Counselling Social Work


Building upon your experience 

The Master of Counselling Social Work at UNSW is designed for social workers who are currently working in the field.

If you are interested in continuing your education in social work, this postgraduate program has been shaped to build upon your existing experience and consolidate and extend your knowledge and skills in counselling practice.

As a student of the Master of Counselling Social Work, you will have the opportunity to engage in in-depth analysis of your own social work practice and be encouraged to add value to interactive theory seminars. Adopting a contextual and relational approach to counselling you will study systemic family therapy and narrative therapy.

Our postgraduate courses in counselling and social work also explore key aspects of other approaches with individuals, couples, families, and groups such as

  • psychodynamic and interpersonal psychotherapies
  • cognitive/ behavioural therapies
  • trauma based approaches
  • mindfulness based approaches

You will also be given the opportunity to develop your clinical skills and develop an appreciation of the research process.

Student stories

Entry requirements

Prospective students must meet all the following requirements to be eligible for entry to the Master of Counselling Social Work

  • An undergraduate degree
  • 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 / direct 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, or where case management or other direct practice positions have an embedded counselling role with clients. This is in contrast to social workers who may have worked primarily in administrative or management roles

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

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

Please note that this degree is open for Australian citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and New Zealand Citizens only.


The Master of Counselling Social Work is a 2 year part-time postgraduate program offered through the School of Social Sciences, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.

Please note that the intake for this program occurs every year.

The next intake of commencing students will be for Term 1, 2020.

Careers and opportunities

Advancing your social work career

Many graduates of the Master of Counselling Social Work use their postgraduate training as a pathway to specialist counselling positions in health and community services.

Graduates may also advance their careers in clinical supervision, training and management roles.

Research pathways

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

UNSW handbook

Degree program structure and academic rules information:

If you are a current student, please refer to the Online Handbook in the year you commenced your degree.

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Domestic International
2 PT
Term 1
T1: 30 Nov
On Campus, Day and/or Night