Master of Advanced Social Work
What will I study?
What you will learn
Advanced knowledge and skills for working with individuals, families, communities and organisations
You will develop advanced theoretical and practical skills that you can apply to your practice. This could include foundational knowledge of understanding domestic and family violence (DVF), theoretical frameworks and evidence involved in suicide prevention, and the practice of assessment and intervention of human service workers in these settings.
Policy and practice as it relates to psychosocial practice
You will explore a range of approaches useful for researching health and human services practice, encompassing both policy, organisational practice, as well as practice with individuals, groups and communities.
The skills and confidence to lead in this sector
You will develop writing skills for publication and undertake critical reflection of your own practice and development to adequately prepare you for leadership roles in the field of social work.
To gain the Master of Advanced Social Work you must complete 100 points comprising of:
- One capstone subject,
- One core subject, and
- Five elective subjects.
On average, it is estimated that students will be required to allocate 15-19 hours per week for ‘study’ time for each subject. However, the time commitment required can vary for each student based on individual task management and planning skills, familiarity with the material, reading style and speed.
The program will be offered part-time however the request for full-time load will be considered on a term-by-term basis. Part-time duration is calculated based on studying one subject per term.
STUDENT USES HIGHER EDUCATION TO REBUILD HER LIFE
By Serpil Senelmis
Claire Rachel is a Senior Acute Psychiatric Social Worker and she’s deeply “passionate about health access equity”. For the past 18 years Claire has worked in the field of social work, helping vulnerable individuals to lead normal lives.
Despite spending her entire career safeguarding individuals from harm, Claire found herself vulnerable for the first time – as a victim of Australia’s silent epidemic, Domestic Violence. Jarring national statistics show that 1 in 3 women have experienced at least one incident of violence from a current or former partner since the age of 15.
Currently studying the Master of Advanced Social Work, Claire says she “decided to return to studies after (she) had been able to leave an abusive relationship” and “it gave (her) focus, confidence and something to concentrate on.”
She says her studies have improved how she approaches her role within mental health, where she works in a large hospital network in Melbourne.
“This course has already enhanced my abilities to perform my job in a more multi-lens perspective and I have only completed three subjects so far.”
For Claire, the Master of Advanced Social Work was “a major investment, but well worth it.”
I believe that one can never put a dollar value on education. I also believe that education is the one thing which can never be taken away from you.
Her favourite aspect of studying online has been, “the connection with fellow students as well as being taught by such great, recognised experts in the field.”
Claire says she’d “highly recommend this course” to anyone thinking of enrolling. Her recommendation is simple: “Go for it!”
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
Students must complete the following subjects
- Practice Based Research12.5
Practice Based Research
This subject explores the range of approaches useful for researching health and human services practice. In this subject “practice” is defined broadly to encompass policy and organizational practice as well as practice with individuals, groups and communities.
A range of research methods will be considered, from descriptive and exploratory studies to establishing the effectiveness of ‘what we do’. The subject will explore the research methodologies required to undertake community-based studies as well as review the benefits of, and theoretical approaches used in accessing existing databases. The subject will focus on the current organisational emphasis on evidence-based and evidence-informed practice and will discuss the skill and knowledge base required to access, evaluate and implement research evidence to inform practice. It will promote a theoretical and skill base of practice research that will support practitioners to engage in reflective and evidence informed practice.
- Social Work Research Project25
Social Work Research Project
The subject provides opportunities to extend, deepen and apply knowledge, skills and attributes in the context of a research project.
This subject enables students to engage in the design and implementation of a research project that demonstrates their advanced theoretical knowledge and critical reflection skills. It provides the opportunity for integration of their prior learning form the course, and demonstration of their advanced social work practice and research capacity.
Students must select five elective subjects
- Advanced Trauma Perspectives12.5
Advanced Trauma Perspectives
This subject critically examines contemporary trauma theories, including psychodynamic, narrative, and anti-oppressive approaches. It explores their application to working with individuals, families and communities in a variety of practice settings.
- Implementation Science in Theory12.5
Implementation Science in Theory
This subject will introduce students to the core elements of Implementation Science, both theory and practice. It will expose students to a number of different implementation conceptual models and frameworks and apply these to real life examples of implementation in the human service sector. The subject will also introduce students to the essential role data plays in driving implementation success. This will include the practice of systematically using data, information, and knowledge to set and drive change, evidence actual implementation, tracking outcomes and driving continuous improvement throughout the implementation cycle.
