Study a progressive social work course with a strong emphasis on practical experience gained through practical placements.
Social work is concerned with enhancing the wellbeing of people in their social environments. Our Master of Social Work focuses on social and community development; race and gender issues; critical social work perspectives; equity, power and diversity issues; and anti-oppressive and empowerment approaches to social work practice and social policy.
This course is accredited by Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), allowing you to enter the social work profession. The AASW recognises Deakin’s social work program’s commitment to ‘critically reflective practice’, which sets it apart from other social work programs in Australia. It also meets the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS).
Fieldwork provides you with the opportunity to gain valuable skills and practical experience under the supervision of qualified social work practitioners. You will complete a minimum of 1000 hours of fieldwork placements conducted in a variety of communities and workplaces.
As a Deakin social work graduate, you will be eligible to apply for membership of the AASW and seek employment throughout Australia. The Master of Social Work creates a new pathway for entry into the profession and prepares graduates for a more advanced level of practice.Read More
To complete the Master of Social Work students must attain 16 credit points. All units are core (these are compulsory).
Failure of a field education placement in the Master of Social Work will normally lead to exclusion.
Students should also be aware of the inherent requirements of the course.
Course structure applies for students who commenced in 2017 onwards. Students who commenced prior to 2015 should refer to previous online Handbooks or consult your course enrolment officer.
Level 1 - Trimester 1
Level 1 - Trimester 2
Level 2 - Trimester 1
Level 2 - Trimester 2
Campuses by intake
Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Cloud Campus
Additional course information
In accordance with Department of Human Services policy, all students are required to undertake a National Police Record Check prior to clinical placements in each calendar year of their course.
In accordance with the Department of Justice 2007, Working with Children Act 2005, amended 2017, all students are required to undertake a Working with Children Check at the commencement of their course. Students who fail to obtain a Police Record Check and a Working with Children Check prior to the commencement of clinical placement will not be able to undertake clinical placement and this will impede progress in the course.
Students may also be required to declare their immunisation status to satisfy the requirements of health organisations where they will be undertaking their clinical learning experience. A health organisation may refuse to accept a student for placement if the student’s immunisation status is not satisfactory to the health organisation.
Domestic students enrolled in this postgraduate coursework program may be eligible for student income support through Youth Allowance and Austudy.
Further information can be found at Deakin University's Fees website.
Course duration - additional information
Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.
As a student in a Cloud (online) course in the Faculty of Health you will be expected to spend 11-13 hours every week studying, interacting via CloudDeakin and completing assessment tasks for each unit in your course.
Students are required to attend a minimum of 20 days of face to face time delivered during the two-year degree. Dates for 2018 are listed here
Work Integrated Learning
Field education placements provide an opportunity for students to learn from experience under the supervision of qualified social work practitioners. During the course you will complete two field education placements of 500 hours each, totalling a minimum of 1000 hours that are conducted in a variety of communities and workplaces in metropolitan and regional settings.
Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.
All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.
Entry will be based on performance in:
- a Bachelor degree or other qualification at a higher AQF level in related discipline, with two units in human behaviour and two units in study of society
For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library.
Applicants must have a recognised university qualification with at least two units in a study of the human behaviour and two units in the study of society. Preference may be given to applicants with relevant work experience. Selection criteria will also be based on undergraduate academic results.
Applications are accepted from students who possess the skills and prerequisites required to complete the course, gain professional certification and practise safely. The inherent requirements of the course are available here.
Fees and scholarships
Learn more about fees and your options for paying.
Learn more about fees.
The available fee places for this course are detailed above.
Tuition fees are determined by your enrolment:
- If you are offered a full fee paying place, your tuition fees are calculated based on your course.
- If you are offered a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are calculated depending on the units you choose. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.
The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning.
* One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.
You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.
Learn more about fees and available payment options.
A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.
If you’re a Deakin alumni commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 15% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees. Your spouse and members of your immediate family may also be eligible to apply for this bursary.
The two year Master of Social Work course is designed to provide a graduate level entry to educate students for critical, competent and effective professional social work practice both within the local social and community services industry and the broader national and international context. Graduates may find employment as a social worker, policy officer, researcher, community development worker, case manager, counsellor, human rights advocate, working with individuals, families, groups and communities in the health and human services sectors.
The professionally qualifying Master of Social Work creates a new pathway for entry into the profession and prepares graduates for a more advanced level of practice. The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) has fully accredited the Master of Social Work. The AASW has also singled out Deakin for our ‘critically reflective practice’, setting us apart from other social work programs in Australia.
Note: All information regarding professional recognition is accurate at the date of publication. Enquiries regarding accreditation and professional membership should be directed to the School of Health and Social Development in order to ascertain the current status of accreditation at any future point in time beyond publication. Representations about accreditation apply only to the course, and the AASW retains discretion as to who they admit as members of their association. Deakin University cannot exercise any control over membership of an external body.
Course learning outcomes
Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline Specific knowledge and capabilities
Critically apply understanding of the histories, aims, values, ethics, theories and practice approaches of social work in contemporary Australian contexts, across all domains including working with individuals, families, groups, communities, management, research education and social policy.
Practice social work reflectively in line with the code of ethics and professional practice standards of the Australian Association of Social Workers.
Evaluate and apply appropriate communication and interpersonal skills in a broad range of social work practice contexts and with a diversity of people, communities and organisations.
Use digital technology in social work practice ethically and appropriately, including service provision and management, information acquisition and dissemination, and research and evaluation.
Critically analyse, synthesise and apply knowledge of social work theories, methods and skills to promote positive social change.
Engage in reflective and responsive practice that considers the social context, and the positioning of self and others.
Evaluate and apply knowledge and understanding of a range of research paradigms and methods to the design and conduct of research relevant to the practice and evaluation of social work.
Apply social work knowledge and intervention skills to appropriately and creatively respond to the needs of individuals, groups and communities in diverse settings, client groups and geographic locations.
Demonstrate a sense of identity, integrity and self-management as a professional social worker in all areas of practice.
Work and learn respectfully and inclusively across diverse social, discipline, cultural and political contexts.
Ability to evaluate and apply local and global knowledges social work practice to respond effectively within a human rights and social justice framework.
How to apply
Apply direct to Deakin
Applications can be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal if you are only applying for one course. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the how to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.Apply through Deakin
Need more information on how to apply?
For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.
Register your interest to study at Deakin
Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.
Credit for prior learning
The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University.
You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.
Faculty contact information
Health - Student and Academic Services
Tel 03 9251 7777