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Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

Master of Social Work (Qualifying) (MSWQ)

Entry requirements
Study mode
  • On-campus
  • Ipswich
  • 2 year(s) (or part-time equivalent)
  • Jan, May


  • Become a social worker in just two years* with UniSQ and embark on a career as a change agent in society. You’ll be prepared to enter an in-demand profession and work with people who are experiencing emotional, social, and economic challenges.
  • The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) can be the start of a new career in social work and can build on your existing skills to make a difference in society.
  • Develop effective communication, creative thinking, and solution-based skills and get 1000 hours of hands-on experience during field placements to prepare you for professional practice. Graduates can work clinically with individuals and families or in counselling, advocacy, community engagement, disability services, social action, and international development.
  • You will be able to practice as a critical ally with marginalised people and communities, and foster cultural safety, be culturally responsive and be able to work alongside First Nations peoples.
  • Choose either a professional or research pathway in your final year to tailor the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) to your desired career path.
    • The professional pathway is unique to the UniSQ MSW(Q) degree and allows you to select between bespoke social work elective courses to gain deeper knowledge of particular areas of interest.
    • The research pathway advances your research capability and involves an independent research project that produces a thesis and the possibility of undertaking a PhD in the future.

* If studying full-time.

Further study

Upon successful completion of the UniSQ MSW(Q) degree (Research pathway), you can apply to study a PhD to gain further research experience.

Professional accreditation

The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). UniSQ graduates will be eligible for membership with AASW.

Career outcomes

  • Graduate with the specialised knowledge and skills that enables you to deliver social work services across diverse fields of practice, including disability, health, research, child, youth and family wellbeing, education, community services and criminal justice. 
  • You’ll be prepared to step into leadership roles and positioned to work towards societal change through policy advocacy

Entry requirements

  • Completion of an Australian university three-year bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with a minimum of one year of Social Science subjects.
  • Participate in an interview with a panel of staff from the Social Work and Human Services discipline in the School of Psychology and Wellbeing.
  • Additional requirements apply before you start any industry placements.

Inherent requirements

There are inherent requirements that must be met in order to successfully complete this degree. Inherent requirements are fundamental skills, capabilities and knowledge that students must be able to demonstrate in order to achieve the essential learning outcomes of the degree, while maintaining the academic integrity of the degree.

English language requirements

You are required to satisfy the applicable English language requirements and this degree requires a minimum of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent. If you do not meet the English language requirements you may apply to study a University-approved English language program.

Recognition of prior learning or work experience

You may be eligible for recognition of prior learning if you have previously studied or have relevant work experience. This will help to reduce the number of courses that you need to study to finish your program.


If you don't meet the entry requirements, we have several bachelor degrees for you to choose from to start your journey towards your chosen degree. 

Degree structure

To complete this degree students must complete 16 units. Most courses (similar to ‘subjects’) are valued at 1 unit. To study full-time you would usually complete 4 units per study period.

Courses to be studied Units
Core courses 8
2 x placement courses 6
2 x Professional Pathway elective courses
2 x Research Pathway dissertation courses
Total 16

Refer to the UniSQ Handbook for courses to be studied and recommended enrolment patterns.

Professional experience / placements

You’ll undertake 1000 hours of placements in this degree.

All students will need to comply with UniSQ's Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Compliance requirements and provide the following prior to commencing field education courses:

  • Blue Card or Working with Children Check
  • Criminal History Check (Australian Police Certificate)
  • UniSQ Mandatory Compliance form
  • Evidence of required vaccinations. 

Fees and scholarships

Your actual fees may vary depending on the courses you select. We review our fees annually so these may be subject to change.

Approximate annual costs1 for your first year of study (8 units) in this degree are:

Study Mode Cost
Domestic full fee paying

You are responsible for the full cost of your course and are charged a tuition fee.

AUD 26640

1 These are indicative annual fees for 2024. 

Student services and amenities fees

You may need to pay student services and amenities (SA) fees as part of your course costs.

Professional experience costs

This degree includes a professional experience component that may involve travel, accommodation and meal expenses.

Loan to help you pay your fees

You may not have to pay your course (subject) fees upfront. FEE-HELP allows you to defer your fees until your income reaches a certain level. Find out if you are eligible for FEE-HELP

You may also be eligible to receive financial support from Centrelink.


At UniSQ, we offer a range of scholarships to support your success at university. Find a scholarship that works for you.

How to apply

Complete your online application directly to UniSQ.


You can select to start your study in Trimester 1 or 2.

Study period  Application closing date Orientation  Study period start date Finish date
Trimester 1, 2024  Monday 22 January Monday 15 January Monday 22 January Friday 26 April 
Trimester 2, 2024 Monday 20 May Monday 6 May Monday 13 May  Friday 16 August

More information on applying key dates is available.

Further information

Discover further information on applying to study at UniSQ that is relevant to you.

Two men collaborating at a computer workstation in an office environment.

Got questions?


Begin your study journey today with the university rated 5/5 stars for graduates starting salaries* and start the degree that’s right for you.

*Good Universities Guide 2024

Talk to us
What does Master of Social Work qualifying mean?
A Master of Social Work Qualifying is a postgraduate Social Work qualification that is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). This means you can work as a social worker once completing an accredited Master of Social Work degree. 
Why study a Master of Social Work at UniSQ?

There are many reasons why you should get started in a Master of Social Work Qualifying at UniSQ.

  • Become a fully qualified social worker in just two years.
  • Tailor your degree by choosing from a professional or research pathway in your final year.
  • A Master’s degree in Social Work will expand your knowledge and transferrable skills by developing effective communication, creative thinking and solution-based capabilities.
  • Continue to enhance your social work knowledge and use your Master of Social Work (Qualifying) as a stepping-stone into a PhD
How long does it take to complete a Master of Social Work (Qualifying) degree?

The duration of a Masters of Social Work Qualifying or Master of Social Work degree in Australia may vary depending on the education provider you choose.

At UniSQ, a Master of Social Work Qualifying will take you approximately two years to complete. Some students choose to study part-time which increases the time it takes to finish the required courses to finish your Masters of Social Work degree. 

Is this degree accredited?
Yes! Upon successful completion of UniSQ’s Master of Social Work Qualifying you will be eligible for membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).
What kind of hands-on experience will I gain during the degree?
UniSQ’s Master of Social Work Qualifying degree includes 1000 hours of hands-on experience during field placements. This professional experience prepares you for professional practice by allowing you to put your theory into practice with industry relevant learnings.
What can I do with a Masters in Social Work?

Employment opportunities for social workers who hold a Masters of Social Work qualification can enjoy a variety of careers in different settings, including:

  • disability
  • health
  • research
  • child, youth and family wellbeing
  • education
  • community service
  • criminal justice.

When you graduate with a Social Work and Human Services degree from UniSQ you will gain a strong foundation in theoretical concepts, as well as the practical skills required to become an ethical advocate for individual, families, groups and communities. 

Are flexible study options available?

Yes! You can choose to study our Master of Social Work Qualifying full-time or part-time. Adjust your subject enrolment to meet your needs. Take one subject at a time or take extra subjects when life allows it – the choice is yours!

Discover more about the different ways to study at UniSQ.