Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)

Courses and Study Australian courses Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)

Students choose JCU because of the university's well-deserved reputation for delivering courses that are highly valued by employers. The JCU Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) is a wise study choice if you have a particular interest in working with people and communities in Northern Australia and beyond.

If you are a graduate with some social science background, you can choose this course to gain a post graduate qualification in social work. You may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning for one field education placement if you already have significant social welfare and human services experience.

When added to your existing undergraduate degree, your JCU Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) gives you a professionally accredited social work qualification that's recognised by the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Campus
Townsville, Cairns
Start dates
February
Duration
2 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus, Limited

Career opportunities

This Masters degree qualifies you to apply for work in government and non-government organisations throughout Australia or internationally in areas such as:

  • Hospital and community health services
  • Child protection services
  • Youth and family services
  • Community work and development roles
  • Social policy, research and advocacy roles.

The Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) enables students with an existing undergraduate degree to undertake study leading to a professionally accredited social work degree, recognised by the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Course highlights

JCU's Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) degree gives you valuable opportunities to network and gain practical professional experience in social welfare agencies in Australia and overseas. You'll be job-ready when you graduate.

Studies of local and global issues, and subjects that integrate international perspectives with the perspectives of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are integral to this course.

You may be able to continue to work as you study, as this course offers maximum study flexibility through its limited attendance study mode. Some subjects are also available internally/on campus in either Cairns or Townsville.

You will be supported through annual compulsory, on-campus residential workshops, consistent lecturer support and feedback, and a wealth of online materials to direct and augment your learning.

You'll also have opportunities to develop a sense of collegiality and group support with other students studying to become members of the international profession of social work.

Course overview

JCU's Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) enables you to develop the knowledge and skills you'll require to help people thrive in their environment, promote positive relationships and promote a just and equitable society. You'll gain experience working with individuals, families, groups and communities.

You'll gain unique insights as you:

  • Reflect critically on the complex relationships between social work and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their diverse histories and cultures;
  • Develop your interpersonal skills to allow you to respectfully and empathically communicate and support individuals, groups and communities through processes of change;
  • Reflect critically on the impacts of complex social, political and historical issues on environmental and social sustainability in Australia and internationally, with a focus on the tropics;
  • Investigate, analyse critically and transform complex social systems, institutions, structures, processes, practices and inequities;

Among the core subjects you'll study are:

  • Postgraduate Research Methods for the Social Sciences
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Skills and Frameworks for Practice
  • Social Welfare Work with Children and Families
  • Social Work and Mental Health
  • Social Policy Analysis
  • Community Development.

How to apply

Complete an online application through our Online Application Portal.

Subjects

Course Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

SS5103:06 Post-Graduate Research Methods for the Social Sciences

WS2121:03 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Skills and Frameworks for Practice

WS3027:03 Social Welfare Work with Children and Families

WS4503:03 Social Work and Mental Health

WS4514:03 Theories for Social Work Practice

WS5005:03 Social Policy Analysis

WS5103:03 Community Development

WS5303:09 Field Education 1

WS5516:03 Foundations for Social Work Practice

WS5605:09 Advanced Social Work Practicum

WS5611:03 Professional Development for Social Work Practice

Pathway into course

For prerequisites and pathways into this course visit the admission requirements section in the Handbook

Handbook

Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)

Course code

103804

Course type

Masters Degree (Coursework) (AQF Level 9)

Professional Accreditation Status

This course is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). Graduates are eligible for full membership of AASW. Student preliminary membership is available.

Division

Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an approved AQF Level 7 Bachelor Degree in a discipline other than social work; or

Other qualifications recognised by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Environments and Societies as equivalent to the above.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 3c Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

Clinical placement/professional practice:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense. (Note: health professional courses generally involve extensive professional or clinical placements).

Further information about placements can be found at Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students.

Post admission requirements

On-campus attendance requirement:

The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) requires all students to demonstrate that they have attended 20 days on campus face-to-face through their entire course.  Students need to be aware that meeting the AASW attendance requirements does not mitigate the attendance requirements for specific subjects within this course.  Throughout this course more than 20 days attendance face to face on campus may be required.

Suitability to Work with Children Card (blue card):

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements that may involve contact with children under 18 years of age. Students are required to obtain a Suitability to Work with Children Card (which involves a criminal history check undertaken by the Queensland Police) before the start of the first placement. Students must retain a current Suitability to Work with Children Card for the duration of their course, as failure to do so will result in the termination of their admission to the course.

For more information, refer to:

Blue Card Services

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

48 credit points as per course structure

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Master of Social Work (PQ), graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of an advanced and integrated body of knowledge, with depth in the underlying values, ethics, theories, research principles and methods, professional practice and workplace contexts in the social work discipline

  • Reflect critically on the unique, complex and contemporary relationships between social work and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their diverse histories and cultures

  • Reflect critically on the impact of complex social, political and historical issues on environmental and social sustainability in Australia and internationally, with a focus on the tropics

  • Investigate, analyse critically and transform complex social systems, institutions, structures, processes, practices and inequities

  • Consolidate, synthesise, research and evaluate recent developments in social policy and evidence to devise practical and knowledge solutions that reduce social barriers, inequalities and injustice

  • Interpret and communicate, to specialist and non-specialist audiences, theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions in the social work discipline through advanced literacy, numeracy and technological skills

  • Design, plan and execute a substantial research based project

  • Manage service provision and professional practice to engage with and enable individuals, groups and communities to achieve social and environmental justice

  • Apply and adapt expert and specialised professional practice knowledge and skills, autonomously and in collaboration with others, to address social barriers, inequity and injustice across diverse contexts

  • Demonstrate creativity and initiative, and expert judgement and adaptability in engagement, planning, decision-making, problem-solving, provision and evaluation of specialist advice and functions, to achieve practice, organisational, policy and/or system level outcomes

  • Demonstrate high-level responsibility and accountability for own learning and professional development.

Course Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

SS5103:06 Post-Graduate Research Methods for the Social Sciences

WS2121:03 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Skills and Frameworks for Practice

WS3027:03 Social Welfare Work with Children and Families

WS4503:03 Social Work and Mental Health

WS4514:03 Theories for Social Work Practice

WS5005:03 Social Policy Analysis

WS5103:03 Community Development

WS5303:09 Field Education 1

WS5516:03 Foundations for Social Work Practice

WS5605:09 Advanced Social Work Practicum

WS5611:03 Professional Development for Social Work Practice

Campus

COURSE AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Cairns

Internal and Limited Attendance

Townsville

Internal and Limited Attendance

Candidature

Expected time to complete

2 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

5 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 year

Progression

Course progression requisites

Nil

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

Yes

Further information about placements can be found at Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students.

Students may be required to undertake placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled at their own expense.

Special assessment requirements

Refer to Review of a Student’s Suitability to Continue a Course Involving Placement policy.

Professional accreditation requirements

Nil

Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade

Nil

Supplementary exam for final subject

A student who has failed the final subject towards the award and who gained 40% or more of the marks for that subject, may be granted a supplementary examination in that subject. However if that subject is required for accreditation, then the criteria specified by that accreditation will apply.

Advanced Standing

Eligibility

Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Advanced Standing and Articulation policy and associated procedures.

Maximum allowed

24 credit points

Currency

Advanced standing will be granted only for studies completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course.

Expiry

Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 15 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed this course.

Other restrictions

Nil

Award Details

Award title

MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK (PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING)

Approved abbreviation

MSW(PQ)

Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Not applicable

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.