The Master of Philosophy involves research and advanced coursework. You will be assigned a supervisor and, usually, an associate supervisor.

    Full-time candidature is usually completed in two years. Part"time candidature can take up to four years. You will be required to complete a probationary year and produce an extended research plan at the end of that year. Examination is by presentation of a thesis of approximately 30,000 words. The University of Sydney is Australia's premier research university, and the Faculty of Education and Social Work is a world-class research centre in the humanities, human services and related fields offering an outstanding range of innovative research courses.


    Applicants are required to complete a research proposal (500 to 1000 words) addressing criteria specified by the faculty. Applicants must also have been in full-time employment in social work for a minimum of one year, and have one of the following qualifications:

    (i) a four-year Bachelor of Social Work or equivalent with 1st or 2nd class Honours; or

    (ii) a Bachelor of Social Work (without 1st or 2nd class Honours), either produce evidence to the satisfaction of the faculty of having completed equivalent work or complete a period of probationary candidature; or (iii) a Master of Social Work with merit.

     Applying for admission

    1.  When considering who to approach as a likely supervisor, prospective students are advised to contact an academic who specialises in the area in which they hope to conduct their research. The Sydney School of Education and Social Work's find an academic page can be searched by keyword (for example, 'childhood') and also categorises staff under eight major research specialties. Scroll down the list of academics that results from your search and look for names with which you are familiar from your own reading and research. If none of the names are familiar, read some of their work before approaching an academic about supervising your research to ensure your interests are aligned.

    2. Email your proposed supervisor, introduce yourself and provide some academic background. You may be asked for an academic transcript. Explain why you are interested in your area of research and, if appropriate, why you are interested in working with the recipient. If you need assistance or advice finding a supervisor, email our Research Student Liaison Officer or Admissions Coordinator.

    3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a preliminary research proposal of at least 500 words that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research.

    4. Obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements. You may upload letters of reference or template .

    5. If you intend to study part-time towards a PhD, you will also need to supply: evidence that shows you will have sufficient time available to plan and carry out the research under the supervision of the University, and complete the course within the maximum period allowed for a part-time PhD enrolment a declaration from your employer (if relevant) confirming that you will be permitted to take the time required to effectively pursue your studies.

    6. Your research proposal should be submitted along with your CV, academic referee reports, academic transcripts and other supporting documents.


    IELTS 6.5 – no band below 6.0


    Camperdown/ Darlington campus

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