Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleMSW (Qualifying)
CRICOS code069013C
Total credit points required96
Standard duration of study (years)2 years FT, 4 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Caulfield)
Off-campus (Caulfield)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Telephone +61 3 9903 2610; fax +61 3 9903 1141; email or visit

Course coordinator

Dr Robyn Mason


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • This course requires students to undertake off-campus fieldwork placements


The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) is a coursework degree with theoretical, skill development and supervised professional practice units. The course includes opportunities for group-based learning, community engagement, practice research and integration of social work theory and practice. Theoretical content builds on knowledge acquired by graduates in previous higher education, while social work skills components and professional practica introduce students to contemporary social work practice. The areas covered in the curriculum meet AASW accreditation requirements, including 1,000 hours of supervised professional practice.


On completion of the course, graduates will be able to:

  • enact the principles of social justice and human rights in their professional social work careers
  • seek leadership roles in the social work and human services sector
  • engage sensitively and confidently with individuals, groups and communities in local, national and international social work contexts
  • analyse ethical issues in practice
  • employ outstanding interpersonal skills for effective engagement and social action
  • practice in a way that respects diversity, especially when working with Indigenous Australians
  • critically analyse aspects of society, especially the impact of social, political and economic arrangements on individual and community wellbeing
  • incorporate knowledge of the social welfare system, the law and concepts of power and oppression into the social work approach
  • apply sophisticated knowledge of individual development, and the impact of key life events on individual wellbeing, in social work practice
  • demonstrate competence in the theory and practice of social work assessment, intervention and evaluation with individuals, families, groups, communities and organisations, and in research and social policy analysis
  • execute practice decisions based on research and evidence
  • reflect critically on their practice
  • commit to continuing professional development.

Recognition of prior learning

Please see website for details of the RPLrecognition of prior learning (RPL) policy and application process:

RPL may be granted for previous practice experience and may exempt the student from all or part of the first supervised professional practice unit SWM5103 - Supervised Professional Practice 1.

Police checks

All students undertaking a placement at Monash are required to undertake a National Police Check before commencing. An original of these documents must be provided to the fieldwork coordinator prior to placement commencing. A Police Check Verification form must also be completed. Should a student be found to have a police record, the fieldwork team may discuss the matter with potential supervisors if necessary. Students incur the cost of the National Police Check.

Working With Children Check (WWCC)

The Victorian Department of Justice policy is that all students undertaking a clinical placement, that involves working with children, must obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC). It is the student's responsibility to obtain this check prior to undertaking the placement. Thus, where such a placement forms part of the course requirements, the faculty requires all students to have a WWCC. The original WWCC ID Card must be sighted by the fieldwork coordinator once issued and a verification form completed.

Not all States have legislated with regard to the WWCC, and for those that have, not all offer the service to students. So, for students undertaking interstate placements, the requirement for obtaining a WWCC varies according to that state's laws and regulations.


Students undertake supervised professional practice in the field and skills development and integration of theory and practice in the classroom and in the field. On campus students will attend placement briefings and integration sessions where their placement experiences will be critically reviewed in order to connect with social work knowledge and theory, while off-campus students will work attend skills and integration sessions at compulsory residential workshops. Liaison visits from University staff to the student and supervisor while on placement will also be opportunities to review skills and to facilitate the integration of theory and practice. The successful completion of a total of 1,000 hours (clinical placements and skills) will enable graduates to seek social work positions overseas where the completion of 1,000 hours of clinical practice placement is often an eligibility requirement.

Professional recognition

The areas covered in the curriculum meet Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) accreditation requirements, including 1,000 hours of supervised professional practice.


This course comprises11 core units.


Year one

Semester one

SWM5100 Social work: Leading sustainable change

SWM5101 Human rights, law and ethics contexts for social work practice

SWM5102 Critical social work 1: Frameworks for practice with children and families

Semester two

SWM5103 Supervised professional practice 1

SWM5104 Critical social work 2: Frameworks for practice in health and mental health

Year two

Semester one

SWM5105 Social work practice and research

SWM5106 Critical social work 3: Community engagement group project

Social work specialist elective

Semester two

SWM5108 Supervised professional practice 2

SWM5109 Critical social work 4: Social policy, social change and community practice

SWM5111 Leadership in social work and human services


Master of Social Work (Qualifying)