Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work

POSTGRADUATE

Get a flying start to your social work career with a postgraduate qualification.

Student type:
Mode of study:
On campus and blended learning
Entry score:

Not applicable

Duration:
Full-time 2 years
Part-time 4 years
Next intake:
February
Location:
Melbourne City
Mode of study:
On campus and blended learning
Entry score:

IELTS 7.0

Duration:
Full-time 2 years
Fees:

AU$35,520 (2023 annual)

Next intake:
February
Location:
Melbourne City

Overview

They mobilise the forces of individuals, the community, and state organisations to transform lives and create lasting and meaningful social change.

RMIT has been teaching social work for over 40 years, and our programs continue to reflect up-to-date ideas about social work and its place in a changing world.

Our graduates are resilient, outspoken members of society who advocate a fairer world for all.

Field education forms a large component of the social work course. You'll undertake 140 days of work placements within human and community service organisations.

Details

You will engage with a wide variety of fields of social work practice throughout your studies.

Your studies will commence with courses that introduce you to professional practice frameworks and develop your interpersonal and communication skills, culminating in a capstone experience which orients you to your future professional practice. 

Coursework is designed to prepare you for two work integrated learning experiences, in which you will undertake two 70-day placements working alongside social work practitioners in a range of organisations. 

In the Master of Social Work, you will experience a variety of teaching approaches including seminars, lectures and interactive tutorials facilitated by practitioners and researchers active across different fields of social work practice.

Methods include collaborative group work, self-directed and peer learning, scenario and case-based learning and practice skills simulations.  

We offer face-to-face classes with some evening options. Some classes are also run intensively through the semester. 

A full-time student will attend approximately eight hours of classes per week each semester, with additional self-directed research and reading to prepare for classes and complete assessment requirements. 

You will be assessed throughout each semester, through written reflections, research projects, essays, and simulated interviews, all of which give you the opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities and develop your practice frameworks. 

Blended learning options

Courses offered as part of blended learning programs include a meaningful blend of online, on-campus, and workplace based learning tailored to the type of study you undertake. This learning is active, prioritising tasks that involve exploration and development of skills and knowledge through interaction and engagement.

Online aspects provide positive benefits such as flexibility and adaptability using digital activities and materials, while also strengthening the interaction and connection with timetabled and on-campus experiences such as tutorials, practicals, or workshops.

RMIT and community service organisations work together to provide field education.

You'll undertake two field education placements within public and community sector human service organisations. Placement helps you practise your skills so that you have the confidence to apply your abilities to professional situations.

Placements may be arranged locally, with some opportunity for interstate or overseas placements for the second placement.

You could find work placements in organisations such as:

  • Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
  • Anglicare
  • Centre for Innovative Justice
  • Community Information & Support Victoria
  • Doncare
  • Forensicare
  • Sacred Heart Mission
  • South East Community Links
  • Tangentyere Council (Alice Springs)
  • Victorian Arabic Services
  • YouthLaw
  • Department of Families, Fairness and Housing Victoria
  • Services Australia
  • Melbourne City Mission
  • Neami.

RMIT is a world leader in social justice and homelessness research, and supports a number of research projects and networks that maintain wider links with local and global communities.

The Social and Global Studies Centre develops new knowledge and critical interventions to transform policy, practice, culture and lives, locally, nationally and internationally. It is underpinned by a commitment to respond to the Global Challenges agenda and is aligned with five 2030 SDGs: good health and well-being; gender equity; reduced inequalities; peace, justice and strong institutions; quality education.

The Centre for Urban Research is a thriving interdisciplinary research centre with an emphasis on the intersecting streams of housing and homelessness, urban and regional planning, and sustainability.

Global work, exchange and study experiences

RMIT offers a range of opportunities for our students to study abroad through global work, exchange and study experiences with over 165 partner universities worldwide.

The knowledge and skills you will acquire throughout this degree and how they can be applied in your career are described in the learning outcomes.

