Subject focus: Professional Teaching and Social Work programmes in Australia

Studying social work in Australia.This subject focus looks at some of the Graduate Entry programmes on offer in Australia to help you change career and qualify as a teacher or social worker. These professional programmes enable you to qualify and register to work in teaching or in social work in Australia.


Australian universities offer two types of postgraduate teacher training courses; the Graduate Diploma of Education and the Master of Teaching. The Master of Teaching is usually 1.5 or two years in length. Both are recognised teaching qualifications and completing either will make you eligible to apply for Provisional Registration as a teacher in Australia.

In order to be eligible to transfer a teaching qualification back to the UK, students need to gain Full Registration in the country in which they completed their initial teacher training qualification. Just as in the UK, in order to gain Full Registration Australian and New Zealand-qualified teachers are required to teach for a certain amount of time in an education setting after completing their initial teaching qualification. It is important to bear this in mind when considering your course options. The Study Options student advisors can provide you with further advice – please contact us if you’d like more information.

Social Work

Students who have a degree in a different field and who wish to retrain and qualify as social workers have the option of enrolling on a professional Masters programme such as the one below – this allows you to complete and qualify in 2 years rather than the 4 years required for the Bachelor of Social Work. Please contact a Study Options advisor for more information or to check whether your undergraduate degree background will be considered suitable for entry.

If you have already qualified as a social worker in the UK or another country, there are other postgraduate programmes that could help you develop your skills in a particular area. Contact a Study Options advisor to talk about your options.

Master of Social Work at Flinders University

Do you want to make a real difference in people’s lives? The Master of Social Work is a career-changing qualification that allows graduates of other academic areas to train and qualify as a professional social worker in just two years, rather than the usual four years required to complete a Bachelor of Social Work degree in Australia.

Social work and social workers contributes to a more just society and at Flinders University social work degrees teach students to analyse, implement and evaluate social welfare policies and services. We aim to foster imaginative, flexible thinking that engages with the community and recognises wider social, cultural, economic and environmental contexts.

The course aims to provide students with skills in areas of policy, research, clinical and community based practice.

It has a substantial practical, hands-on component with all students required to complete two field placements of 500 hours each. Social work placements take place in a variety of settings, including government, not for profit and private organisations. (Placements are generally four days a week.)

As a graduate of the Master of Social Work at Flinders, you will have:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of key social work theories, AASW practice standards and ethics and the social welfare context in Australia;
  • An ability to use social work knowledge and ethics to plan, analyse and think critically, logically and creatively; and
  • An ability to apply social work knowledge and skills in academic and social work practice settings.

Industry Accreditation

The Masters Social Work meets the external Australian Association of Social Work (AASW) accreditation requirements. The programme provide graduates with the necessary qualification to be eligible for membership to the AASW, and practice as social workers.

To be eligible for membership to the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), students must have completed an accredited degree and also meet the AASW English language requirements.

Is this course for you?

What skills does someone need for a career in social work?

  • Observational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Motor skills  
  • Intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities
  • Behavioural and social skills

What qualifications do I need to have in order to apply?

Master of Social Work – Graduate entry (2 years): Applicants who have completed a recognised Bachelors degree other than in Social Work are eligible to apply for entry to this programme.

Intake and Tuition fees

This course has two intakes per year, Semester 1 (February) and Semester 2 (July).

Tuition fee (indicative): AU$28,000 per year

Why Flinders?

Studying at Flinders University offers you an outstanding education in Adelaide, one of the world’s most liveable cities. Our courses combine academic excellence with industry experience, providing you with the skills you need to succeed in your career. Ranked in the world’s top 300 universities by the Times Higher Education Rankings 2016-17, Flinders is among the top 2% of universities in the world. Flinders has earned a reputation for delivering world-class courses that students love.

Flinders University

Master of Teaching at Monash University

Are you seeking a career that provides the opportunity to inspire and nurture future generations? If so, the Monash Master of Teaching is designed for applicants with an undergraduate degree in any discipline who want a rewarding career as a global educator and teacher.

Through engagement with contemporary ideas and practices, you will develop the professional knowledge and skills needed to foster the learning of students of various ages and diverse needs. As a result, you will become an effective educator, able to design learning experiences that ensure your future students have the right balance of challenge and support to progress in areas such as the arts and music, English, mathematics, physical education, health and wellbeing, science and humanities.

Professional teaching experience is attained by completing a minimum of 60 days of teaching practice throughout the course in urban, rural, remote or international settings and schools. This includes the opportunity to teach in locations such as China, Cook Islands, India, Italy, Malaysia and South Africa.

An education degree provides an excellent basis for diverse careers in the classroom, in government or in private enterprise. When you choose the Master of Teaching at Monash University, you will graduate ready to transform the lives of others through learning.

About the Master of Teaching

This graduate entry course prepares you for a career as an educator in one of five streams:

  • Early years education
  • Early years and primary education
  • Primary education
  • Primary and secondary education*
  • Secondary education*

* Accelerated option available where course can be completed in 1.5 years instead of two years

Degree structure

Each programme is structured in three parts:

Orientation studies - These studies provide an orientation to the field of Education. You will consider the nature of learning and the influences upon it, and the nature of teaching and teachers' work within the broader family and community context.

Specialist education studies - These studies will provide you with advanced knowledge and skills relevant to thoughtful, innovative and evidence-based practice within your chosen specialisation as well as acquiring the broad principles of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.

Applied professional practice (60 days) - Professional experience placements in educational settings relevant to your teaching specialisation will enable you to connect the theoretical components your course with practical aspects of teaching and learning under the valuable guidance of practitioners.

How to apply

Prospective students will need to hold an Australian undergraduate degree (or equivalent from another country) with at least a credit average (60%), or qualification/experience or satisfactory substitute that the Faculty of Education considers to be equivalent.

Students applying for the specialisation in Primary and Secondary Education must also have appropriate discipline studies to qualify for one or two specialist teaching areas. Further information including a full list of specialisations here.

Application process

Admission into this degree is assessed on the results of previous studies, where these studies have taken place and meeting other requirements, including English language and specialisations where applicable.

Accreditation in Australia

Graduates of Monash’s Primary and Secondary specialisations can seek registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) to teach in schools in Victoria.

Early years specialisations are accredited by ACECQA, which qualifies you to work as a teacher in licensed pre-schools and childcare centres.

Programme details

Tuition fees (indicative): AU$27,800 per year

Monash University

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