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Key details


2 year/s full-time
4 year/s part-time
2 year/s full-time


Semester 1
On campus - Semester 1
Online - No


Casuarina campus, Online
Casuarina campus

Credit points required


Course code



Be an agent of change and make a difference in the lives of families, individuals and communities. Our Masters of Social Work (Qualifying) provides you with the skills and knowledge to work in a diverse range of practice contexts including urban, regional and remote, and international settings. As a fully accredited course, graduates are eligible for membership to the Australian Association of Social Workers and will be a part of a growing and diverse CDU social work alumni. During the course, you will explore themes and concepts such as social justice, human rights, critical reflection and supervision, culturally responsive practice, research and advocacy. Students will be supported to complete two placements in the field to further solidify classroom learning with real world practice.

Professional recognition

As a graduate, you will be eligible for membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

Credit transfers and advanced standing


Pathways for Higher Education to Higher Education

For information about credit transfer available to students with complete or incomplete study at this or other Institutions refer to Pathways for Higher Education to Higher Education

Credit transfer

For further information on credit transfer and how to apply visit ASK CDU


Non-Commonwealth supported places

Full fee paying places are available in this course.
2022: Information about fees and charges can be found at Fees and Payments.
2023: Information about fees and charges will be published no later than 1 December 2022.

International tuition fees

The annual tuition fee for full time study is AUD $31,000.00. This equates to $3,875.00 per 10 credit point unit (0.125 EFTSL).
These fees are subject to increases annually, effective at the start of each calendar year.

You can find a list of International fees and payments you can expect to pay as part of your studies in Australia.

CDU offers a number of scholarships to international students to assist with the cost of study.

Menzies Public Health Julie

Why study at CDU?

Study a postgraduate course at Charles Darwin University to upskill at work, fast-track your career, increase your job prospects or explore a new interest. We offer flexible study options so you don't have to put your life on hold while you learn.

  • #1 Australian uni for postgraduate employment outcomes (GUG 2022)
  • Top 100 university globally for quality education
  • Our graduates enjoy higher than average employment rates and starting salaries

What will I study?

Our Master of Social Work (Qualifying) is a two-year, full-time course comprising of core units in social work and two, 500 hour field placements. Core units include an introduction to social work contexts and critical approaches to practice; culturally responsive practice with families, individuals and groups; social work theory and integrated methods; community development; advocacy, research; social policy and social change. Field placements are held in second semester each year and facilitate direct and indirect practice opportunities within a host organisation. The course uses a blend of online and face to face learning opportunities, with students required to attend 20 days of on campus workshop and skill development training across the length of the course.

Course structure

A candidate must successfully complete units totalling 160 credit points as detailed below. All units are valued at 10 credit points unless indicated.

Unit typeCredit PointsSpecific requirements
Core Units
(12 units)
160cpCompulsory Core units totalling 160 credit points as per the list of units detailed below:

SWK521 Analysing Social Work Foundations (compulsory intensive)
SWK522 Co-creating Social Justice in Practice (compulsory intensive)
SWK523 Social Work Theory for Advanced Professional Practice (compulsory intensive)
SWK524 Communities, Social Change and Development
SWK525 Loss, Grief and Mental Health
SWK526 Leadership in Social Policy
SWK527 Critical Partnerships for Practice: Individuals, Groups and Families
SWK528 Advancing Social Work Research
SWK529 Integrated Methods for Social Work Futures (compulsory intensive)
SWK558 Cultural Security in Child Protection Practice
SWK530 Field Education A (Masters) (30 credit points)
SWK631 Field Education B (Masters) (30 credit points)

 160cpTotal Credit Points

Students who commenced in or after 2013
The grade of "PC" cannot be counted towards a Masters Degree by Coursework AQF Level 9 course award. 
Students should refer to the current Grading Policy and Common Course Rules for further information.

Study plan

Students commencing in Semester 1

The Recommended Study Plan provided below is suitable for a student commencing in semester 1 and enrolling in a standard full time load.

