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MSW – Master in Social Work


MSW or Master of Social Work is a 2-year postgraduate work in the field of social work. MSW courses can also be pursued in the Distance mode from top colleges such as IGNOU. The average MSW course fee ranges between INR 80,000 – INR 2,00,000. MSW graduates can

What is MSW?

MSW or Master of Social Work is a 2-year postgraduate work in the field of social work. MSW courses can also be pursued in the Distance mode from top colleges such as IGNOU. The average MSW course fee ranges between INR 80,000 – INR 2,00,000. MSW graduates can work in the Healthcare, Social Services, Human Rights sectors. An MSW degree is important for students who wish to pursue a career as a licenced clinical social worker.

MSW also termed the Master of Social Work course is a 2-year postgraduate degree course divided across 4 semesters. The basic eligibility criteria to pursue MSW include candidates having pursued their graduation in social work with a minimum aggregate score of 50% and above or an equivalent CGPA from a recognised university.

MSW Admission across top colleges are done on the basis of both merit as well as entrance exams such as CUET PG , SAT and IPUCET. The average course fees usually range from INR 20,000 – 1,00,000.

Some of the Top MSW Colleges include Banaras Hindu University, Tata Institute of Social Science, and Aligarh Muslim University. After completing the course candidates can work as Social Workers with an average salary of INR 3.50 LPA – 5 LPA. The Salary of a Social Worker varies depending on the expertise and job location. Candidates can also choose to pursue MSW Courses Abroad as they are much more lucrative, and social workers are paid well in foreign countries.

All About MSW

MSW is a postgraduate degree in the field of social work that can be pursued by candidates who wish to become licensed social workers. MSW course opens up opportunities for the candidate in the domain of labour welfare, rural reconstruction, child rights, and community protection.

An MSW course provides students with advanced knowledge of social work theories and practice methods to eradicate problems in society. Students of MSW programs learn how to assess the social, emotional, and psychological needs of individuals, children, and communities.

The Masters of Social Work course offers various specializations such as:

Community Development

Medical and Psychiatric Social Work

Human Resource Management

Urban and Rural Development

Women and Gender Studies

Child and Family Welfare

Students can opt for any of the specialisations which will eventually prepare them to work across diverse fields and lines of social work. These specializations will generally require students to engage in fieldwork where students engage in supervised social work practice in real-world settings.

Why Study MSW?

India is home to more than 3.17 million non-profit organizations justifying the fact that there are multiple job opportunities for individuals with a knack for social work. Apart from this, there are numerous other reasons why MSW leads to a fulfilling career that are discussed below for your reference.

Work in an Evolving Sector: The social work sector adds US$ 30 Billion annually to the Indian economy. So, taking up an MSW course opens up satisfying prospects for the individual.

Job Opportunities: Owing to the high number of non-profit organisations present in the country and improved implementation of CSR projects by corporates, the demand for social workers is high. Other than this, there are multiple job openings in the government sector as well.

Work with Global NGOs: An MSW course provides graduates with opportunities to work with leading global NGOs like Save the Chidren, UNICEF and WHO. Global NGOs have a high penetration rate and operate worldwide.

Personal Satisfaction: It is the job of a social worker to bring about a change in an individual’s life by working on issues like poverty, disability, inequality, and child abuse. So, the chance to change a distressed individual’s life positively comes with immense job satisfaction.

Who Should Pursue MSW?

MSW is most suited for those who are compassionate and empathetic. It is ideal for individuals who are passionate about social justice and strive to bring about positive change in society. Apart from this, academically anyone who has completed a BSW (Bachelors in Social Work) course is preferred for MSW courses by colleges and universities over others.

Social workers practice in the field of community development, policy advocacy, counselling, and human services. Also, the candidate gets to work in interdisciplinary and collaborative environments and that’s an added bonus.

MSW Eligibility Criteria

The basic eligibility required to pursue an MSW course are listed below for your reference.

Candidates aspiring to pursue the course must first complete their undergraduate courses across any discipline with a minimum aggregate score of 50% or above or an equivalent CGPA from a recognised university

Individuals with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree are preferred over others

If applying for universities like IPUCET, CUET and SAT, students need to qualify in the entrance exam followed by an interview and GD

Candidates belonging to the reserved category enjoy a relaxation of 5%

MSW Admission Process

MSW Admissions are done based on merit as well as through entrance exams. Candidates should keep in mind that the marks obtained during graduation are also taken into account and it has to be more than 50%. In some cases, The Common Admission Test or Skill Assessment Test is followed by Group Discussions and Personal Interview. Mentioned below are the two types of MSW admissions:

Merit-Based: In this mode of admission, students have to visit the college fill up the application form and wait for the college to release the merit list. If the candidate makes it to the list, they can complete the process by paying up the course fee.