- Implementation Science in Practice12.5
Implementation Science in Practice
This subject draws on the theoretical and practical concepts that were explored in Implementation Science in Human Services and apply these to real world examples of implementation in human service systems. Students will critically examine the effectiveness of different approaches to implementation; the role multidisciplinary teams play in the alignments of systems, and the application of implementation theory against real world cases. It will also include practice and theoretical application of different types of program evaluation through an implementation lens, including needs assessment, formative research, process evaluation, monitoring of outputs and outcomes and impact assessment. Students will be able to draw on case studies from their own work.
- Ageing Health & Human Services12.5
Ageing Health & Human Services
This course explores the interface of policy and practice in the delivery of aged care services. The responses to policy shifts in aged care over time will be explored. The course will then focus on the present day impact of health care, mental health, income security, housing, and employment, educational and recreational policies on the delivery of services to older citizens collectively and as individuals. Case studies will be used to illustrate both the theoretical and practical aspects of designing and delivering services.
- Psychosocial Oncology12.5
This subject explores the theoretical paradigms, and the political, economic and social determinants of psychosocial practice in the field of oncology. Advances in cancer care, and the relevance of these in relation to life stresses and quality of life, have resulted in the increased importance of psychosocial issues on assessment, intervention and recovery. The subject will include the impact of cancer on the developmental stage of the individual, including family and interpersonal relationships, as well as issues related to survivorship and the management of cancer as a chronic illness. Professionals working in multidisciplinary cancer care teams are in a unique position to respond to the needs of people who have been diagnosed with cancer and their carers. This subject aims to strengthen their capacity to respond effectively and appropriately from a psychosocial service perspective.
- Domestic and Family Violence12.5
Domestic and Family Violence
This provides foundational knowledge in understanding domestic and family violence (DFV) and the intervention for workers in the human services sector. An analysis which draws from an ecological and a public health framing of the cultural, structural, relational and individual understandings of DFV informs the content of the course. An approach which recognises the gendered patterns of DFV and which also recognises the impact on children of living with violence and abuse provides the parameters of the subject. Issues of diversity will be woven throughout the subject.
Specific topics that will be covered include: prevalence and incidence of DFV and what this tells us about children, gender and intersectionality; risk assessment and risk management; accountability for men who use violence; strengthening the mother-child relationship in the aftermath of violence; supporting collaborative inter-agency practice; specific issues for child protection workers; the prevention agenda and strategies for earlier intervention.
- International Child and Family Welfare12.5
International Child and Family Welfare
This subject explores the ways in which child welfare systems internationally have developed in response to child care and protection needs. It will consider the controversies surrounding the protection of children, and the developing knowledge base that informs responses to child maltreatment. It will explore the knowledge base underpinning child protection responses, and will explore some of the innovative frameworks, approaches and key ideas that have emerged over time. It explores some of the universal values and beliefs that underpin and drive child protection systems, particularly within Western jurisdictions, and will consider the implications of this for the development of child protection typologies that have broader international relevance.
- Suicide Prevention12.5
This subject explores the theoretical frameworks and available evidence in the field of suicide prevention, regarding the identification and assessment of suicide-related thoughts and behaviours. The subject will dually focus on theoretical knowledge and skills-based acquisition, with a focus on assessment and interventional strategies that are brief and evidence-informed. The language of suicide and definitional issues that exist within the field of suicidology will be explored, as will the ethical aspects of working clinically and undertaking research with suicidal clients. The impact and contribution of psychosocial issues to suicidal crises will be considered, as will the importance of professionals understanding the meaning of self-harming and suicidal behaviours, from the perspective of those engaging in the behaviours. This subject will primarily focus on the integration of theory and practice in assessing and responding to suicidality in the context of the Australian service system.
- Service Navigation Theory12.5
Service Navigation Theory
Service Navigation is a new paradigm influencing and changing the delivery of health and human services. Responding to the current trend toward client-directed care across various sectors this subject will introduce students to the field of service navigation including the context that gave rise to the field; the shift from the ‘passive recipient of care’ to the ‘engaged partner in care’; the application of the role in public and private settings; and, the practice fields in which service navigation is both established and emerging. It will provide students with a framework of the key principles and practice elements of service navigation including engagement and mobilisation of service systems, working with individuals and families across the life course, and costing, contracting and service agreements. This subject aims to strengthen their capacity to deliver high quality and effective services in existing service navigator roles and to provide a theoretical basis from which service navigation can be evaluated, expanded and developed.