La Trobe University

Doctor of Social Work (Professional Doctorate)


Start dates
Semester 1 and 2 (March and July) 2018
3 years full-time (4 years maximum) or part-time equivalent
Fees and costs
Learn more about the fees for graduate research.

If you are an experienced practitioner in social work and human services, this degree gives you an opportunity to enrich and extend your professional practice and undertake research in professional or community settings. Areas of study include: social work practice, social policy, program evaluation, disability, intellectual disability, ageing, youth and family welfare, and mental health. The degree offers an integrated program of research with supporting coursework in the first year. Through a combination of core and elective subjects, you will gain knowledge and skills in designing and conducting research, literature review techniques, critical analysis and writing for publication, as well as opportunities to apply these skills in clinically-based professional projects. You will pursue an independent and sustained investigation into a research problem of your own design that will culminate in the submission of a thesis for examination of 60,000 words.

The qualification awarded on graduation is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) as Level 10.

Entry requirements


Honours degree of H2A standard or equivalent, or research Master's, or Master's by coursework with substantial thesis component or equivalent, and at least three years relevant professional or practical experience. In some circumstances a candidate who can supply sufficient evidence of research capacity may be admitted through a special entry category. Prospective students should contact the School to discuss candidature prior to applying.

Career outcomes

RED Team

Effective professional development for graduate researchers and early career researchers.


We pair a highly motivated PhD student with an industry leader with similar interests.

Industry internships

We offer internships to Master by Research and PhD students in various disciplines.

Our researchers

A selection of La Trobe researchers talk about the exciting work that they're doing.

Fees and costs

Course fees

Learn more about the fees for graduate research.


Scholarships are available for both current and future students. Find out what La Trobe scholarship opportunities might be available to you.

How to apply

How to apply for a postgraduate research degree

To find out more about this course and studying at La Trobe:
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Additional information

Semester starts on February 29 or as stated in your letter of offer.

See Student Handbook for more details

The Handbook contains detailed course information designed for enrolled students, including course structures, electives and options. The delivery of this course can vary between campuses. For detailed information please select the relevant campus: