MSW: Masters in Social Work Courses, Eligibility Criteria & Fees

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Masters in Social Work

We cannot imagine living in a society where there are no ‘social workers’. These individuals are constantly involved with people and communities to empower human rights and ways to restore them. Their ethical attempts of turning the world into a better place have brought them immense respect in the society. MSW or Masters in Social Work is a popular course which is considered as the best option for those planning to make a career in this field.

Social workers are recognised as on-ground troopers of a functioning democracy as they work closely towards the growth and development of the marginalized communities especially the weaker sections. History has witnessed several social enthusiasts who are always ready to help the public in times of crisis. A career in Social Work is probably the most satisfying and noblest profession for a person willing to make a difference to the world. Let’s know more about the MSW or Masters in Social Work and its contents with the help of this blog.

“It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act. “
– Dalai Lama

What is MSW?.

MSW, or Masters in Social Work, is a specialised programme that attempts to provide students with in-depth information and comprehension of society’s fabric and hierarchical hierarchy. The course focuses mostly on field work and provides applicants with the necessary skills to assist people in need.

 MSW Course Details

Masters in Social Work is a postgraduate degree originating directly from Social Sciences. It is specialised in the field of community work, research and mapping possible developments for the masses in the future. Not only does a degree in Social Work makes you a social worker, but also helps in developing skills like communication, leadership, teamwork and problem-solving ability.

If you are someone looking for a dynamic career that involves varied work settings, then a social work degree is perfect for you. Depending on the area of specialization, students can choose to explore the below-mentioned fields while pursuing a Masters in Social Work.

  • Mental Health
  • Refugees & Immigrants
  • Integrated Healthcare
  • School Social Work
  • Criminal Justice
  • Global Human Rights
  • Conflict & Gender Inequality
  • Community and Social Justice

Masters in Social Work (MSW): Subjects Offered

Subjects offered under Masters in Social Work are all highly application-based, working in close touch to real-world scenario and problems. Students get exposed to a range of domains from Social Work Case Studies to research work, all helping them discover and develop their own niche in the discipline. Here are some of the common subjects offered by colleges and universities all around the world:

Social Group Work Social Case Work Block Placement Labour Welfare & Legislation
Analysis of Indian Society Dynamics of Human Behaviour  Study of Indian Economics Study of Indian Constitution
Social Work and Social Justice Social Work Administration Personal & Professional Growth Women & Child Development  
Social Work Profession Human Resource Management Community Organization Concurrent Field Work: Study Tour
Social Work with Rural, Urban and Tribal Community Social Policy, Planning & Development Concurrent Field Work: Social Work Camp Social Work Research and Statistics
Social Work Approaches for Social Development Criminology & Correctional Administration Medical & Psychiatric Social Work Introduction to Disaster Management
Concurrent Field Work: Case Studies Communication and Counselling

Labour Welfare & Legislation

This subject revolves around the various laws and regulations established by governments to conserve the rights and privileges of the impoverished labour class in society. It teaches the students various Labor Protection Laws, Minimum Wage acts and redressal systems that can aid unskilled workers.

Dynamics of Human Behaviour

Human Behaviour is an essential part of any kind of Social Study as the society is ultimately driven by the people who are a part of it. The subject discusses the various psychological aspects which command a person’s actions, giving a cause to irrational or morally corrupt behaviour, which social workers often have to deal with.

Social Work and Social Justice

This subject is designed to acquaint students with on-site social work and the present requirements of marginalised groups in a country. Social Work and Social Justice use the informed and empowered citizen of the nation to raise a voice for the concerns of those who lie below them in the social spectrum. This subject is of high utility for those who wish to pursue an intense career in fighting for social causes and rights of the repressed.

Women & Child Development

Women and Child Development is an MSW subject focusing on the social, financial and health status of Women and Children all around the world. It showcases the issues of concern, as well as the requirement of aid by these groups. This subject gives special focus on the time when women are going through a childbearing phase, as it is generally when they face major nutritional and emotional scars.

Social Policy, Planning & Development

This MSW subject pays special focus on the existing and proposed Public Policies of the government which impact the general well being of the citizen, focusing more on the impoverished section of the society. It deeply studies the impact of such policies, while students who wish to pursue it as a career can work towards Social Policy analytics and development. 

Required Skills for MSW

  • Good communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Good listener
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Critical thinking
  • Tolerance
  • Social perceptiveness
  • PersuasionIntegrity
  • Ability to set boundaries
  • Self-awareness
  • Ability to coordinate

MSW Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must meet the course’s eligibility requirements in order to enrol in an MSW programme. The following are the requirements for pursuing a Master’s in Social Work:

After graduating from a recognised institution, candidates are entitled to pursue a master’s degree in social work. Candidates who have received a 50% aggregate on their graduation level test are usually qualified for the course. The MSW universities that offer the course, on the other hand, set the minimum qualifying score. Applicants with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree are recommended for admission to the MSW programme. Candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree in any of the following fields are also eligible for MSW programmes:

  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Science
  • Management
  • Commerce

MSW Admission Process

The admission to the MSW course is done on the basis of merit list or a combination of merit list and entrance exam. Sometimes the colleges conduct a group discussion round along with a personal interview round.

