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MSW Course

Updated By Dinesh Dahiya on 15 Jun, 2022
Average Duration
2 years
Average Fee
10 K-50 K INR annual
Study Mode

MSW (Master of Social Work) Course Overview

MSW (Masters of Social Work) course is a two-year postgraduate program which is related to the study of essential humanitarian efforts in a society. The primary focus of the MSW course is on the marginalized and weaker sections of the society who are often suppressed and neglected.

MSW course imparts students knowledge and training related to the upliftment of the marginalized in areas such as education, sanitation, and their welfare. MSW program mainly consists of Foundation Courses, Core Courses and Disciplinary Courses taught in a period of four semesters.

MSW program offers specialization in the four main areas such as Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Family and Child Welfare, Psychiatric Social Work and Community Development. Social workers work with one agenda in society; that is to bring a change!

MSW Course Highlights

Master of social work is a postgraduate course. MSW course consists of various studies related to social issues and how to deal with them. MSW course comprises a two year course in which both theoretical as well as practical knowledge is given about social work. Besides that, candidates learn various other necessary skills while studying MSW such as communication skills, adaptive behavior, and other professional skills which help the candidates in pursuing a successful career ahead. Given below are some of the important MSW highlights:

Degree name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

MSW Duration

2 years

MSW Eligibility

A Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university with a minimum of 50 per cent marks

Degree level


MSW Course type

Social Work

MSW Admission process

University-based entrance tests

MSW fees

10,000 to 60,000 per annum

MSW entrance exams

DSSW, AMU entrance test, Jamia Millia Islamia admission test, TISS entrance test

Jobs after MSW

Child welfare social worker, Substance abuse counselor, Medical social worker and more

MSW Expected starting salary

2.42 lakh to 2.64 lakh

What is MSW Degree?

A Master of Social Work, or MSW, is a graduate degree that prepares social workers to pursue state licensure. MSW degree basically focuses on clinical social work. Students are prepared to work in social work by providing information related to social work ethics. Students can pursue MSW course both as a regular course and online as well. Students can do advanced MSW course online also which will help them understand the working of social work both at the state level and also at the centre level. 

Students after completing MSW course can work in a variety of sectors including government, education, health care and nonprofit administration, research and human resources. After completing MSW degree, students will be able to work as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). 

Why pursue MSW?

Social work is a fascinating work where people are trained to work for the development of people in the society and how they can make the lives of people better while working for them. There are many aspects of social work such as candidates can work as a counselor also where they will help out people with medical illness or unstable mental setups. On the other hand, social workers can also work in the child care department where they will deal with the development and progress of children in need. Given below are some of the facts as why someone should pursue a career in MSW:

Opportunity to Serve Others after MSW

As a social worker, candidates have an opportunity to work with people who need help. Through their work, social workers can manage to bring a change in the life of distressed people who need help. There are people from different backgrounds such as migrants, abused people, victims and other social group people such as LGBTQ who face various kinds of adversities in life. Candidates with their MSW degree can help these people and help them get out of their distressed situation.

MSW a Growing Field

Social work field has been considered as one of the fastest growing fields. Social work profession is an everlasting profession because there are always people in society who need help from one or the other situation. It is important to have more and more social workers with MSW degree in order to help those people out and make the world a better place.

Advanced Education and Training in MSW

More than theoretical knowledge, candidates are offered practical knowledge in the field. Candidates have an opportunity to structure their skills and knowledge even before they graduate. Along with that, candidates are also offered training in statistics and research, psychotherapy, and social welfare and policies.

MSW in Health Care

In general, MSW degree is usually required in following aspects as mentioned above. Along with that, MSW degree is must for a candidate who wish to work in healthcare, education department. Candidates who are looking for working with people and patients in departments like drug addiction, or counseling students in the school, then MSW degree is required. Without MSW degree, candidates cannot work as a professional social worker in any field.

