Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for this program

Check the Fees & Scholarships tab for details

The Master of Counselling Social Work at UNSW is a unique program designed for practising social workers to consolidate and further develop their counselling skills and knowledge with individuals and families.

 

Faculty
Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Master of Counselling Social Work
Commencing Terms
Term 1
Duration (Part Time Only)
2 Year(s)

Overview

The Master of Counselling Social Work (MCSW) is designed for practicing social workers to extend their counselling and therapy knowledge and skills. You will participate in interactive intensives and seminars with a focus on practice skills and theory as well as in-depth analysis and application of ideas to your own social work practice.

You’ll study core facets of the therapeutic relationship drawing on systemic and relational counselling approaches across a variety of practice contexts. During your study engage with contemporary counselling frameworks including family therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, cognitive, behavioural, mindfulness, and trauma-based approaches. You’ll also gain advanced counselling skills, explore complex practice issues such as therapeutic impasse, grief, loss, trauma, and violence, and enhance your social work research knowledge. This postgraduate degree is also a pathway to a Professional Doctorate or PhD.

Studied part-time over two years the program is based on flexibility. Through a combination of online delivery and Friday/Saturday intensives, it's easily accessible for students who have work and family commitments, or who live outside of Sydney or NSW.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

  • Be supported by our diverse, open and inclusive Arts, Design & Architecture community.
  • Learn through research-informed teaching
  • Prioritise career success – UNSW won the Australian Financial Review’s Most Employable Students Award in 2023.
  • Benefit from strong industry links and partnerships
  • Access world-class alumni connections
  • Join a global top 20 university (QS World University Rankings, 2024)
  • Join a community that’s part of the prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities
Program Code
8930
Campus
Kensington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
48
Indicative Enrolments
37

Want to see more from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture?

Entry requirements

The admission requirements for the new Master of Counselling Social Work are as follows:

  • A UNSW Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) degree or equivalent qualification 
  • Eligibility for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).
  • At least two years counselling, case management, or other direct social work practice experience.
  • Current employment in an organisational context where prospective students provide counselling, case management or other direct social work practice with clients. This is in contrast to social workers who work primarily in administrative, policy, or management roles. 

Admission is subject to quota. Applications must include a brief curriculum vitae detailing relevant information about the entry requirements.

Eligibility of the AASW ensures that students are professional social workers, are committed to the values and ethics of the profession and have had prior education in social work practice methods including counselling. The AASW also expects social workers to have participated in professional development activities (of up to 30 hours per year) and to have received professional supervision. The MCSW facilitates learning in the counselling frameworks that support Accredited Mental Health Social Work status with the AASW.

These criteria ensure that applicants meet Level 9 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and have the skills and knowledge to be capable of reaching the specified Learning Outcomes within the volume of learning of a 48 UOC Masters program.

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

The admission requirements for the new Master of Counselling Social Work are as follows:

  • A UNSW Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) degree or equivalent qualification 
  • Eligibility for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), meeting professional association requirements including professional development and supervision 
  • Two years of specialised counselling practice experience ensuring that students in the program are already skilled clinicians 
  • Current employment in an organisational context where prospective students are able to provide counselling, case management or other direct practice interventions with clients. This is in contrast to social workers who may have worked primarily in administrative or management roles. 

Admission is subject to quota. Applications must include a brief curriculum vitae and the names and contact details of at least two professional referees.

Eligibility of the AASW ensures that students are professional social workers, are committed to the values and ethics of the profession and have had prior education in social work practice methods including counselling. The AASW also expects social workers to have participated in professional development activities (of up to 50 hours per year) and to have received professional supervision.

These criteria ensure that applicants meet Level 9 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and have the skills and knowledge to be capable of reaching the specified Learning Outcomes within the volume of learning of a 48 UOC Masters program.

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

Full program structure

Potential careers

  • Specialist counselling positions in health, mental health and community services
  • Clinical supervision
  • Private counselling practice
  • Training and management roles
Research pathways

The Master of Counselling Social Work is also a gateway to doctoral research.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to start your application?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

Commonwealth Supported Places

2023 Indicative CSP First Year Fee

$12,530*

2023 Indicative CSP Fee to Complete Degree

$12,530*

All places within this degree are Commonwealth supported. This means that if you receive an offer from UNSW Sydney as a domestic student, you will have a substantial proportion of your fees  subsidised by the Australian government. Start your application today with our guide on how to apply

2023 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$27,465*
2023 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree
$27,465*

There is a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places available for this degree. The indicative tuition fee for domestic postgraduate students shown is for fee-paying students, not students in Commonwealth Supported Places. To find out more about the student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year). Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

2023 Indicative First Year Fee
$36,895*
2023 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$36,895*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.