Master of Social Work

The MSW provides a professional social work qualification for eligible graduates. The academic program builds on prior knowledge and skill, and facilitates the development of social work expertise through the integration of theory and practice, both in the classroom and in the field. Successful completion of the degree will meet eligibility requirements for membership of the professional body, the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

The MSW is a 96 credit point degree, completed over two years of full-time study or the equivalent period of part-time study. It is available to both on-campus and off-campus students. The curriculum meets AASW requirements and builds on Monash Social Work areas of strength, especially in research methods, child wellbeing and child protection, health and mental health, social justice, violence against women and other gender related issues, criminal justice, post-disaster sites and sustainability.

The MSW is a coursework degree with theoretical, skills development and supervised professional practice units. The course provides opportunities for group-based learning, community and field engagement, practice research and the integration of theory and practice. Theoretical content builds on graduates’ acquired knowledge from their previous higher education, while social work skills components and professional practice introduce students to contemporary social work practice. The areas covered in the curriculum meet AASW accreditation requirements, including at least 960 hours (2 fieldwork practica) of supervised professional practice. Our decision to include a requirement of 1000 hours of supervised professional practice provides graduates with eligibility for social work practice in overseas countries. Staff in the Monash Department of Social Work have developed  partnerships and links with organisations across Melbourne and rural Victoria,  other Australian States and overseas where students have completed successful field  education placements.

About the course

Entry requirements

Applicants must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree at a recognised university, including two full semester units in the study of society (as required by the Australian Association of Social Workers). Units fulfilling the prerequisite studies of society are broadly assessed and include, for example, studies in sociology, social science, social psychology, human development, anthropology, philosophy, history, gender, law, politics, media, the arts, technology, and multicultural society.

Students are selected on academic merit and the completion of two broad studies of society.

Past academic standing is also a significant factor in selection.

Application for entry into the Master of Social Work is directly through Monash. Please see

For further information about the course, please click here

Other course information

Students undertake supervised professional practice in the field. Skills development and the integration of theory and practice are undertaken in both the classroom and 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, and will be required to engage on-line.

A university contact person visits the student and supervisor during the field education placement and also provides opportunities to review skills development and to facilitate the integration of theory and practice..

Before undertaking fieldwork placements, students must:

  • complete a National Police Records Check
  • hold a valid Working with Children Check, and
  • comply with the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Immunisation Policy.

Failure to hold satisfactory checks, or to meet the immunisation requirements, may result in students being unable to complete this course.

Career outcomes in Social Work

The expertise gained during the MSW course is sought after by government and community agencies in many contexts, government and non-government. On completion of the MSW, you will have the skills to gain employment in a diverse range of community service organisations and government departments.

Many of our past graduates have successfully gained employment in a chosen field of practice, and embarked on stimulating and successful careers.. Social work has been identified as one of the fastest growing professions and it provides a wide range of employment opportunities. For example, Monash graduates work as family counsellors, child protection workers and school counsellors. They work in hospitals and community health centres, mental health services,  palliative care programs, and family violence services. They work in youth services, neighbourhood houses and in services for migrants and refugees. They work with youth and adult offenders, witnesses and victims of crime, and with people who have drug and alcohol problems. They also work in community development, in policy development and in management in human service organisations.


'In Conversation' / Master of Social work

Two former and one current student sit down for an open and honest conversation about social work, life at Monash and their careers.

Episode 1 /
Why Social Work?

Episode 2 /
Studying at Social Work

Episode 3 /
A Career in Social Work