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The Master of Social Work provides graduates with a postgraduate professional social work qualification that will allow them entry into the profession. It is specifically designed for graduates holding degrees with specified social and behavioural science components. Students who have already completed a Bachelor of Social Work are not eligible to apply.
The program equips graduates with the knowledge, skills, values and ethical foundations for social work practice in contemporary social policy and human service contexts.
Graduates are likely to be employed in a variety and range of settings and contexts including government and non-government agencies in a range of health and human service sectors.
Apply here: Master of Social Work Application
This degree prepares graduates for practice in a range of social work roles including working with individuals, groups and families, community work, advocacy, research, planning and policy development and management and administration. The frameworks for practice embedded in the program are designed to ensure graduates are effective, ethical and innovative thinkers, communicators, problem-solvers, change facilitators and leaders.
There are career opportunities for social workers in government, non-government and private sector agencies with jobs in hospital and community health settings, youth work, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, child and family welfare, child protection, youth and adult offending, employment and income support, aged care, community development, family support, disability services, services for women, multicultural services and many other social welfare organisations.
Enrolled students and Graduates will be eligible for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers.
To be eligible for admission to the Master of Social Work, applicants must hold a suitable bachelors degree in related fields (other than Social Work) and covering at least one year of studies in psychology and social sciences type units.
This will include (but not be limited to) programs in human services, social sciences, behavioural sciences, psychological sciences. If you are unsure please contact Griffith University to determine your eligibility.
The off-campus version of this program is not available to international students.
English language requirements
English language requirements apply to International applicants and other applicants whose previous study was undertaken in a language other than English. The minimum English language requirements for such applicants for entry to these programs are as follows:
A minimum overall band score of 7.0 on IELTS (Academic) with no sub-score of less than 7.0
English test results must be no more than two years old.
Applicants should refer to the English language requirements section of the Admission Policy for Coursework Postgraduate Programs for exceptions to these overall requirements:
If you do not meet the University's specified English language requirements, you may wish to contact the Griffith English Language Institute to increase your eligibility for entering a Griffith University program.
Commonwealth Supported Students
- Commonwealth supported students make a student contribution towards the cost of their units, while the majority of the cost is subsidised by the Australian Government.
- Students are liable for the student contribution charge for the units they are enrolled in as at the census date.
- HECS-HELP is a loan scheme which provides eligible Commonwealth supported students with assistance in paying their student contribution charge.
- Student contribution amounts are set by the Australian Government on an annual basis.
Fee paying (Postgraduate) Domestic Students
- A fee-paying postgraduate student pays tuition fees.
- Students are liable for tuition fees for the units they are enrolled in as at the census date (end of teaching week 4).
- The tuition fee is charged according to the approved tuition fee for the semester in which the student commences the course (for up to 3 years).
- If a student is enrolled in the course for more than 3 years, the tuition fee will be reset to the approved tuition fee applicable to the program in the current semester.
Quotas are applied for admission to the Commonwealth Supported Places. Where demand exceeds the number of available places, not all eligible applicants who meet minimum program entry standards may be offered a place. Assessment for admission is based on meritorious performance. If you are not successful in gaining a Commonwealth Supported Place, you may be eligible for a Fee-Paying Postgraduate place.
The Master of Social Work Degree contains 2 Field Placement units made up of 2 parts each. The OUA website refers to this units as Field Placement 1a and 1b however on the Griffith University website you will find these are referred to as Y1 and Y2. The Y1 or first part of the Unit is a preparation placement unit that prepares students to go on placement in the following semester; the Y2 or second part is the physical placement unit. Students must complete the Y1 (Preparation) part of the unit before enrolling in the Y2 (placement) part of the unit. These courses are made up of a 0CP/30 Credit Points split. You will not be awarded the full 30CP until you have completed both parts of the Placement Unit (ie. Y1 and Y2). These units are designated units for the purpose of exclusion. If a students fails either of these units they may be excluded from the course.
7134HSV_Y1 - Social Work Field Placement 1 (refer to 7034HSV on OUA website)
This Unit prepares students to be placed in an organisation to complete 7134HSV_Y2 part of the Unit. Students must complete 7134HSV_Y1 (preparation) before enrolling in 7134HSV_Y2 (physical placement).
7134HSV_Y2 - Social Work Field Placement 1 (refer to 7134HSV on OUA website)
Situated near the beginning of the course is a designated course for the purpose of exclusion. Students who do not pass this unit may be excluded from the course. Field Placement 1 requires students to complete a 476 hours, ie. 17 four-day weeks on-site practice with a social work qualified field supervisor in a suitable human service organisation/agency.
Placement within an organisation/agency fulfilling a social work type role
Field Placement 1 can be completed within a student's current place of work if the workplace meets strict requirements as per accreditation standards. If you are interested in finding out more about a work based placement, please contact Griffith University. Students can also apply for a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to reduce the time of their field placement (maximum reduction of 28 days, ie. reducing the placement from 68 days to 40 days) based on previous work experience in the field (work experience must be equivalent to 5 years or more and have been completed within the last 10 years).
