The Master of Counselling Social Work is a two-year part-time degree designed for those already employed in the social work field. You will undertake in-depth analysis of your own social work practice and be encouraged to participate in interactive theory seminars. Adopting a contextual and relational approach to counselling, you will study systemic family therapy and narrative therapy. The degree also explores key aspects of other approaches such as psychodynamic and interpersonal psychotherapies, cognitive/behavioural therapies, and trauma-based and mindfulness-based avenues.

Program Code


Total units of credit (UOC)




Indicative Enrolments


Why choose this degree?

This degree will build on your existing experience as a qualified social worker.

Who should choose this degree?

Social workers can extend their knowledge and skills in counselling practice by undertaking this degree.

Degree Structure

Degree Handbook

Career opportunities

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

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), 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.

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.

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