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Postgraduate Coursework

Master of Social Work (Qualifying)


UAC Code
Casuarina campus (FF)
Online (FF)
* CSP = Commonwealth supported place
FF = Full fee
Casuarina campus
Course duration
2 year/s
4 year/s
Course duration
2 year/s
Availability for Admission
Semester 1
International on campus
Semester 1
International online
Applications accepted through MyNextCourse
Can offers be deferred?
CDU Reference
CDU Course Code


Master of Social Work (Qualifying)
College of Health and Human Sciences
Area of study
Health and Medicine
Society and Welfare Studies

This course provides you with the knowledge and skills required for employment as an accredited social work practitioner. You will learn to work with individuals, families, groups and communities to create positive change. You will gain specific practical skills for working effectively and safely in situations where resources are limited, including remote and regional locations. You will receive support and access to a broad and coherent body of knowledge in a range of contexts, at the master's degree level. Course themes include multidisciplinary and intercultural practice, social justice, research and advocacy, and working in virtual contexts.

Professional recognition

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

Credit transfers and pathways

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

International applications

English Language Requirements for International Students

For detail on English Language Entry Requirements please read the entry requirements provided for International students.

How to Apply

International applicants apply directly to CDU and should refer to the information provided for International future students Apply.

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

  • Australian qualification framework

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

Contact details

For further information about the course, enrolment procedures, closing dates and other administrative issues please contact Student Central on:

Email: Phone: (08) 8946 7766 or 1800 061 963 (free call)

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 Module A 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 Proficiency Test not accepted for this course.
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic module A 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:


Course structure

The course is a two-year, full-time course comprising of core units in social work. Core units include an introduction to social work contexts, direct practice with individuals and groups, community development, theories of social work practice, ethical issues, social policy and research methods. Students will undertake two practicums involving contact with clients, and in social policy, advocacy and research roles.

The course includes four integrative five-day intensive blocks where you will share your knowledge and experience and develop new practice skills with fellow students.

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

Unit type Credit Points Specific requirements
Core Units
(12 units)
160cp Compulsory 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)

  160cp Total 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 1 Semester 2
Year 1
SWK521 Analysing Social Work Foundations CO SWK522 Co-Creating Social Justice in Practice CO
SWK527 Critical Partnerships for Advanced Practice CO SWK530 Field Education A (30 credit points) CO
SWK526 Leadership in Social Policy CO   CO
SWK523 Social Work Theory for Advanced Professional Practice CO   CO
Year 2
SWK524 Challenging Community: Change and Development CO SWK529 Integrated Methods in Social Work CO
SWK528 Advancing Social Work Research CO SWK631 Field Education B (30 credit points) CO
SWK558 Cultural Security in Child Protection Practice CO    
SWK525 Loss, Grief and Mental Health CO    

Students commencing in Semester 2

This course is not available for entry in Semester 2.


Course fees

Non-Commonwealth supported places

Full fee paying places are available in this course.
2021: Information about fees and charges can be found at Fees and Payments.

International tuition fees

The annual tuition fee for full time study of 80 credit points (1.0 EFTSL) for commencing students in 2021 is AUD $31,000.00.
These fees are subject to annual increases each year of your study, 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.

Domestic students - postgraduate studies


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



Everything you need to know to apply

How to apply for international students

Applications to CDU must be submitted online.


The process is simple, all you need is a valid email address to create your online account.


Once you have started the application you will have the option of saving your application and resuming it at a later date.


There is no application fee when you apply online.

Find a CDU agent partner

Applicants may seek further information about international education in Australia from theAustralian Government Department of Education and Training or from our overseas / external representatives.


To help with the process, we've compile a list of authorised representatives.

Not sure if you are a domestic or international student?

That's OK - it can be a little tricky to know the difference.


To help you out, we've put together a guide to answer any questions you might have.


Things like the difference between domestic and international students or the difference between course types like VET and undergraduate.

We're here to help you

Need some help with your CDU application? Or not sure if you’re eligible to study? Get in touch and we’ll make sure you get the information you need.

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