7144HSV_Y1 - Social Work Field Placement 2 (refer to 7044HSV on OUA website)
This Unit prepares students to be placed in an organisation to complete 7144HSV_Y2 part of the Unit. Students must complete 7144HSV_Y1 (preparation) before enrolling in 7144HSV_Y2 (physical placement).
7144HSV_Y2 - Social Work Field Placement 2 (refer to 7144HSV on OUA website)
Situated at the end of the course and a designated course for the purpose of exclusion. Students who do not pass this unit may be excluded from the program. Field Placement 2 requires students to complete a 504 hours ie. 18 four-day weeks on-site practice with a social work qualified field supervisor in a suitable human service organisation/agency.
Placement within an organisation/agency fulfilling a social work type role
Recognition of prior learning can not be applied for in Field Placement 2.
The Field Placement course convenors will work with students to arrange suitable field placement positions before the beginning of enrolment in the Field Placement units.
Please Note: For students wishing to commence the Master of Social Work in Session 2, please visit the Griffith University Programs and Courses website for the recommended Course Structure if you wish to maintain full-time enrolment.
The Master of Social Work degree is set out in a particular order and full-time students must complete the degree as set-out in order to progress in a timely manner. Students who are looking at studying part-time should contact Griffith University for advice on their course progression once they have been accepted into the program.
Students begin with an introductory course 7060HSV Foundations of Social Work Practice either Session 2 (July-Oct) or Session 3 (November-Feb) of each year. The course is then followed by a full-time load of courses (30CP minimum for a full-time student load each Semester) for a further 2 years beginning in the 1st Semester the following year after completing 7060HSV Foundations of Social Work Practice:
- if you begin the course in Semester 2 (Jul-Oct/Nov) in 2014 you can choose to enrol in 7060HSV only OR you can choose to enrol in 7060HSV and 2 other set courses to be eligible as a full-time student during this time. Either way you will still begin full-time study from Semester 1, 2015. This would allow you to complete the degree at the ending of Semester 2, 2016. Choosing to complete 7060HSV alone will mean that you will have a full 40CP study load during each semester for the term of the program. Choosing to complete 7060HSV alongside 1 or 2 other units will allow you to reduce your future studies to the minimum 30CP full-time study load in some semesters.
- if you begin the program in Summer Semester (Nov-Feb) in 2014/2015 you will enrol in 7060HSV ONLY alonside the Field Placement preparation unit at the same time during this time and then begin full-time study from Semester 1, 2015 this would allow you to complete the degree at the ending of Semester 2, 2016.
The Master of Social Work degree program requires the completion of 12 core units, 1 elective unit and 2 field placement elective units.
Designated courses for the purpose of exclusion
The courses listed below are designated for the purposes of the Griffith University Policy on Academic Standing, Progress and Exclusion. A student who fails a designated course will be subject to review by the Health Assessment Board and may be excluded from the program.
- 7060HSV Foundations of Social Work Practice
- 7134HSV Field Placement 1b
- 7144HSV Field Placement 2b
The Master of Social Work contains 2 on-campus compulsory intensives which are run over the course of 5 days (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm each day). The dates for these intensive weeks are set before the beginning of each year. All enrolled applicants will be contacted by Griffith University to advise them of these dates.
The Program commences with an introductory unit 7060HSV Foundations of Social Work Practice which is offered in Sessions 2 (July) and 3 (November) of each year. The introductory unit (7060HSV) includes a compulsory five-day face-to-face intensive at Griffith's Gold Coast campus. The focus of the intensive is to assess a student's interpersonal communication skills in preparation for their subsequent practical placement.
The second on-campus intensive is part of the final unit, 7063HSV Critical Reflective Practice in Social Work. Both of these intensives are compulsory and are required as part of the accreditation standards.
Students must pass the introductory unit 7060HSV Foundations of Social Work Practice to continue in the program and undertake the practicum unit 7134HSV_Y2 (7134HSV) Social Work Field Placement 1. The face-to-face intensive will provide students with an invaluable opportunity to meet and network with their student cohort, lecturers and industry practitioners.
- Session 2 (July-Oct) intensive is scheduled in approx. late October/early November of each year.
- Session 3 (Nov-Feb) intensive is scheduled in approx. mid February of each year.
Griffith University may award credit for units previously completed at postgraduate level, where these units are equivalent in content to the Master of Social Work units. Students can apply for credit by lodging a credit transfer application form which can be found on the Griffith University website.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can also be assessed on the basis of work experience for a reduced field placement (work experience must have been completed within the last 10 years and be equivalent to a total of 5 years or more in the field). This is an internal application process within the School of Human Services and Social Work and can be applied for once admission to the degree has been made. RPL Applications are assessed by a board and decided on a case-by-case basis.
Eligible OUA students can access the government loan scheme known as FEE-HELP. You pay back the loan through your taxes once your income reaches a minimum threshold.
Who can access it?
- Australian citizens who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to their course
- Permanent humanitarian visa holders who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit
- Permanent visa holders who are undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of their study
- Credit card (Visa and MasterCard)
- Money order
You should make cheques and money orders payable to 'Open Universities Australia' and send them to:
Open Universities Australia
GPO Box 5387