This degree is designed to develop your capacity to deliver human services. and to master current and emerging policy and practice trends.

You'll reflect on and analyse social policy and organisational practices, and develop the skills necessary for advocating change. You'll graduate with the knowledge, skills, and ethical foundations to bring about individual and collective wellbeing from a social justice perspective.

The Master of Social Work comprises of ten 12-credit-point core subjects, two 24-credit-point core subjects, and two 12-credit-point elective subjects. Most subjects are offered face-to-face.

Core subjects include:

  • Critical Social Work
  • Casework, Counselling and Advocacy
  • Group and Community Work Strategies
  • Ethical, Legal and Organisational Contexts of Social Work Practice
  • Discourses of Care, Control and Protection
  • Field Education
  • Contemporary Themes in Professional Practice
  • Social Policy
  • Rights, Recognition and Social Justice

Elective subjects include:

  • Advanced Advocacy and Social Action
  • Conflict Resolution and Mediation
  • Indigenous Policy
  • Loss, Trauma and Grief
  • Minor Thesis
  • Social and Political Theory
  • Working with Violence and Abuse.

Course structure

Choose a plan below to find out more about the subjects you will study and the course structure.

Master of Social Work
Program code: MC150

Title
Location
Duration
Plan code
CRICOS
Master of Social Work
City Campus
2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
MC150P15
058234C
Location
City Campus
Duration
2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
Plan code
MC150P15
CRICOS
058234C
Master of Social Work
City Campus
2 years full-time
MC150P15
058234C
Location
City Campus
Duration
2 years full-time
Plan code
MC150P15
CRICOS
058234C

Note: International student visa holders can only study full-time.

Career

Graduates are highly employable in human services organisations, community-based agencies, various levels of government, and increasingly in corporate and private enterprise.

Some graduates help to develop social policy, some engage in research, some assist communities to develop their own services, and some provide services to individuals and families. In a social work career, there are ample opportunities to pursue different specialisations and interests.

With your working knowledge of social science, research, and social work, you'll be eligible for a wide range of human services or community jobs in areas such as:

  • child protection
  • dispute mediation and industrial relations
  • health services and hospitals
  • human resource management
  • policy and advocacy work
  • community development projects
  • program and organisational development
  • immigration advice and referral centres
  • government departments
  • youth and family services.

Job Outlook projects that work opportunities for social workers are set to increase by 29.3% to 2024. Job Outlook also estimates that the most common annual salary for a social worker in Australia is between $75,000 and $85,000.

This program is an Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) accredited qualification. It is an entry qualification into the social work profession and has been determined to meet the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS). Graduates are eligible for membership of this professional association.

Admissions

You need to satisfy all of the following entry requirements to be considered for entry into this degree.

You must have successfully completed an Australian bachelor degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) that includes at least one year of full-time studies in social sciences (or equivalent).

If you are applying for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), you must submit your application by 30 November 2022.

Selection for Commonwealth Supported Places is competitive, based on your grade point average (GPA) and any relevant professional experience. To increase your application’s competitiveness, you are encouraged to submit a CV and a personal statement detailing your professional experience. Please note professional experience alone does not meet the minimum entry requirement.  

You will receive an outcome for your CSP application in mid-January 2023. 

There are no prerequisite subjects required for entry into this qualification.

A selection task is not required for entry into this qualification.

You must meet the University's minimum English language requirements to be eligible for a place in this program.

You need to satisfy all of the following requirements to be considered for entry into this degree.

You must have successfully completed an Australian bachelor degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) in a relevant discipline which includes at least one year of full time studies in social sciences (or equivalent).

Applicants will be selected competitively based on undergraduate results and professional experience.

Please note complete applications must be submitted by 1 November (in any given year) in order to be considered.

There are no prerequisite subjects required for entry into this qualification.

CV and statement details your relevant professional experience (if applicable).

