Master of Social Work

Admission Requirements

Candidates seeking admission to the course leading to the Master of Social Work degree must have obtained either:

  • An NUS Honours degree (Honours (Merit) and above) or equivalent (e.g., a four-year Bachelor's degree with at least an average grade of B) in Social Work; good Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores (the University Code is 0677), taken no earlier than 5 years before the date of application (NUS/NTU/SMU graduates are not required to submit the GRE score); or
  • An NUS Honours degree (Honours (Merit) and above) or equivalent (e.g., a four-year Bachelor's degree with at least an average grade of B) in related field; good Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores (the University Code is 0677), taken no earlier than 5 years before the date of application (NUS/NTU/SMU graduates are not required to submit the GRE score); and a minimum of five years of relevant work experience; or
  • A good Bachelor's degree (at least an average grade of B or equivalent) and a NUS Graduate Diploma in Social Work with at least an average grade of B+; or
  • A good Bachelor's degree (at least an average grade of B or equivalent) in Social Work; good Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores (the University Code is 0677), taken no earlier than 5 years before the date of application (NUS/NTU/SMU graduates are not required to submit the GRE score); and a minimum of two years of relevant work experience; or
  • A good Bachelor's degree (at least an average grade of B or equivalent) in related field; good Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores (the University Code is 0677), taken no earlier than 5 years before the date of application (NUS/NTU/SMU graduates are not required to submit the GRE score); and a minimum of five years of relevant work experience; or exceptionally
  • Other qualifications and experience subject to approval by the Board of Graduate Studies.

Besides academic qualifications, high standards of work performance and leadership potential are important factors of consideration for admission. Relevant work experience includes service in a human service or related organisation.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose native tongue or medium of university instruction is not English should submit their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score as evidence of their proficiency in the English language.

The following minimum TOEFL score is required:

  • 85 for the internet-based test (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section); or
  • 580 for the paper-based test; or
  • 237 for the computer-based test.

Alternatively, an IELTS result of 6.5 is required.

TOEFL or IELTS results are only valid for two years after the test and the validity should not expire before the beginning of the application period for the coursework programme.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has indicated that score reports are valid only if our University receives them directly from ETS.

The Faculty's TOEFL institution code is 9081.

General Information

Please refer to http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/prospective/grad/ for general information on the application periods, application materials, fees and etc.

Students Admitted from Semester I, AY2011/12

A. Complete and pass 10 modules;
B. Obtain a minimum Cumulative Average Point (CAP) of 3.00;
C. Where applicable, obtained a satisfactory grade in the graduate English course at intermediate level.


1. Master with Specialization (Family/Community or Health)

  • 4 essential modules: SW5103, SW5104, SW5106 and SW5107;
  • 5 elective * modules (including 1 specialization related supervised project or practicum); and
  • 1 general elective module.

* Students from the AY2014/15 intake onwards without a BSW are required to take the Practicum as an elective module to fulfil graduation requirements regardless of whether or not they are doing a specialization track.


2. General Master without Specialization

  • 4 essential modules: SW5103, SW5104, SW5106 and SW5107;
  • 5 elective * modules from either of the specialization tracks; and
  • 1 general elective module.

* Students from the AY2014/15 intake onwards without a BSW are required to take the Practicum as an elective module to fulfil graduation requirements regardless of whether or not they are doing a specialization track.


3. Self designed Master without Specialization

  • 4 essential modules: SW5103, SW5104, SW5106 and SW5107;
  • 6 elective * modules including relevant cross faculty graduate modules as approved by the Department.

* Students from the AY2014/15 intake onwards without a BSW are required to take the Practicum as an elective module to fulfil graduation requirements regardless of whether or not they are doing a specialization track.

Four Essential Modules:

  • SW5103 Family Systems Theory and Intervention;
  • SW5104 Management of Human Service Organizations;
  • SW5106 Social Policy and Welfare Services;
  • SW5107 Program Development and Evaluation; and,

Five elective (level 5000 or level 6000) modules from either of the specialization tracks offered by the Department of Social Work and 1 elective for General Master) OR six electives in a self-designed curriculum including cross-faculty graduate modules as approved by the Department for Self-Designed Master.

* Students from the AY2014/15 intake onwards without a BSW are required to take the Practicum as an elective module to fulfil graduation requirements regardless of whether or not they are doing a specialization track.

Four Essential Modules:

  • SW5103 Family Systems Theory and Intervention;
  • SW5104 Management of Human Service Organizations;
  • SW5106 Social Policy and Welfare Services;
  • SW5107 Program Development and Evaluation; and,

Five Elective * modules from the following:

Family/Community Specialization: Any five specialization modules Health Specialization: Any five specialization modules
  • SW5207 Working with Multi-Stressed Families;
  • SW5208 Using Play Therapy with Children and Families;
  • SW5215 Poverty and Asset-Building Policy;
  • SW5216 Family and Interpersonal Violence;
  • SW5245 Current Group Approaches in Social Work;
  • SW5252 Community Organization and Development;
  • SW5253 Volunteer Management;
  • Supervised Project OR Practicum (compulsory module).
  • SW5210 Trauma and Mental Health;
  • SW5211 Risk Assessment & Management: Mental Health;
  • SW5213 Practice with Persons with Disability;
  • SW5217 Continuum of Care and Healthy Ageing;
  • SW5218 Practice with Persons with Addiction;
  • SW5219 Palliative and End-of-Life Care;
  • Supervised Project OR Practicum (compulsory module).

One General Elective:

The general elective may be from the Health specialization OR the Family/Community specialization OR the following:

  • SW5247 Social Prevention and Public Education;
  • SW5880 Special Topics in Social Work (the module will highlight a contemporary issue in social work practice e.g. pathological gambling, social enterprise or end stage renal failure);
  • Cross faculty modules such as from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS Business School, or the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine.

* Students from the AY2014/15 intake onwards without a BSW are required to take the Practicum as an elective module to fulfil graduation requirements regardless of whether or not they are doing a specialization track.

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