Master of Counselling Social Work

The Master of Counselling Social Work at UNSW is designed for practising social workers to consolidate and further develop their counselling skills and knowledge in individual, couple, family and group contexts. This degree takes a contextual and relational approach to counselling and builds on your existing professional social work experience in a two-year part-time capacity (offered on a yearly intake).  

The program is delivered in a flexible format at the UNSW Sydney campus. We combine outstanding teaching and research with a commitment to public engagement, social impact and an international perspective. UNSW Arts & Social Sciences is ranked above world standards in Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) with students benefitting from our thought-leading academic research.  

Maximise Your Learning 

Our leading academics combine dynamic teaching strategies to strengthen your learning. Our program structure consolidates face-to-face teaching into intensive and concentrated study periods. We also facilitate participation from students who have work or caring responsibilities or who live further away from UNSW.   

Throughout the Master of Counselling Social Work, you’ll focus on family sensitive practise, the promotion of resilience and counselling methods orientated to clients’ strengths. You’ll also study relevant counselling frameworks including interpersonal psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural, systemic family therapy, narrative therapy and mindfulness. 

The degree explores key aspects of approaches such as psychodynamic psychotherapy, trauma-based approaches and couple therapy. Students engage with in-depth analysis of their own counselling practice in small consultation groups. A participatory format is used in theory and practice seminars and intensives.  

Your Career 

The Master of Counselling Social Work provides an advanced study qualification and supports continued professional development including essential aspects of working as an AASW Accredited Mental Health Social Worker. The program is also a direct pathway to the UNSW Professional Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) or PhD study. 

There are many areas of social work practice, and various ways that social workers work toward change – from counselling and advocacy for individuals and families to community work and social development, to research and advocacy for social justice. Graduates of this program make an impact on groups and individuals in a wide range of areas.  

On completion of the degree, you’ll have the ability to pursue roles in various social work contexts including with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, Aged Care, Child and Family Welfare, Community Work, Corrective Services and more.  

What Our Students Say

“The teaching experience was absolutely amazing, the lecturers’ knowledge, experience and passion for the field of counselling and research was highly useful in facilitating a great learning experience, skill development and individual growth as a Clinical Social Worker. The MCSW program was the best learning decision I have ever made as it provided me with the confidence, reassurance and encouragement to pursue my dreams to become a Social Worker”.

- Victor Syquia, UNSW Master of Counselling Social Work Graduate

You can find more information on this degree including entry requirements on the UNSW Degree Finder.

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