M.S.W. or Master of Social Work is a postgraduate Social Work programme. Social Work is both a professional and academic discipline whose area of study is intended for improving the quality of life of an individual, group and or community belonging to a weaker section. The duration of Masters in Social Work is 2 years, usually comprising 4 semesters; these may vary depending upon the institute providing it. The course can be pursed through distance learning, correspondence or part time mode. A correspondence in MSW offers a bit less of practical training as compared to the classroom program. The maximum duration for completing the course is 5 Years through Correspondence as per IGNOU, this duration may vary in some institutes. The medium of instructions is mostly English and Hindi. Certain institutes offer it as M.A. (SW) which stands for Master of Arts in Social Work. University provides Five Year Integrated Course in Social Work which leads to BSW (three years) and MSW (two years) Degrees. The Master Degree course curriculum offers opportunities for specialization in four distinct areas, namely, Family and Child Welfare, Medical and Psychiatric Social Work, Industrial Relations and Personnel Management and Community Development. Depending on situation, normally two specialization areas are offered every year to the MSW final year students.
Master Degree Programme in Social Work is aimed at training individuals who are already working or desire to work in the Development and Welfare sectors. M.S.W. enables a candidate to become a Social Worker and perform in various capacities. Social workers perform interventions through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice and teaching. The National Council of Professional Social Work in consultation with the Universities, including IGNOU and NAPSWI (National Association for Professional Social Workers in India) takes decision for the promotion, maintenance, co-ordination of standards of education, training, research and practice. It lays down guidelines in respect of minimum qualifications for persons to be employed as social work professional and lays down guidelines for granting recognition to institutes as well as existing courses and for starting new courses for social work education and training, including the minimum eligibility criteria for admission.
Master of Social WorkEligibility
The eligibility of Social Work Masters Degree Programs is Bachelor of Social Work degree from a recognised Institute.
Candidates who have a Bachelor's degree in Humanities/Social Science/Science/Commerce or Management subjects are also eligible. Students with a background in social work, psychology, social science, sociology or any other related fields are given preference over others.
Candidates appearing for final year degree exam are also eligible to appear for First year. However, their final admission to MSW is subject to passing degree examination before opening of the classes of 1st semester.
The selection is on the basis of one's performance in Entrance Test, Group Discussion and Interview. The test measures one's mental ability and general awareness. The aim of the interview is to establish a candidate’s genuine interest in Social Work.
Candidates belonging to the SC/ST require at least 40% marks at the qualifying examinations. This Percentage may vary depending upon the University.
Few of the MSW Entrance Test
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) MSW Admission Test
Jamia Milia Islamia - JMI M.A. (Social Work) Admission Entrance Test.
Sree Sankaracharya University (SSUS) MSW Entrance Examination.
Tata Institute of Science and Technology Social Work (TISS) Entrance Exam.
MSW Entrance Exam Pattern
The paper for the MSW exam will contain questions of the objective category. The paper will carry a minimum of 100 marks. The negative marking system will be followed by the majority of the institutions.
The questions will be from topics like:
Common Master of Social Work Subjects/Topics
History, Philosophy and Fields of Social Work
Theory and Practice of Counselling
Project Planning and Management
Social Work Research and Social Statistics
Master of Social Work Specialisations
Human Resource Management
Criminology and Correctional Administration
Medical and Psychiatric Social Work
Family and Child Welfare
Rural and Urban Community Development and Schools Social Work
Medical and Psychiatric Social Work
Urban and Rural Community Development
Industrial Relations & Labour Welfare
Master of Social Work Course Structure Most of the Institutes follow the below mentioned Course Structure:
Extra Disciplinary Courses offered by other Departments - Candidates who have joined the MSW Degree course, besides undergoing the courses offered by the Department of social work, undergo any two Extra Disciplinary Courses (one in second semester and another one in third semester) offered by other departments.
Course features - The programme consists of Foundation Courses (FC), Core Courses (CC) and Extra Disciplinary Courses (EDC) distributed among the 4 semester periods. The courses include concurrent Fieldwork Practicum, Block Placement and Research Thesis Work.
Course Structure of M.S.W. as per Social Science Centre, Pune - Bharati Vidyapeeth University
Subjects of Study
Research Project Report
Viva - Voce
The M.S.W. Curriculum also include Rural Camps, Study Tours, Seminars, Dissertation, Block Placement etc
It is best suited for those Graduates who have a flexible outlook towards humanity. They should have enormous patience and deal with complex situations efficiently.
Those who have high understanding of human psychology and posses the ability to analyse an issue and take decisions apt to the situation are perfectly suited for this course.
Social Work as profession is not considered a prestigious in spite of its noble intent so one has to be content even if one may not acquire as much repute as some other professional courses like B.E. or M.B.B.S.
How is Master of Social Work Programme Beneficial?
Candidates who have completed Masters Degree in Social work can apply for Ph.D. or M.Phil. Degree.
After gaining some experience M.S.W.'s can be appointed as Consultants with various high reputed organizations.
Master of Social Work Employment Areas
Disaster Management Department
Gender Issues Associations or Groups
HR Department of Industries
Human Rights Agencies
Natural Resources Management Companies
Old Age Homes
Master of Social Work Job Types
The M.S.W Degree holds a good repute at the International Level. Premier international organizations like WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF employ Social Workers in awareness campaigns and projects meant for developing countries. Internationally recognized NGO's like the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), the largest professional organization for social workers in the United States is the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) also employ Indian social workers along with good salary. Help Age India and other similar organisations also hire Social Workers. Teaching, Research based and administrative jobs are the other jobs which one can acquire.