Key benefits of our course
We take a practical, work-ready, student-centred approach to social work. Our employability focus means you’ll be preparing for your future career as a social worker from day one of your degree. Rather than sitting and listening, we want you to be doing - so you’ll take part in simulations and workshops designed to develop your capacities as a social worker before you go into your field placements.
Your teachers are practitioners and world-recognised researchers. Their extensive experience and connections ensure your practice is globally-informed, ready to meet the changing needs of our communities.
You’ll start your degree by understanding the foundations of individual social work practice; locating, understanding, appraising and using evidence for key assessment and intervention decisions; and social policy and the Australian setting. You’ll then extend this knowledge and skills to doing work with families, communities and groups, as well as exploring issues in contemporary social work practice. Alongside these core studies, you’ll also have the opportunity to choose electives in the specialist areas of social work that most interest you.
The connection between evidence and practice is a foundation for the course. We give students the skills to engage with available research, as well as the ability to examine our own practice.
Critical thinking is central to both our method of teaching and what we hope to teach. Social work is focused on helping marginalised, disadvantaged people in complex health and social service settings. We teach students to be critical consumers of evidence and to analyse, reflect and test what they do in their work with clients.
The Higher Degree by Research Program (HDR) offers the opportunity to train as a researcher in one of the top research institutions. Students are provided with practical research opportunities in their training.
We introduce key welfare state theories and ideological perspectives in social policy. You will learn the following:
- impacts of social structure and social policy on welfare service users
- the implementation of social policy interventions in everyday social work practice
- the role, strategies and effectiveness of advocacy groups in social policy debates
- and the link between local and global welfare trends.
There are also opportunities to take units in the Monash Master of Public Policy course.
We are part of the Faculty of Medicine, where field education is one of our main vehicles for training health and social care providers. Benefit from our partnerships with Victoria’s health major services with access to high-quality clinical training at places like Monash Health and Peninsula Health, as well as government departments and community services providers like Anglicare, Turning Point and Safe Steps.
We have a work-readiness focus and hands-on learning from day one:
- Simulation training with actors.
- Integration of Science and Practice workshops and assessments.
- Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs).
- Clinical Practice Labs (CPLs).
- And supervised placements.
Our degree ensures you develop the practical, people-focused skills needed for successful social work practice.
Explore your interests and advance your knowledge with a choice of two electives in areas like:
- Child protection
- Mental health
- Alcohol and other drugs (AOD)
- Longevity (aged care)
- Family violence
- Post-disaster practice
- Health and hospital social work
Teaching what works in a way that works - Information and lectures are made available online. All of our units are run by people - even completely online units have an associated tutorial.
- Our simulations are run interactively, even for online students.
- Extensive use of active learning tools, such as our Integration of Science and Practice (ISaP) modules in many of our units
- Our approach is built on problem-based learning and brings students together to work on a shared problem in a way that facilitates critical thinking and teaches students how to make the types of decisions they will surely be required to make over their careers.
As one of the largest Social Work Master’s courses in Australia, we have a diverse student body with a substantial number of students attending from overseas. We also provide support in terms of written and verbal communication through an onsite group of linguistic educators from our Student Academic Support Unit (SASU).
Fieldwork placements are a key component of the Master of Social Work. As part of your course, you’ll complete 1000 hours of supervised professional placement - applying your classroom knowledge to practice in real workplaces.
Your placements will take place with some of our partner organisations, including:
- Major health services - Monash Health and Peninsula Health
- Government departments - Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS Victorian Child Protection Services
- Non-profit organisations – Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Community services - Anglicare
- Addiction treatment services - Turning Point