Entrance-Based: In the case of entrance-based admission, students need to qualify for the entrance exam for which they have to register beforehand. The college will then declare the exam and result dates and selected candidates will be called for GD/PI rounds.

MSW Entrance Exam Dates

Candidates can take a look at the table below for the registration and exam dates of top colleges like TISS, DU, and BHU in India.



MSW Syllabus

The MSW Syllabus is designed in such a way that it provides an understanding of social work in India, its history, practices, etc. The duration of an MSW Course is 2 years and it is divided into 4 semesters. In the table below, you’ll find the syllabus for each semester:

MSW Syllabus | Semester 1

History and Philosophy of Social Work

Social Problem and Social Development

Social Work Research and Quantitative Analysis

Human Growth and Development

Social Work Practical-I (Structured Experience Laboratory and Research Methodology Practical)

Social Work Practical-II (Skill Development Assessment)

IT in Social Sector

MSW Syllabus | Semester 2

Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy

Rehabilitation and Resettlement

Social Work Methods

Visual Culture

Social Work Practical-III (Concurrent fieldwork – Community Placement)

Social Work Practical-IV (Learning Social Work through Participatory Approach)

Community Intervention and Entrepreneurship Development

MSW Syllabus- Semester 3

Ideology and Ethics of Social Work

Social Legislation and Labor Welfare

Vulnerable Children and their Development


Social Work Practical-V (Concurrent fieldwork – Agency Placement)

Social Work Practicum-VI (Micro Level Study on Social Exclusion)

MSW Syllabus- Semester 4

Social Work Administration

Corporate Social Responsibility

Tribal Anthropology and Social Work


Fundamentals of Medical Social Work

Block Field Work Placement

MSW Course Fees

The average fee for a typical MSW course in a government college is around INR 1,50,000 and for a private college, it reaches up to INR 3,00,000.

Top MSW Colleges in India

As the demand for social workers is increasing, numerous colleges and universities are flocking to introduce a Social Work degree, be it MSW or BSW. Listed below are the Top Colleges That Offer MSW Courses along with average fees in leading cities of the country:

  • Pune
  • Gujarat
  • Mumbai
  • Kerala
  • Odisha
  • Delhi
  • Chennai
  • Bangalore
  • Kolkata

MSW Distance Education

Distance MSW is a 2-year long correspondence course that covers the field of social work. Students who are interested in distance MSW courses can fill out forms either online or offline at the colleges they are interested in. Distance MSW is a great option for students who are unable to go for the regular mode of learning due to work or commitments.

The curriculum for distance MSW is the same as that of a regular MSW except for fieldwork opportunities. The top colleges for distance MSW are IGNOU, UPRTOU and MPBOU and their average fee is around INR 25,000. Listed below are the Top Distance MSW Colleges in India for your reference.


  1. Indira Gandhi National Open University
  2. UP Rajarshi Tandon Open University (UPRTOU)
  3. Annamalai University
  4. Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University
  5. Vardhman Mahaveer Open University
  6. Rabindranath Tagore University

MSW Jobs

A Master of Social Work student will have the opportunity to work in complex and challenging work environments. Hospitals, schools, community organizations, mental health agencies, child welfare agencies, correctional facilities, and government agencies, all hire social workers.

Tabulated below are the top social worker jobs after completing an MSW course:

Public Welfare Managers

Policy Analysts

Program Coordinators/Manage

Licensed Clinical Social Workers

Geriatric Social Workers

School Social Worker


Private Practice/Consultant

Child Welfare Specialists

MSW Scope

Master of Social Work is designed in such a way that instils in the students the necessary knowledge and expertise to work in an advanced social work setting. The scope of MSW varies depending on the college or the region the candidate completed their MSW course.

Apart from getting a job in the field of social work, an MSW postgraduate can also go for higher studies and opt for an MPhil, PhD, and management degrees such as MBA, professional certificate courses, and relevant PG Diploma Courses.

PhD Social Work

PhD Social Work is a 2-6 year doctorate course in which the students have to conduct research in specific areas of social work. In order to pursue a PhD course, students need to appear in different entrance examinations such as UGC NET, CSIR JRF through GATE, SLET, etc. The average course fee ranges between INR 18,000 – INR 2,00,000. The top PhD in social work colleges are TISS, Delhi University and Madra School of Social Work.

MPhil Social Work

MPhil Social Work is a 2 years course that is pursued after a PG degree. Candidates have to qualify for the NET exam to gain admission to this course. The average fee of the course is INR 3,000 – INR 2,00,000. The top M.Phil in Social Work colleges are Osmania University, Loyola College and Pondicherry University.

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Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal

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