Increased Salary in MSW

Helping people out should be the foremost reason for pursuing MSW degree. Besides that, candidates who pursue MSW degree have better professional scope. Candidates with MSW degree tend to earn more than the social workers who do not have MSW degree. Also, social work is a never ending work which requires more and more people to indulge in order to gain more success by providing better services. Hence candidates must pursue MSW degree in order to do something productive through their professional endeavors. 

Who Should Pursue MSW?

Master of Social Work is a two year program. MSW is a postgraduate course pursued by candidates who have interest in working for social issues related works. With the help of MSW degree, a candidate can become a professional social worker rather than just staying a general social worker. Read the following points in order to get a clarity about the social work profession and MSW course:

  • With MSW degree, candidates can follow a variety of social work specializations such as becoming a counselor in schools, family social worker or abuse counselor.
  • If a person wants to work as an independent social worker or as a clinical social worker then MSW degree is a must. 
  • After completing MSW degree, candidates can further pursue higher earning social work careers where they can work independently in helping out the various aspects of social work such as related to mental health or child abuse or even adult abuse. It is up to them which specialization they wish to follow.
  • According to various surveys conducted by some popular career sites such as Glassdoor etc, candidates with MSW degree can earn a handsome salary while also making a difference with their work. 
  • It has been surveyed that the salary scale for general social workers is comparatively less as compared to professional social workers with MSW degree.
  • While pursuing MSW course, candidates are not only provided with career guidance but also given advanced skills training which will help them out in their professional life journey. 
  • Some of the skills such as communication, both written and verbal, organization and time management, and the ability to deal with and solve often complex and nuanced problems will help the candidates to successfully pursue any specialization in the social Work department after completion of MSW course. 

MSW Course Eligibility Criteria

MSW is a two year postgraduate program which is offered by various colleges and universities in India and abroad. MSW course eligibility criteria is almost same for all the universities and colleges in India. MSW eligibility criteria for colleges abroad may vary from college to college. MSW course eligibility criteria for Indian colleges is mentioned below:

  • Candidates must have an undergraduate degree in any course from any recognized university or college in India to pursue MSW.
  • Candidates must have scored minimum aggregate marks 50% in order to qualify for the MSW admission process.
  • The aggregate marks requirement for MSW may differ for different colleges and universities. Candidates must check the prospectus or online websites of the colleges and universities in order to get an exact idea about the MSW eligibility criteria.
  • Many colleges and universities also conduct entrance examinations in order to provide admission to the candidates in MSW course. 
  • Candidates must qualify the entrance exam in order to secure admission in MSW course. 

MSW Admission Process

Different colleges and universities have different admission requirements. There are two types of institutions offering admission in MSW course: Private colleges and government colleges. MSW admission process for different private colleges may differ from each other. Some may conduct entrance exam or may provide admission on the basis of undergraduate degree score. MSW admission process for government colleges on the other hand is almost the same in which candidates are required to clear the entrance exam. Given below are some of the important facts related to admission process for MSW course:

  • Admission to the MSW program is on the basis of candidates performance in the entrance examination which at times is followed by a personal interview.
  • Some of the topics included in the MSW entrance test are general awareness, analytical ability, language comprehension and awareness of socio-political issues.
  • Various institutes conduct entrance examination for providing admission in MSW course such as AMU, Jamia Millia Islamia and TISS.
  • Candidates are required to clear the MSW entrance examination.
  • After the candidates have cleared the written exam, candidates are called for an interview round.
  • Interview round consists of a group discussion round followed by a personal interview round.
  • After the culmination of the whole admission process, the marks for both the written exam, group discussion round and personal interview round are compiled and the final score is structured.
  • Candidates who score the required amount of marks are then offered admission in MSW course. 

MSW Course Entrance Exams

Various reputed institutes conduct entrance examinations for provisional admission in MSW course. Given below are some of the important exams which a candidate must appear for in order to get admission in different reputed colleges in India offering MSW:

  • Tata Institute of Science and Technology Social Work Entrance Exam.
  • Aligarh Muslim University MSW Admission Test
  • Jamia Millia Islamia MA Entrance Exam
  • Delhi School of Social Work, Delhi University

MSW Syllabus

Given below is MSW syllabus which is taught in the colleges and universities in India. It must be noted that the MSW syllabus may vary from college to college. It is just a rough estimate about the MSW syllabus. Candidates must visit the official website of the respective college in order to get a proper idea about MSW course syllabus.

