Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2014 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 applies to students commencing this course in 2014 and 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 titleMSocWk
Total credit points required48
Standard duration of study (years)1 year FT, 2 years PT
Study mode and locationOff-campus (Caulfield)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Tel: 1800 MONASH (1800 666 274) or visit:

Course coordinator

Dr Deborah Western


  • This course is not available to international students who are holders of an Australian student visa, for study onshore in Australia. However holders of some other categories of Australian visas living in Australia, and students studying off-campus by distance learning (where this option is available) and living outside of Australia, may be eligible for this course.
  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • This course is normally taken part-time over two years. This course must be completed in a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 4 years. The course duration is inclusive of any periods of intermission.


The degree provides an opportunity for social work practioners to enhance and develop their professional skills and knowledge and to make links between practice in the field and new and emerging academic knowledge and theory. It aims to provide for the needs of social workers whose roles involve management, policy, research development and direct practice with clients. Students may choose from a wide range of areas within the social work program.

The MSW Coursework degree may also provide a pathway into PhD research through the two research-based units; previous post-graduate study and students' grade averages will also be taken into account.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 9, the Bologna Cycle 2 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 9, the Bologna Cycle 2 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that graduates will be able to:

  • understand and develop knowledge in professional areas that are not covered in the social work undergraduate curriculum
  • examine, evaluate and integrate new knowledge with past and present work experience
  • deepen and extend specialised practice knowledge and skills through a greater focus on selected areas, including the acquisition, application and evaluation of new research-based clinical and program interventions
  • acquire advanced specialised research knowledge and skills that will allow students to develop and assess research-based practice at the clinical, program and policy levels for newly emerging problem and service areas
  • communicate, explain and present new knowledge to students, staff, the social work field and wider communities

Credit for prior studies

On application, credit may be available for a maximum of two units

Professional recognition

This course does not provide eligibility for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers


This course consists of four 12-point units

Areas of study


Students must complete any four of the units offered below. Students should refer the semester in which a unit is offered and any prerequisites when considering the order of study:

Students must complete four of:

  • SWM5110 Advances in direct social work practice**
  • SWM5120 Criminology and social work
  • SWM5160 The child in society: Promoting children's wellbeing and responding to child maltreatment
  • SWM5170 Applied research study*
  • SWM5180 Management of human resources in the social services***
  • SWM5190 Social work research
  • SWM5200 Health and social work
  • SWM5220 Longevity and social work
  • SWM5241 Mental health practice
  • SWM5250 Clinical supervision - becoming a professional developer
  • SWM5260 Gender, climate change and social sustainability

* The prerequisite for this unit is SWM5190 Social Work Research.

** Offered in alternate years. Next offering is 2014.

*** Offered in alternate years. Next offering is 2015.


Master of Social Work