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

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.

Degree Handbook

Career Opportunities

  • 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.

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.



2021 Indicative First Year Fee


2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree


^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.

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