Master of Social Work
La Trobe's Master of Social Work is for graduates of other disciplines who wish to move into social work from a related area. The course will prepare you to work in direct practice, social policy, social research, organisational planning and administration, and to conduct effective community work.
Studying with passionate students from a range of disciplines, our program will encourage you to draw on your relevant experience and challenge the way you think. Throughout the course, you'll be guided by highly qualified teaching staff with a wealth of industry experience. You'll make new contacts, grow your networks, and acquire the skills you'll need to step into a professional practice career in social work.
Our curriculum is based on a philosophy of social justice. You'll develop the knowledge and skills to work effectively in a range of social policy, community and direct practice areas in the government, community and private sectors.
Practical placements allow you to gain valuable skills and experience in the field by working alongside professionals. In each year of your course, you'll complete a 70-day block placement during which you'll be supervised by a qualified social worker and will work towards developing the skills required for professional practice. You might even choose to complete your placement overseas with one of our partner organisations in Fiji, Timor Leste, Macau, or the Philippines.
You'll have the opportunity to work in diverse and challenging fields of practice including community development, advocacy, research, mental health, education, child and family, disability, health and youth.
As a graduate, you can choose to move into areas such as hospitals and community based health services, disability, substance abuse, child protection and family care, aged care, housing services, mental health, family services, psychiatric services, protective services, refugee and asylum seeker support services, local government, community work, social justice advocacy and counselling services.
You can study the course for two years full-time or three to four years part-time at our Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Melbourne and Mildura campuses.
Discipline Lead – Social Work, Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health | School of Allied Health
Students of social work at La Trobe University gain access to more than just teachers, they get to work with some of the finest and most dedicated practitioners in the industry.
Educators come from backgrounds in disciplines including; child and family welfare, Indigenous issues, drug and alcohol, advocacy and people with disabilities.
Maureen Long is the Discipline Lead of Social Work and she said it was this rich experience that most benefited students in the Bachelor of Human Services and Master of Social Work courses.
'What makes this different is that we have very strong research that supports our teaching,' she said.
'The other thing is that we are very experienced practitioners. Even though we do have some career academics, most of us actually have very strong practice backgrounds. Our teaching and our research is very grounded in high quality social work practice across a range of contexts.'
'So we've got this very strong practice background, with influenced research and it comes out in our teaching and our passion for our discipline.'
Academic entry requirement
You must have a relevant Bachelor's degree equivalent to an Australian Bachelor's degree, completed in the past five years
(or subsequent postgraduate study and/or relevant work experience) with a minimum grade average of 70 per cent. Relevant studies include health, human or social sciences.
NB: Meeting minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer of a place. Entry into all La Trobe courses is based on competitive selection and there may be limited places available.
English language requirement
IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 with no individual band score less than 7.0;
TOEFL Paper-based Test - A minimum score of 600 with a score of 6 or more in the Test of Written English;
TOEFL Internet-based Test - A minimum score of 94 with a minimum for SLR 24; W27;
English as the language of instruction in tertiary studies may be accepted. Please note: English as the language of instruction in previous study will not be accepted as a basis of admission (English) for courses where the approved test score requirement is above an IELTS 6.5 with no band score lower than 6.0.
Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE): minimum score of 72 with no communicative skill score less than 68.
Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): a grade of A or higher.
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A grade of B or higher.
or approved international equivalent.
Our graduates find work in a diverse and rewarding range of contexts including social policy, community and direct practice. They have gone on to work at organisations such as Oxfam, World Vision, Anglicare, Centrelink and the Department of Human Services, as well as various health services and hospitals, in Australia and overseas. When you graduate you’ll be prepared to take on roles in a range of specialist areas including child protection and family services, aged care, Indigenous support, housing services, mental health, family services, protective services, refugee and asylum seeker support services, social justice advocacy and more. The curriculum is based on a philosophy of social justice. The course will prepare you to work in social policy, social research, organisational planning and administration, and to conduct effective community work. You'll also get hands-on experience during your practical placement.
The Master of Social Work is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). Membership may require an application to the professional body and may have additional or ongoing requirements beyond the completion of the degree. Please contact the relevant professional body for details.
Fees and costs
Annual tuition fee (A$)
Approximate costs include textbooks (available from the La Trobe Co-op bookshop at approximately A$70-$100 per text), which remain students' personal property. A National Police Check at a cost of approximately A$16 (for a student with a Victorian residential address) or A$42 (for a student with a residential address outside of Victoria) and a Working with Children Check (no cost). There is a nominal cost for a passport size photo required for WWC check as well as a name badge to be worn on placement (approximately A$10). Prior to commencing clinical or community placements, some students may be required to provide proof of immunisations. Costs may vary depending on previous immunisations, approximately A$250 - $470. Accommodation and travel costs for professional practice placements may vary depending on the venue. Please note: all costs are approximate and subject to change.
Scholarships are available for both current and future students. Find out what La Trobe scholarship opportunities might be available to you.
How to apply
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:
CRICOS code: 074028J