Master of Social Work

Overview

The SCI Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course is an entry qualification into the social work profession and has been aligned to meet the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS). The aim of the course is to provide students with an advanced understanding of social work principles, theories, and practices, preparing them for professional excellence in the field. The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course will equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and ethical frameworks to effectively engage with diverse populations, address social inequalities, promote social justice, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Through a rigorous curriculum, mandatory field placements, and research opportunities, the course aims to foster critical thinking, cultural competence, and the ability to navigate complex social systems. Ultimately, the aim of the course is to produce competent and compassionate social work professionals who are committed to promoting positive social change and empowering those in need. Upon completion of the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course, graduates will be able to demonstrate a broad and coherent body of knowledge, with depth in the underlying principles and concepts as a basis for independent lifelong learning.

 

Industry Needs

The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course is designed to meet the industry needs of the social work profession. In today’s complex and diverse society, there is a growing demand for highly skilled and competent social work professionals who can address the multifaceted challenges faced by individuals, families, and communities. The industry requires social workers who possess advanced knowledge of social work theories, research methodologies, cultural competency, and ethical practices. This course aims to equip students with the necessary skills and competencies to meet these industry demands. Through a comprehensive course structure that combines theoretical foundations with mandatory practical field placements, students will gain hands-on experience in a variety of social work settings, allowing them to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. By aligning the course with industry needs, SCI is committed to producing graduates who can make a meaningful and positive impact in the field of social work.

STRUCTURE

The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) will have the following delivery structure:

  • 2 years full-time teaching in delivery over 4 semesters;
  • 1000 hours of mandatory work-based practicum;
  • Each semester will run over 12 weeks;
  • 12 Units (classroom-based learning) + 2 Professional Practice Units;
  • 12 Units each offer 4 contact hours per week broken down into lecture and tutorial components (2 hours lecture + 2 hours tutorial);
  • 2 Professional Practice Units equivalent to 1000 hours of work placement in social work setting to be completed in second semester of each year. The student will attend their professional practice organisation on fulltime basis (37.5 hours per week for 16 weeks);
  • The MSW(Q) course includes over 300 hours of teaching professional practice skills and practical assessments, meeting ASWEAS requirement;
  • The course is equivalent to 320 credit points comprising 12 Units of 20 credit points each and 2 Professional Practice Units of 40 credit points each.

Unit Sequence

Year 1
Year 2
Semester 1
SWQ801
History and Foundation of Social Work
SWQ802
Critical Approaches to Social Work Theory and Practice
SWQ803
Human Behavior and Human Development in Social Work
SWQ804
Diversity, Power, and Identity in Social Work
Semester 3
SWQ901
Aboriginal and Torres Islander People and Social Work

SWQ902
Substance Abuse and Social Work Practice
SWQ903
Research and Evaluation in Social Work
SWQ904
Social Work with Children, and Young People
Semester 2
SWQ805
Mental Health and Wellbeing in Social Work
SWQ806
Ethical and Legal Issues in Social Work

SWP807
Professional Practice - 1
Semester 4
SWQ905
Social Policy, and Organisational Contexts in Social Work
SWQ906
Families and Domestic Violence in Social Work
SWP907
Professional Practice - 2
  • To complete the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course, the student would need to complete 14 courses, which includes 12 Units (classroom-based learning) +2 Professional Practice Units (equivalent to 1000 hours of work placement in social work setting). Students are required to complete all of the units listed below to fulfil the requirements of Master of Social Work (Qualifying).
Unit NamePrerequisites Unit
SWQ801 History and Foundation of Social WorkN/A
SWQ802 Critical Approaches to Social Work Theory and PracticeN/A
SWQ803 Human Behavior and Human Development in Social WorkN/A
SWQ804 Diversity, Power, and Identity in Social WorkN/A
SWQ805 Mental Health and Wellbeing in Social WorkN/A
SWQ806 Ethical and Legal Issues in Social WorkN/A
SWP807 Professional Practice - 1SWQ801 History and Foundation of Social Work
SWQ803 Human Behavior and Development in Social Work
SWQ805 Mental Health and Wellbeing in Social Work
SWQ806 Ethical and Legal Issues in Social Work
SWQ901 Aboriginal and Torres Islander People and Social WorkSWP807 Professional Practice - 1
SWQ902 Substance Abuse and Social Work PracticeSWP807 Professional Practice - 1
SWQ903 Research and Evaluation in Social WorkSWP807 Professional Practice - 1
SWQ904 Social Work with Children, and Young PeopleSWP807 Professional Practice - 1
SWQ906 Families and Domestic Violence in Social WorkSWP807 Professional Practice - 1
SWP907 Professional Practice - 2SWP807 Professional Practice - 1
SWQ905 Social Policy, and Organisational Contexts in Social WorkSWP807 Professional Practice – 1
SWQ901 Aboriginal and Torres Islander People and Social Work
SWQ902 Substance Abuse and Social Work Practice
SWQ903 Research and Evaluation in Social Work

SWQ904 Social Work with Children, and Young People
SWQ905 Social Policy, and Organisational Contexts in Social Work
SWQ906 Families and Domestic Violence in Social Work

Course learning Outcomes

The Master of Social Work has the following learning outcomes that are consistent with the AQF Level 9 qualification:
  • Critically evaluate theories, models, and frameworks in social work practice across diverse contexts.
  • Analyse complex social issues and challenges, identifying underlying causes, systems, and structures.
  • Synthesise diverse sources of knowledge, research findings, and practice wisdom to inform evidence-based decision-making and the development of innovative practice options that aligns with the values, ethics and professional standards of the AASW.
  • Apply creative and critical thinking skills to develop and implement novel approaches for addressing emerging social problems.
  • Examine personal values, biases, and ethical frameworks, and effectively navigate complex ethical dilemmas within the context of social work practice.
  • Communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders, fostering collaboration, advocacy, and social change in various contexts.
  • Reflexive implementation of social work skills and knowledge in professional practice settings, emphasising lifelong learning to continuously adapt and enhance effectiveness.

Graduate Attributes

The graduates of Southern Cross Institute will have the following attributes:
  • Apply ethical principles to professional decision-making to protect individual rights and human dignity and promote sustainable communities.
  • Apply advanced disciplinary knowledge to address complex social, intellectual and technical problems.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate professional practices, principles, strategies and impacts to enable continuous improvements in service.
  • Generate, adapt and communicate information appropriately to meet the needs of people from diverse cultural, social and economic backgrounds.
  • Work autonomously, reflectively and collaboratively in professional contexts to advance the needs and interests of stakeholders and community.
  • Use relevant technologies and to6. Use relevant technologies and tools within the structure of the coursework through course teaching modalities and field placements, to conduct quantitative and qualitative research and enhance professional practice.ols within the structure of the coursework through course teaching modalities and field placements, to conduct quantitative and qualitative research and enhance professional practice.