Exploring Master's in Social Work Programs in Australia

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Are you considering a career in social work to enhance the wellbeing of people? Getting a Master of Social Work degree in Australia can give you the knowledge and skills you need to assist people in making the choices that will eventually improve their social and personal wellbeing. 

What is a Master of Social Work?

Master of Social Work (or MSW) is a graduate degree that equips social workers to apply for state licensure. Clinical social work is the main focus of MSW programmes, which can be completed online or with advanced standing to best suit the needs of students. 

Why study Master's in Social Work in Australia?

Did you know that Australian social work graduates are regarded as skilled professionals in the country? The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485), the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189), and the Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190), can all provide a path to permanent residency, thus boosting the possibilities of overseas students obtaining permanent residency in Australia. 

  • Social work is among the 10 fastest-growing areas of employment.
  • The combination of coursework units and high-quality placements in the field presents you with the opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills and develop a sense of identity as a practitioner.
  • MSW is taught by highly qualified, award-winning staff in Australian universities who are passionate about teaching and learning.
  • Social workers promote change at the individual, community, and policy levels and assist people to create positive outcomes.

Master's in Social Work: Highlights

Degree type Master of Social Work
Course duration 2 years
Programme types Full-time, part-time
Admission requirements Bachelor’s degree in social sciences or related fields | Minimum GPA of 4.0 on a 7.0 scale (60-65%) | 1-2 years of work experience in the human and community service industry | 1-2 LORs | Personal statement | Updated resume/CV
English proficiency IELTS: 7.0 | TOEFL: 100
Tuition fees AUD 35,000 | NPR 30,70,000
Average salary AUD 80,900 | NPR 70,97,000

Top universities to Study Master's in Social Work from Australia:

Australian institutions place a high importance on social work education and adhere to a distinctive, internationally acclaimed curriculum. The extensive list of universities that have received top rankings for their social work programmes globally demonstrates this.

Here is the list of top universities to study social work courses in Australia: 

University Programme Tuition fees (AUD)
University of Melbourne Master of Social Work 85,523
University of Sydney Mater of Social Work (qualifying) 95,000
University of Queensland Master of Social Work Studies 60,160
University of Western Australia Master of Social Work | Master of Advanced Social Work 66,600 | 36,400
University of Wollongong Master of Social Work (qualifying) 66,432
University of Newcastle Master of Social Change and Development 33,375
Curtin University Master of Social Work (qualifying) 75,528
Griffith University Master of Social Work 61,000
La Trobe University Master of Social Work 67,200
James Cook University Master of Social Work (professional qualifying) 61,920

*1 Australian Dollar = 88.05 Nepalese Rupee

Master's in Social Work in Australia: Eligibility criteria

  • Bachelor's degree in social sciences or related fields
  • Minimum GPA of 4.0 on a 7.0 scale (60–65%)
  • English proficiency test scores: IELTS - 7.0 | TOEFL - 100
  • 1-2 years of work experience in the human and community service industries
  • 1-2 LORs
  • Personal statement

Master's in Social Work in Australia: Specialisations and subjects:

Some of the specialisations and subjects that are a part of the Master's in Social Work in Australia are as follows:

  • Violence, abuse, and trauma
  • Groups and communities
  • Professional identity and decision-making
  • Lifespan, culture, and disability
  • Policy and social considerations in disaster management
  • Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Professional practice in health and ageing
  • Child, youth, and family
  • Professional practice in mental health
  • Issues in developing economies
  • Comparative education

Cost of studying Master of Social Work in Australia:

Depending on the university, the degree, and whether the student is an international or local student, the cost of pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) in Australia can vary. In the table above, we have listed the tuition costs for a Master's in Social Work programme at some of the best Australian universities.

It is crucial to remember that the cost of a Master of Social Work programme in Australia does not only include tuition. You should also account for other fees like textbooks, lodging, transportation, and daily living expenses. International students may also be required to pay for health insurance and visa application fees. 

Cost of living in Australia as an international student:

Depending on the region, way of life, and personal spending preferences, the cost of living in Australia for an international student can change. Australia's cost of living is typically regarded as high when compared to other nations, yet it can also offer a good standard of living and a variety of options.

Here are some estimated costs of living for an international student in Australia: 

Expense type Average cost
Accommodation On-campus, AUD 100 to AUD 350 per week
Off-campus, AUD 150 to AUD 500 per week
Food AUD 80 to AUD 150 per week on groceries
Transportation AUD 20 to AUD 50 per week
Health insurance AUD 500 to AUD 1,500 per year
Other expenses AUD 50 to AUD 100 per week

It is crucial to keep in mind that these figures are only estimates and that, depending on the circumstances of each person, the actual cost of living in Australia may differ. Considering moving to Australia soon? 

Read our blog post on ways to make living in Australia cheap for international students and the costs of doing so. 

Scholarships to study Master of Social Work in Australia:

For international students who want to pursue a Master's in Social Work in Australia, there are a variety of scholarships available. Mentioned below are a few such opportunities:

Australia Awards: This is a scholarship programme supported by the Australian government that offers students from developing nations full tuition fees, travel expenses, and a living allowance. Scholarships are given out based on academic excellence and the ability to advance the home nation of the student.

Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships: International students can apply for financial aid through the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships programme, which is supported by the Australian government, to study for a postgraduate degree in Australia. The award pays for living expenses, travel expenses, and tuition.

Fulbright Scholarships: Scholarships offered through the Fulbright Programme enable American students to pursue postgraduate study or research in Australia. The award pays for living expenses, travel expenses, and tuition.

University-specific scholarships: International students wishing to pursue a Masters in Social Work in Australia can apply for scholarships from a variety of colleges. These scholarships might pay for both living costs and tuition. Examples include the International Merit Scholarship at Monash University and Graduate Research Scholarships at the University of Melbourne. 

Career pathways for Masters in Social Work in Australia:

  • Alcohol and drug counselling
  • Child protection and youth services
  • Disability and advocacy
  • Family violence
  • Homelessness and supported housing
  • Mental health
  • Refugee and asylum seeker services
  • Research and policy
  • Criminal Justice
  • Youth Justice

Master of Social Work is indeed a great opportunity for international students to make an exciting pathway towards permanent residency in Australia, with its multiple opportunities. 


Can a social worker get PR in Australia?

For those looking for permanent residency in Australia, social work is an excellent career choice. The following two skill lists for permanent residency currently include social work:

  • The List of Medium-Term Strategic Skills (MLTSSL)
  • The List of Regional Sponsored Migration Programs (RSMSL)

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