Legend:CO = Core Unit

Study Plan Amended 24/02/2021

Semester 1Semester 2
Year 1
SWK521 Analysing Social Work FoundationsCOSWK522 Co-Creating Social Justice in PracticeCO
SWK527 Critical Partnerships for Advanced PracticeCOSWK530 Field Education A (30 credit points)CO
SWK526 Leadership in Social PolicyCO CO
SWK523 Social Work Theory for Advanced Professional PracticeCO CO
Year 2
SWK524 Challenging Community: Change and DevelopmentCOSWK529 Integrated Methods in Social WorkCO
SWK528 Advancing Social Work ResearchCOSWK631 Field Education B (30 credit points) CO
SWK558 Cultural Security in Child Protection PracticeCO  
SWK525 Loss, Grief and Mental HealthCO  

Students commencing in Semester 2

This course is not available for entry in Semester 2.


Entry requirements

Admission criteria

Successful completion of:

  • a recognised bachelor degree in any field; and
  • the equivalent of one-year full-time study in behavioural or social science units, whether this be included in the completed degree or in the form of additional qualifications at diploma or above level.

If you do not meet the requirement of one-year full-time study in behavioural or social science you should apply for the Diploma of Social Care..

Due to professional recognition, applicants who have completed a Bachelor of Social Work undergraduate degree are not eligible for entry into this course.

Essential requirements

English language requirements

To gain entry into Charles Darwin University, all Higher Education applicants must satisfy the University's English Language Proficiency Requirements for their chosen course of study. International applicants will be required to supply evidence of this at the time of application.

The minimum English language requirement for this course is met by either:

  • completion of secondary education, that was taught and assessed in English in one of the recognised English speaking countries*, AND successfully completed (with a pass grade or higher) the equivalent of three years or more full-time tertiary study (at Bachelor Degree level or higher), that was taught and assessed in English, in one of the recognised English speaking countries*.

    (*recognised countries include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America)
  • undertaking one of the following English language tests and obtaining the minimum requirements listed below.
IELTS Academic ModuleA minimum overall score of 7.0 with no score below a 7.0 in reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)Test not accepted for this course.
Common European Framework Certificate of English ProficiencyTest not accepted for this course.
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic moduleA minimum overall score of 65 with no score less than 65 across all modules reading, writing, speaking and listening.
TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT)A minimum overall score of 94 with a minimum score of 24 in reading and listening, a minimum score of 27 in writing and a minimum score of 23 in speaking.

* All tests are valid for two years from the date of the test to the date of commencement at CDU, unless otherwise specified.
* Where applicable, international applicants must also satisfy the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) English language requirements for student visa applications.

Do you have a question regarding English requirements at CDU? Please email:


CDU brings social work to life. The lecturers are experts from various sectors of social work practice.


CDU Student

Chigozie on campus

Course details


This course is accredited by the University in accordance with the Higher Education Standards.

Inherent Requirements

There are inherent requirements for this course. Students must read and understand the requirements for this course.

Australian qualification framework

This course is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Additional information

Can offers be deferred?
Master of Social Work (Qualifying)
College of Health and Human Sciences
Area of study
Community Services and Social Work, Health

Contact details

For further information about the course, enrolment procedures, closing dates and other administrative issues please contact Student Central on: 8946 7766 or 1800 061 963 (free call)

You make CDU

Together we are a positive force for change in our communities and the world.

How to apply

There are many ways to apply to CDU. The method you use depends on your course type, where you live and whether you are a new or returning student to CDU.

Remember to apply early for your best chance at securing an offer to study with us.


SATAC is the application channel for residents of NT, ACT, SA, WA, QLD, VIC or TAS.


UAC is the application channel for residents of NSW.

International applications

Applications must be submitted online through our application portal, Studylink. You'll need a valid email address to create your online account. Once you have started your application, you will be able to save it and resume it later. There is no application fee when you apply online.

You may be able to lodge a direct application; however, there may be restrictions on your geographic location. If you cannot submit a direct application via the application portal, please apply through one of our registered agents.

Apply through StudyLink or through an Agent.


UAC Code
Casuarina campus (FF)
Online (FF)
* CSP = Commonwealth supported place
FF = Full fee

CRICOS codes

Casuarina campus

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