The University of Western Australia will replace its Bachelor of Social Work degree with a qualifying Masters in Social Work program from next year, 2009.
Discipline Chair in Social Work and Social Policy, Associate Professor Mike Clare, said the new Masters degree was designed to meet the changing needs of society.
"Undergraduate student numbers had been falling in recent years and we've found that many of our students are mature-age people who are looking for a change of career," Professor Clare said.
"For this reason, it made sense to restructure our degree and offer it as a graduate entry program."
Major benefits of the new HECS course included that MSW students would be eligible for Centrelink support. Students employed in the human services could also be paid for one or both of their compulsory field placements, he said.
"Many of our students are faced with severe financial hardship during their studies. The possibility of paid placements will help relieve some of that pressure," Professor Clare said.
"Our society is up against some huge challenges and the human services providers, such as teaching, nursing and social work can't recruit and retain enough graduates to fill the ever-increasing demand for their services."
An information evening for prospective students will be held in Arts Lecture Room 6 at UWA at 6pm on Thursday, November 20.
For more details, contact Professor Clare on 6488 2998 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org