To study this program you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 7.0 (with no individual band below 7.0)
  • TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 94 (with minimum of 24 in Reading, 24 in Listening, 23 in Speaking and 27 in Writing)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 65 (with no communication band less than 65)
  • C1 Advanced: minimum of 185 with no less than 185 in any component.

For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit English language requirements and equivalency information.

Additional information

If you are successful in obtaining a place in this program, you must meet a number of professional compliance requirements upon commencement of your studies.

Working With Children Check*

Applicants will be required to hold a valid Victorian Working with Children (WWC) Check (valid for 5 years) prior to undertaking professional placement as part of this program.

Note: For placements undertaken interstate a valid WWC Check is required for that state.

National police record check*

Applicants will be required to hold a valid National Police Record Check for professional placements as part of this program.

NDIS Worker Screening Check*

Applicants may be required to apply for, and receive an acceptable NDIS Worker Screening Check prior to undertaking professional placement with an NDIS provider as part of this program.

*All relevant screening and compliance check fees are the responsibility of the student. 

Non-academic abilities you’ll need to complete this program

The following information outlines the tasks you will be required to undertake during professional experience placement and on-campus learning activities.

The non-academic abilities listed are provided for your information only and are not entry requirements.

If there are any activities outlined which may be difficult for you to undertake, there are a range of adjustments to your study conditions available to enable and support you to demonstrate these abilities. Please contact the Equitable Learning Service to discuss any adjustments you may require.

By understanding the types of activities you’ll participate in, you can:

  • understand more about the program
  • determine if you may need support during your studies
  • make an informed decision about whether the program is suitable for you

If you are living with disability, long-term illness and/or a mental health condition, we can support you by making adjustments to activities in your program so that you can participate fully in your studies.

To receive learning adjustments, you need to register with Equitable Learning Service

The University considers the wellbeing and safety of all students, staff and the community to be a priority in academic and professional experience placement settings.

Pathways

You can gain entry to this masters degree from a range of RMIT undergraduate programs, if you meet the entry requirements.

Credit, recognition of prior learning, professional experience and accreditation from a professional body can reduce the duration of your study by acknowledging your earlier, relevant experience.

Credit and exemptions will be assessed consistent with the principles of the RMIT Credit Policy.

Upon successful completion of this masters degree, you may be eligible to undertake further studies in related programs at RMIT University, including postgraduate research programs, subject to the program's entrance requirements.

You can gain entry into this degree from a range of RMIT undergraduate programs.

Credit

Credit may reduce the duration of your study by acknowledging your earlier, relevant study experience.

When you are submitting an application, please indicate that you want to be considered for credit and provide detailed course syllabus (also known as course outline), outlining volume of learning, course content and weekly topics, learning objectives/outcomes, assessment types and their weightings, and reference to the learning resources such as prescribed textbooks and recommended readings.

Credit and exemptions will be assessed consistent with the principles of the RMIT Credit Policy.

Upon successful completion of this degree, you may be eligible for entry into an RMIT Masters by Research or Doctoral (PhD) program.

Fees

Entry for this program is primarily through Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs).

Government financial assistance is available to eligible students regardless of the type of place you enrol in.

2023 indicative fees

Commonwealth supported places

  • 2023 Commonwealth supported places (CSP) range from AU$4,124 to AU$15,142*.

Full-fee places

  • AU$26,880 (2023 annual fee)*.

Additional expenses

  • Student services and amenities fee (SSAF): AU$326 maximum fee for 2023*.
  • Other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment.

Annual fee adjustment*

Amounts quoted are indicative fees per annum, and are based on a standard year of full-time study (96 credit points). A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load.

*Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and these fees should only be used as a guide.

Defer your payment

  • You may be eligible to apply for a HELP loan, which can be used to defer payment of up to the full amount of your student contribution fees. You may also be eligible to apply to defer payment of your SSAF through the SA-HELP loan scheme.
  • For more information and to learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees see postgraduate study fees.

Paying your fees and applying for refunds

For information on how to pay your fees or how to apply for a refund, please see Paying your fees and applying for refunds.