Types of MSW

Types of MSW Eligibility Admission Average Fees
Full-Time MSW  Bachelor’s Degree and qualifying Entrance Exam in some cases Merit Based/Entrance Exam INR 20,000-INR 200,000
Distance MSW  Bachelor degree Merit Based admission Upto INR 36,000

MSW Syllabus

Subjects for Master of Social Work (MSW)
Social Work Profession Social Group Work
Social Case Work Community Organization
Concurrent Field Work including Social Work Camp Concurrent Field Work including Study Tour
Analysis of Indian Society Social Policy, Planning & Development
Dynamics of Human Behaviour Social Work with Rural, Urban and Tribal Community
Study of Indian Economics Social Work Approaches for Social Development
Study of Indian Constitution Social Work and Social Justice
Social Work Research and Statistics Social Work Administration
Personal & Professional Growth Concurrent Field Work including Case Studies
Block Placement Women & Child Development
Labour Welfare & Legislation Criminology & Correctional Administration
Human Resource Management Introduction to Disaster Management
Medical & Psychiatric Social Work Communication and Counselling
Concurrent Field Work including Summer Placement

Top Universities for MSW

A master’s degree in Social Work opens up a range of possibilities for individuals who wish to grow as social workers. This will allow them to have a broader perspective of the profession along with the opportunity to work with top NGOs that are renowned for their excellent philanthropic work. Especially, if a student gets his or her knowledge from globally reputed Universities, it can change the impact the course has on the person’s personality and career.

Here is the list of renowned universities from all over the world for you to consider to pursue a career in Social Work:

University Country
University of California, Los Angeles USA
National University of Singapore Singapore
University of Sydney Australia
University of Missouri USA
University of Sheffield UK
University of Waikato New Zealand
University College Dublin Ireland
Sacred Heart University USA
Mount Royal University Canada
University of Adelaide  Australia

Job Prospects after Masters in Social Work

Starting your work with a small NGO can help you kickstart your career in Social Work. The rising number of global emergencies like conflicts, food and water crisis, humanitarian crisis and gender issues have given rise to the need for professional social workers. As a social worker, you can work closely to tackle such issues ongoing in society.

As a social worker, you can choose to work both full-time or on a contract basis with an organization. On average as a social worker with fewer years of experience, you can earn ₹3-4 lakh a year. With growing experience and knowledge in the field, professionals can expect to earn ₹7-12 lakh a year. Some of the job profiles after completing a Masters in Social Work or MSW include: 

  • Case Managers 
  • Patient Care Coordinators
  • Community Health Workers
  • Substance Abuse Counsellors
  • School Social Workers 
  • Mental Health Care Counsellors
  • Also Read: Human Rights Courses

Interested in making a career in Social Work,
check out your options here – Explore The Most Popular Social Work Careers

MSW Books

Name of the Book Name of the Author
International Social Work Cox, David & Manohar Pawar
Social work education in India K.K. Jacob
Social work practice – A generalist Approach.  Yagna J. Stephen & Johnson C. Louise
Sociology: A systematic introduction Harry. M. Johns
A dialectic journey of theory and practice J.M. Papa
Social Work and Human Development Crawford, Karen and Janet Walker
Personality Development Elizabeth Hurlock
Applied Psychology for Social Work Ingleby Ewan

MSW Fees

The average fee for an MSW course in India is around INR 3,60,000 to 1.5 lacs per annum and aborad is between INR 17 lacs to 50 lacs.

MSW Distance Education

The length of the MSW distance learning programme is two to five years. The amount of time needed to finish the course is totally dependent on how much time the applicants contribute. For applicants who cannot attend normal classes, the MSW distance education programmes are quite rewarding.

MSW Distance Education: Admission 2022

The requirements for MSW distance learning admission vary depending on the universities. The majority of the time, merit lists are used to determine admittance. When applying for admission, the candidates must present other papers as well as their caste certificate.

MSW Distance Education: Top Colleges

College Name Duration Average Fees
IGNOU 2-5 years INR 36,400
Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University 2 years INR 11,820
Annamalai University, Dir. of Distance Learning 2 years INR 11,800
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University 3 years INR 24,000
The Global Open University 2 years INR 24,125
Vardhman Mahaveer Open University 2 years INR 16,550

MSW Abroad

Candidates have the option of enrolling in MSW programmes in prestigious colleges and universities abroad, including those in the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada. Better infrastructure and research facilities are offered by colleges abroad. The courses typically last between one and three years.Before choosing to enrol in a foreign university, applicants must also bear the following considerations in mind.

