Southern Cross University will offer a Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) from 2013 at the Gold Coast campus and by distance education. The course will complement the recent addition of a Bachelor of Social Welfare to the School of Arts and Social Sciences, according to course co-ordinator Associate Professor Mark Hughes.
“Graduates will be suited to employment in a wide range of jobs in the health and community services sectors,” he said.
“These include positions that are designated solely for social work-qualified staff, for example in hospitals, as well as other human services jobs that are open to other graduates.
“Graduates may be employed in organisations such as Centrelink, public and private hospitals, child protection agencies, the Australian Defence Force, domestic violence services, housing and homelessness agencies, aged care and disability services, mental health agencies, family counselling agencies, rehabilitation services and private practice.
“Despite recent government cutbacks in Queensland and New South Wales, this is an industry that is growing and there are very good prospects for jobs once graduates complete the course.”
The course has been accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers, with the consultant who prepared the report for AASW on SCU, Professor Peter Camilleri, commenting positively on the University’s new postgraduate degree.
“The program needs to be commended for its innovative approach to learning and teaching,” he wrote.
“The School needs to be commended for developing strong links with the community which will facilitate the field education process. The active community engagement will have important research opportunities for staff and students.”
As part of the two year full-time or four year part-time degree, students will be required to complete 1000 hours of field placement work.
“This course will be based around problem-based learning case scenarios and there will be many areas where students can collaborate,” Associate Professor Hughes said.
“This will assist our graduates to be critical thinkers and problem solvers when they join the industry. The field placement will also allow our students to network within the industry that they will be joining and should help to lead to jobs.”
The postgraduate degree can be studied onsite at the Gold Coast or by distance education. There are Commonwealth supported places available.