MSW 1st Semester 

Given below is MSW syllabus for 1st Semester:

  • History and Philosophy of Social Work
  • Social Problem and Social Development
  • Social Work Research and Quantitative Analysis
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Social Work Practicum-I (Structured Experience Laboratory and Research Methodology Practical)  
  • Social Work Practicum-II (Skill Development Assessment)  
  • Non-credit Course: IT in Social Sector

MSW 2nd Semester 

Given below is MSW syllabus for 2nd Semester:

  • Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy
  • Rehabilitation and Resettlement
  • Social Work Methods
  • Visual Culture (4CH)
  • Social Work Practicum-III (Concurrent fieldwork – Community Placement) (2 CH) Social Work Practicum-IV (Learning Social Work through Participatory Approach) (2 CH) 
  • Non-credit Course-I: Community Intervention and Entrepreneurship Development 
  • Non-credit Optional Course-II: Summer Internship

MSW 3rd Semester 

Given below is MSW syllabus for 3rd Semester:

  • Ideology and Ethics of Social Work
  • Social Legislation and labor Welfare
  • Vulnerable Children and their Development
  • Elective Course (A student has to select any one of the following elective courses):

Human Resource Development-I 

Rural Development-I

  • Social Work Practicum-V (Concurrent fieldwork – Agency Placement) 
  • Social Work Practicum-VI (Micro Level Study on Social Exclusion) 
  •  Non-credit Course: Disaster Preparedness and Management

MSW 4th Semester

Given below is MSW syllabus for 4th Semester:

  • Social Work Administration
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Tribal Anthropology and Social Work
  • Elective Course - 

Human Resource Development-II 

Rural Development-II

  • Poverty Reduction, Micro Finance and Micro Enterprises 
  • Non-credit Course-I: Fundamental of Medical Social Work 
  • Non-credit Course-II: Block Field Work Placement

During MSW course, candidates are required to complete both elective courses and Core subjects. In this section Elective courses and Core courses have been discussed:

MSW Core Subjects:

  • History of Social Work
  • Social Work Research and Quantitative Analysis
  • Rehabilitation and Resettlement
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

MSW Elective Subjects:

  • Social Work Administration
  • Disaster, Crisis, and Intervention
  • Medical Social Work
  • Children, Families, and Couples
  • Forensic Populations and Settings

MSW Major Subjects

In the following table, MSW popular or major subjects have been discussed in detail:

MSW Subject Name

MSW Sub Topics

Foundation of Social Practice

Introduction and Concepts of Social Work, Social Work as a Profession

Theory and Practice of Social Work

Understanding Groups, Approaches and Theoretical Approaches to Group Work

Working with Communities and NGOs

Basic Concepts Process of Community Work Approach to Community Work

Child and Women Development

Child Development, Women and Social Work & Adolescence

Theory and Practice of Social Case Work

Case Work, Different Approaches to Case Work Study

Human Rights and Social Justice

Social Justice, Human Rights

Social Planning, Policy and Development

Social Planning & Policy, Social Development

Poverty and Livelihood

Poverty Measurement & Interventions

Urban Development

Urbanization: Issues and Challenges, Strategies and Interventions

Rural Development

Rural Scenario in India, Mechanisms and Programs

Top MSW Colleges in India

Given below is the list of top MSW course colleges in India. MSW eligibility criteria for these colleges is almost the same. Candidates can apply for admission in these top renowned MSW course colleges after completing their undergraduate course. Candidates can pursue undergraduate course in any subject and still can apply for MSW course. List of top MSW course colleges India is as follows:

Top MSW Course Colleges Abroad

Candidates can pursue MSW degree from abroad as well. There are various foreign institutes who offer MSW courses. Given below are some of the important MSW course colleges mentioned in which candidates can apply for admission. In order to check the MSW eligibility criteria, candidates must visit the official website of the respective institute.