  • The cost of the courses is comparatively higher as compared to the courses offered in India. The average fees cost of the programs can go up to 45 lacs per year.
  • The candidates must qualify the English proficiency tests such as TOEFL, IELTS or PTE.
  • The candidates need to submit a letter of intent and at least 2 references.
  • In some cases, the candidates need to present a personal statement and reference list for the admission process.
  • Candidates must complete 15 years of compulsory education for getting admission to the MSW courses


College/University Names Average Fees 
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor INR 32,97,924
Washington University INR 32,67,912
Columbia University INR 17,48,695
University of California INR 50,09,804
University of North Carolina INR 36,61,551
University of Texas INR 38,90,240
Case Western Reserve University INR 17,48,144
Boston College INR 28,18,921- 32,88,676
University of Pennsylvania INR 36,68,243
New York University INR 36,54,757


College/ University Names Average Fees 
University of Edinburgh INR 41,21,274
University of Manchester INR 39,16,189
University of Bristol INR 39,56,951
University of Birmingham INR 38,02,382
University of Nottingham INR 39,49,585
University of York INR 37,57,977
University of Bath INR 19,67,485
University of Sussex INR 34,94,160
Royal Holloway University of London INR 34,61,196
University of Dundee INR 34,27,718

MSW in Canada

College/ University Names Average Fees 
University of Toronto INR 20,78,480
McGill University INR 652,701
University of British Columbia INR 15,69,687
McMaster University INR 691,548
University of Waterloo INR 838,840
Western University INR 13,82,213
University of Calgary
Dalhousie University INR 16,03,017

MSW Scope

A master’s degree in social work prepares students to work as social activists, social workers, or social personals.

This course combines classroom instruction with fieldwork so that graduates will have all of the necessary information and hands-on experience to start a career in this sector.

MSW graduates have the option of continuing their education. These include MPhil and PhD degrees in research, MBA degrees in management, professional certificate courses, and applicable PG diploma courses.


What is the average salary of a social worker?

The salary of a social worker is completely dependent on your skills and qualifications. So, If you have done a masters in social work and acquired a lot of experience during the course of the study then you might find work in some top NGO’s where you will be offered a comparatively higher salary. The average starting salary is ₹408,514/ annum but depending on your experience it can go up to an average of 27,44,018/annum in case you make a space for yourself in International NGO’s. Given below is the expected average salary for a few top positions that you can get after doing a masters in social work:

1. Substance Use and Recovery Treatment Counselor -31,27,438
2. Mental Health Counselor – 31,27,438
3. Marriage and Family Counselor – 31,40,788
4. Medical Social Worker – 44,06,744
5. School Social Worker – 31,40,788

Is a Masters in Social Work (MSW) worth it?

Even though you can engage in Social Work without a masters degree but if you wish to actually build a career in it and make a difference on a larger scale then doing a masters in social work is recommended. A masters programme in social work will give you the much-needed exposure and help you not only figure out various professional opportunities available in the field of social work but also help in developing the skills required to work in these fields.  

What can a licensed Master Social Worker (MSW) do?

After pursuing a Masters in Social Work you will find yourself in the midst of a plethora of opportunities. If you become a licensed social worker, you can be hired as a project coordinator by both National and International NGO’s. Also, with a masters degree, you can go on and become a professor in the field of social work. 

What is the eligibility for Masters in Social work?

In most Colleges candidates having bachelor’s degree in social work are given more preference but students having a background in Humanities/Social Science/Science/Commerce or Management are also eligible to apply for a masters in social work. Apart from this every College has their individual selection criteria in which you have to qualify their respective entrance tests, GD’s and interviews to be a part of their Masters in Social work. 

Is a Masters in Social Work difficult?

Like in every other field, here also you need to work hard and if you are actually passionate about this field then it might come a bit easy to you. But nevertheless, to perform well in masters in social work, you need to have a strong foundation. There is a field/ practical side to this course and also a theoretical side and you need to engage in both equally to excel in it. And also, the job prospects highly depend on the experience that the students have gained during their masters programme, so a constant engagement is required. 

‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’
– Mahatma Gandhi

This is all you need to know about the Masters in Social Work. If you’ve always been enthusiastic to find solutions to the prevalent social issues in the world, MSW is highly suitable for you. If you want to explore great foreign opportunities for pursuing this course, we have the perfect services for you. At Leverage Edu, you can connect with our expert career counsellors, who can help you choose the perfect college and course option. We also help you in preparing the right LORs and SOP so that you ace your selection process. Sign up for an e-meeting right now and get started on success!

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    1. Hello Abhishek,

      If you wish to study MSW from top universities abroad, please connect to our experts at 1800-572-000 who will guide you further.

    1. Hello Abhishek,

      If you wish to study MSW from top universities abroad, please connect to our experts at 1800-572-000 who will guide you further.

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