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Students who commenced study in 2016 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.

Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2016 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.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Course code


Credit points


Abbreviated title




Managing faculty

Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences


Dr Bernadette Saunders - on-campus students; Dr Deborah Western - off-campus students

Contact details

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

Admission and fees

Find a CourseFind a Course (

Course type

Single degree
Master's by coursework

Standard duration

2 years FT, 4 years PT

This course must be completed in a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 6 years. The course duration is inclusive of any periods of intermission.

Mode and location

On-campus (Caulfield)
Off-campus (Caulfield)

This course requires students to undertake field education placements. Mandatory attendance is required by off-campus students for workshops held at the Caulfield campus.


Master of Social Work (Qualifying)


This course includes studies in theory, skills development and supervised professional practice, and 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 Australian Association of Social Workers' (AASW) accreditation requirements, including 1000 hours of supervised professional practice.


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 (

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

Recognition of prior learning may be granted for previous practice experience and may exempt the student from the unit SWM5103 (Supervised professional practice 1).

Special requirements

Students must refer to the information available on the special requirements outlined below. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they have the correct documentation.

Police checks

Students must have a current Police check regarding their suitability to undertake placements. Refer to the faculty's police checkspolice checks ( webpage.

Working with Children checks

Students must have a current Working with Children check regarding their suitability to undertake placements. Refer to the faculty's Working with Children checksWorking with Children checks ( webpage.

Immunisation and infection requirements

In accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations, this course requires that students comply with the faculty's Immunisation and vaccination policy and proceduresImmunisation and vaccination policy and procedures ( These are designed to provide maximum protection against the increased risk of some vaccine preventable diseases for students, patients and workers in a health care setting.

This policy, and the associated procedures require that students have certain specified vaccinations, and have their blood borne virus status determined, before they commence a clinical placement. Students who have not complied with this policy may not be able to undertake clinical placement, with the attendant academic consequences.

Health check

Students must comply with the Monash University Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice (CEHAPP) Health Requirements Policy before undertaking clinical placements. Refer to the CEHAPP webpageCEHAPP webpage (


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 attend skills and integration sessions at compulsory residential workshops.

Contact with the university liaison social worker allocated 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 1000 hours (clinical placements and skills) will enable graduates to seek social work positions overseas where the completion of 1000 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 1000 hours of supervised professional practice.


This course consists of 10 core units and a specialist elective.


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
  • one social work specialist elective from the list below

Social work specialist electives
  • SWM5110 Advanced casework 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

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

Suitable elective units can be identified using the browse units toolbrowse units tool ( in the current edition of the Handbook; masters-level units are those that commence with the number 5.