MSW Course Fee Structure Abroad

MSW Course fee structure for overseas studies has been discussed in this section. Some of the universities also provide scholarships to the deserving candidates. Candidates must visit the official websites of respective universities in order to get an exact idea about the admission process and MSW course fee structure.

Type of Expense

MSW Fees (INR)

Visa Application Cost

6,347 - 38,500


14,000 - 18,000


12,000 - 19,000



GRE Fees

14,350 - 17,300

Travel Costs

37800 - 1,05,000

MSW Course Online

Candidates can also pursue MSW course online. Some of these courses are also sponsored. Given below are some of the names of the MSW courses offered by various universities and colleges across the globe:

University of Denver

  • Research-driven faculty dedicated to making an impact on social problems
  • Prepares you to apply social work skills across practice settings

Simmons University

  • Three certificates: Trauma Practice, Mental Health Practice or Practice with Groups and Families.
  • Four program tracks: Advanced Standing, Accelerated, Full Time and Extended

Howard University

  • Four program tracks: Advanced Standing, Accelerated, Full Time and Extended

University of Southern California (USC)

  • Three academic departments: Adult Mental Health and Wellness; Children, Youth – and Families; and Social Change and Innovation
  • Features field education in or near students’ own communities.

Fordham University

  • Four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy

Syracuse University

  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks
  • Concentrate your degree in integrated practice or clinical practice

Case Western Reserve University

  • CWRU’s Mandel School is a top-10 ranked graduate school of social work (2019).
  • Three paths of study are available to prepare social work leaders to work in clinical or community practice.

Baylor University

  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Specialize in clinical practice or community practice

MSW Course Fee Structure

Given below are some of the important facts related to MSW fee structure:

  • MSW course is a two year course. It is a postgraduate course which is pursued by candidates who wish to pursue their career in social work.
  • MSW course fee structure is different for private and public colleges.
  • The private colleges are a bit expensive in comparison to public courses.
  • MSW course fee structure for government colleges such as DU, AMU, JMI which offer admission in MSW course is between INR 10,000 to INR 60,000/-. 
  • The private colleges MSW course fee structure is between INR 1,00,000 to INR 2,50,000/-.
  • Candidates also have an option of pursuing MSW course through distance education which is less costlier than regular courses and can be easily pursued by anyone. The eligibility criteria for applying in MSW course through distance education is almost similar to the regular courses.
  • One of the best options for pursuing MSW course through distance education is IGNOU(Indira Gandhi National Open University). The eligibility criteria for taking admission is not that strict. Anyone with minimum aggregate marks can take admission in IGNOU in MSW course. 

MSW Salary

Candidates must note that the salary offered by MSW course is not lucrative. Candidates are required to have patience, empathy and selflessness in order to pursue a successful career in the social work field. Candidates are expected to work on different social issues and do their best in order to provide the necessary help. MSW course is for the candidates who have compassion for humanity in general. Given below is the salary structure after the completion of MSW course:

Experience Level

MSW Annual Salary Range


Rs 3.60 lakh to 3.89 lakh


Rs 3.89 lakh to Rs. 5.00 lakh


Rs 5.00 lakh and onwards

MSW Career Options, Job Profile & Salary Scope

Candidates who are keen for higher studies can pursue MPhil in Social Work which is offered by various universities across the country. The field of social work is a right career choice for the candidates who feel a deep sense of responsibility towards the society. After the completion of MSW, candidates can start working as independent social workers or with different organizations and NGOs. The entry-level salary of a social worker is Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 4 lakh. Listed below are the popular job roles for MSW degree holders:

  • Social Worker: The main duty of the Social Workers is to fight against different kinds of injustice prevailing in the society. Their main area of function is to provide help to those who have been neglected by the society or are dealing with some grave issues which in long run can implicit severe harmful effects. 
  • CSR Representative: The full form for CSR is Customer service representatives. The main role of CSR is to handle customer complaints and progressively work in order to solve those problems. Customer service representatives, customer service advisors, or customer service associates interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services. Customer service representatives answer questions or requests from customers or the public.
  • Counselors: Counselor is someone who provides counseling to different individuals or groups. In order to become a professional counselor, it is necessary to have MSW degree. Professional counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.Counselors work with clients on strategies to overcome obstacles and personal challenges that they are facing.
  • NGO: Candidates after completing MSW course can work with different Non-governmental Organizations as well. Through this they will get to know about the ground reality and will also be provided with an opportunity to directly interact with the people in need. There are various big NGOs in the world who through their efforts have managed to help lakhs of people globally.
  • Journalist: Candidates can also become Journalists. Through this they can propagate their views on various social issues and grievances in the society. Candidates who like writing and doing research oriented work can try their luck in this profession.
  • Welfare Officer: Candidates can also become welfare officers and work in improving the social aspects which need a change. 

Given below are some of the suitable employment areas for MSW graduates:

  • Counseling Centres
  • Correction Cells
  • NGOs
  • Human Right Agencies
  • Old Age Homes
  • Natural Resource Management Companies
  • Health Industry

FAQs about Master of Social Work

How can I get admission into the Master of Social Work programme?

A bachelor’s degree in Social Work from a recognised University/Institute is sufficient to apply for admission into the Master of Social Work programme in a reputed institution.

Which is the best institute in India to pursue master of social work from?

Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, Faculty of Social Work Baroda, Department of Social Work Delhi University etc are some of the best institutions to pursue a master of social work from.

What is the biggest advantage of pursuing a PhD in social work after completing a master of social work studies?

If you wish to pursue a PhD in social work after completing your MSW degree studies, the biggest advantage is you will get lucrative offers to teach the subject at various reputed universities and institutions.

What is the average salary of a social worker in India?

A social worker with a Master of Social Work degree can earn around INR 4 LPA to INR 5 LPA with at least 5 to 9 years of experience.

Can I become a social worker without an MSW degree?

No, you cannot become a social worker with an MSW degree.

Can I become a school counsellor with an MSW degree?

No, you cannot become a school counsellor with an MSW degree. You should always choose a professional degree which is related to your field of study.

Which are the best specialisations in the Master of Social Work programme?

The best specialisations available in the Master of Social Work are rural & urban community development, family & child welfare, correctional administration, criminology, HRM etc.

Is the academic stress load too much in Master of Social Work?

Yes, the academic stress load is quite a lot in Master of Social Work which a student must never underestimate.

Which course is the best to pursue after the Master of Social Work?

Professional courses in industrial disputes and industrial relations, labour laws can help you get a high salary job after you have complete your master of social work studies.

What is the duration of the Master of Social Work programme?

The master of social work is a 2-year postgraduate degree programme.

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Questions Related to MSW Course

When will the MSW admission process of St. Edmund’s College Shillong begin for the current academic year? I also want to know the average annual MSW course fee structure of the institute.

-suiyidauleUpdated on November 06, 2021 12:09 AM
  • 2 Answers
Abhik Das, Student / Alumni

Dear student, St. Edmund’s College Shillong has not yet started the MSW admission process for the academic year 2021-22. We …


When will Walchand College of Arts and Science Solapur commence its MSW admission process for the academic year 2021-22?

-rutika phatangareUpdated on June 28, 2021 04:16 PM
  • 1 Answer
Abhik Das, Student / Alumni

Dear student, Walchand College of Arts and Science Solapur has not yet initiated the MSW admission process for the academic …


Has the MSW admission process for the academic year 2021-22 started at Madras Christian College?

-betsy pouloseUpdated on June 02, 2021 01:57 PM
  • 1 Answer
Abhik Das, Student / Alumni

Dear student, Madras Christian College is yet to begin the PG, which includes MSW, admission process for the academic …


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