If you are offered a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government.

Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set on an annual basis by the government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of your individual enrolled courses, not the overall program.

How much can I expect to pay for my Commonwealth supported place?

The Australian Government has introduced changes to university funding and student contribution fees under its Job-ready Graduates Package

The fees in the table below apply to students who commence their program in 2023. Fees for continuing students are available at fees for Commonwealth supported students.

Each course (subject) falls into a band. The band determines the student contribution amount for the course.

Amounts listed in the table below are based on a standard, full-time study load (96 credit points per year) with all courses in the same band. A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load or for enrolment in courses (subjects) from a combination of bands.

You can learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees for units from different bands at Fees for Commonwealth supported students.

Maximum student contribution amount for Commonwealth supported places in 2023 for commencing students

Student contribution band by course (subject)

Maximum annual student contribution amount (per EFTSL) in 2023

Education, Postgraduate Clinical Psychology, English, Mathematics, Statistics, Nursing, Indigenous and Foreign Languages, Agriculture $4,124 per standard year
$515 per standard (12 credit point) course
Allied Health, Other Health, Built Environment, Computing, Visual and Performing Arts, Professional Pathway Psychology, Professional Pathway Social Work, Engineering, Surveying, Environmental Studies, Science, Pathology $8,301 per standard year
$1,037 per standard (12 credit point) course
Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Science $11,800 per standard year
$1,475 per standard (12 credit point) course
Law, Accounting, Administration, Economics, Commerce, Communications, Society and Culture $15,142 per standard year
$1,892 per standard (12 credit point) course

If you are offered a full-fee place, you will need to pay the full tuition costs of your program. However, eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) may apply to defer payment of some or all of their tuition fees via the Commonwealth Government’s FEE-HELP loan scheme.

In addition to tuition fees, you will be charged an annual student services and amenities fee (SSAF), which is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.

The SSAF is calculated based on your enrolment load and the maximum fee for 2023 is $326. 

For more information about calculating your actual SSAF see Paying SSAF.

You may also be required to purchase other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment. These additional fees and expenses vary from program to program.

HECS-HELP Loans

The Australian Government provides financial assistance via the HECS-HELP loan scheme, which allows eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) to defer payment of up to the full amount of their student contribution.

FEE-HELP loans

Eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) may apply to defer payment of some or all of their tuition fees via the Commonwealth Government’s FEE-HELP loan scheme.

SA-HELP Loans

You may be eligible to apply to defer payment of the Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) through the SA-HELP loan scheme. If you use SA-HELP, the amount will be added to your accumulated HELP debt.

How does a HELP loan work?

If your HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.

You only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government (this also applies if you are still studying). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.

For more information about loan repayment options see Commonwealth assistance (HELP loans) or Study Assist.

This program is approved for income support.

You may be eligible for student income support payments from the Commonwealth Government if you are undertaking a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or an approved professionally oriented masters by coursework program. For more information see Income support for Masters students.

If you are enrolled in an eligible program you will also need to satisfy all other student payment eligibility requirements. You can contact Centrelink or Services Australia for further information about student income support entitlements, your eligibility and how to apply.

You may be eligible to apply for income tax deductions for education expenses linked to your employment.

See the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for more information.

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds.

The annual tuition fee for 2023 is AU$35,520.

The total indicative tuition fee for 2023 commencement is AU$71,040.

In addition to tuition fees you also need to pay for:

You also need to account for your living expenses. Estimate the cost of living in Melbourne.

Find out more details about how fees are calculated and the expected annual increase.

Applying for refunds

Find information on how to apply for a refund as a continuing international student.

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Looking for answers or more general information?

Use our Frequently Asked Questions to learn about the application process and its equity access schemes, find out how to accept or defer your offer or request a leave of absence, discover information about your fees, refunds and scholarships, and explore the various student support and advocacy services, as well as how to find out more about your preferred program, and more.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.