international levels;
  5. demonstrate skills for in-depth analysis, reflection, judgement and application of theories for ethical engagement with individuals, families groups, and communities across a range of contexts;
  6. generate research to advance, apply and maintain evidence-informed social work practice to deal effectively with complex issues affecting individuals, groups and communities; and
  7. acquire and manage lifelong learning skills with a firm preparation for professional and career development.
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 systemic issues of social justice have local impacts on populations and social work practice. This perspective is gained as students develop an understanding of human rights and social 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 fieldwork placements. 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. Fieldwork placement is a site for the further development and assessment of communication skills.

Problem Solving

Many social work theory and practice units are taught using case scenarios to critically examine and assess the biopsychosocial implications and develop practice options. Social work students learn to practise using a global perspective that highlights 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

Guidance is provided about how to use information and communication technologies and contemporary search procedures to identify and access relevant information about practice and social trends.

Ethical Conduct and Social Responsibility

Ethical practice and social responsibility are core social work requirements that are taught, assessed and practised across the course in assessment tasks. 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

Consistent with the AASW Practice Standards, students will be exposed to, taught about, and expected to develop, independent learning plans and strategies throughout the course and in subsequent practice.

Independence and Collaboration

Independence and collaboration are essential in social education and practice. Students are taught to be active learners, and to develop independent thinking as well as collaborative practice skills. All social work theory and practice units are taught in a 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 through the link below

For more information, click here

International Students

International students apply direct to UNE through UNE International. This course is only available online (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