Master in Social Work [MSW] - Course Overview




    2 YEARS


    Social Work


    Post Graduation

    MSW (Master of Social Work) Degree, Admission, Course Fees, Colleges, Scope 2020-2021

    Sounak Banerjee Sounak Banerjee
    Content Curator

    “You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical

    than the society you grew up in.” -Eliezer Yudkowsky

    Master in Social Work or simply MSW is a 2-year specialized postgraduate course, consisting of macro and micro-aspects of professional social work practices in community, hospitals, schools and other fields of social services.

    Anybody with a Bachelor's degree (Mainly in Arts) with a minimum of 50% is eligible to apply for this master in social work program.

    The course is more inclined towards fieldwork training because of its direct application to the different sections of society, therefore MSW Syllabus mainly focuses on fieldwork and research training, apart from classroom training.

    Many top colleges offer this course in a regular mode or distance education mode. IGNOU is considered one of the popular choices to pursue an MSW degree through distance education. Check MSW Distance Learning to learn more.

    The Average Course fee charged by MSW Colleges ranges from INR 20,000-2 Lakhs. Government colleges usually charge less fee, as compared to private colleges like Amity University, Manipal University and more where the course fee is upto INR 2-3 Lakhs for a period of 2 years.

    Through distance education, you can complete your MSW course in less than INR 40,000 in 2-5 years from colleges like DU, IGNOU, YCMOU, and many more.

    Quick Read: MSW Study Abroad

    You have numerous opportunities after completing your MSW course. You can work in the government sector in departments such as healthcare, social services, human rights, etc. You can also choose to work for any local, national or international NGOs recruiting for a variety of roles.

    The National Average Salary after MSW degree is INR 4.33 LPA which includes roles such as Program Coordinator, Program Manager, Social Activist, Social Worker, Human Rights Activist, Social Counsellor, etc. Check MSW Jobs & Career for complete details.

    MSW Distance EducationMSW Online

    Since Master of Social Work is considered as the terminal degree to study and learn different aspects of social services and social work, therefore there is no higher degree in this domain. But you can choose to study MBA or any relevant professional certificate courses.

    Salary Trend Over the years After MSW
    MSW: What is it About?

    MSW: What is it About?

    Master in Social Work (MSW) is:

    • A professional degree in social science which is aimed to teach students to utilize resources to eradicate the problems of society and try to alleviate their pain and problems through counselling, funds or different social methods.
    • A course that has several specializations like Labour Welfare, Human Resource Development & Management, Rural Reconstruction, Child Rights & Child Protection, Community Development, and much more.

    Check MSW Specializations for more details.

    Main Aim of this program:

    • The main purpose of presenting the Master of Social Work program in India is to enable social work practitioners to develop sensitivity, cultivate rights-based perspective, values and ethics, learn research skills, and build skills and competencies required for effective social work intervention in the society in different sectors, ranging from child welfare to sociology.
    • Graduates will be able to gain conceptual clarity, reflective learning, analysis, and critical thinking to do fieldwork, and also attain self-awareness, research skills to contribute meaningfully in various organizations and aspects of the society.

    MSW Course Learning:

    • The course is made in such a way that both Classroom training and fieldwork is included in the course curriculum.
    • Classroom Learning includes theory lessons, group discussions, presentations, case studies, etc.
    • Fieldwork provides exposure to social realities and necessary work environments that you will go through in your professional career. It also teaches how to impart your theoretical knowledge in different sensitive cultural scenarios.
    MSW Course Highlights

    MSW Course Highlights

    Full FormMaster of Social Work 
    Course LevelPostgraduate
    Duration2 years
    Examination TypeSemester Type
    EligibilityGraduation in any stream
    Admission ProcessMerit-Based + Written Test, followed by Personal Interview and/or Group Discussion
    Average FeesINR 1-2 Lakhs
    Job PositionsSocial Worker, Public Welfare Managers, Consultants, Project Coordinator, Professor, Program Coordinator, Training Coordinator, etc.
    Average SalaryINR 3-5 LPA
    Job SectorsGovernment Dept., NGOs, Global Counselling Centres, Health Industry, Human Rights Agencies, etc.
    Why study MSW?

    Why study MSW?

    Social cause:

    • The number of helpless, deteriorating and disadvantaged people in India is increasing day by day. Because of factors such as poverty, racism, unemployment, education, alcoholism, drug abuse, health and other vices, people are suffering daily all over the world.
    • To improve their lives in one way or the other, MSW course provides a start to social personalities to involve in their lives of people associated with that kind of social injustice, either directly or indirectly.
    • Master of Social Work is the only course that provides necessary training required to work in the different sections of the society in terms of social work, social service and social justice.

    Esteemed Colleges:

    • The government understands the importance of social awareness and social service, therefore they established the Department or Faculty of Social Work in top universities Delhi University, Bangalore University and many more, offering social work courses.
    • Other than this, TATA Institute of Social Science is considered a dream college for students who want to contribute to help people to alleviate their problems and get basic rights to education, financial stability, housing, food, sanitation and other basic things.
    • Many philanthropists are and have established colleges and institutes for studies of social work and related elements to produce professionals and activists which will help to uplift the poor and less advantaged people in India as well as Abroad.

    Career Growth:

    • After completing MSW course, you get employment in either the government sector, or in some NGO. These two sectors are the main employment sectors after this course.
    • In government sectors, you can get a job in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on a permanent basis or on a contract basis in job roles such as Coordinator, Program Manager, Fieldwork, etc.
    • In NGOs, you can work closely on different issues faced by the disadvantaged people and ensure basic health and social awareness among those people.
    • With experience and implementing successful plans, you can earn around INR 4-6 LPA. In international NGOs like Oxfam, AnimalAid, Mercy Corps, etc. you can earn more than INR 6 LPA after getting enough experience.

    Learn More: Master of Social Work Jobs

    MSW Specializations
    MSW Eligibility

    MSW Eligibility

    The basic eligibility required is the following:

    • Completed Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a recognized college with a minimum of 50% marks.
    • Students from Humanities/Social Science/Science/Management and other backgrounds are also eligible for the MSW course if they have scored a minimum of 50% from a recognized college or institute.

    Students who are waiting for their Bachelor's degree results can also apply for the course with the scores they already have.

    MSW Admission Process

    MSW Admission Process

    Admissions are done on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination, followed by Common Admission Test or Skill Assessment Test, and a Personal Interview. Check the MSW Admission Process for more.

    You can directly apply for a course by filling the online application form or submitting, during the application process. There are no specific Entrance Tests for Master of Social Work admissions, but to screen the applications:

    • Colleges generate a cut off list which indicates the minimum percentage required for admission, like they do at Delhi University.
    • They take an Entrance Test to judge a candidate’s skills and critical thinking ability.
    • After the test, Personal Interview or Group Discussion takes place which further helps the college admission committee to screen students.
    • After all these rounds, selected candidates are notified via email or a merit list is generated based on their ability, skills, and the number of seats in that particular college.
    MSW Entrance Exams

    MSW Entrance Exams

    As stated earlier also, there are no specific exams for MSW admissions, but colleges screen students on the basis of scores obtained in the written test or skill assessment test, followed by a Personal Interview.

    These are:

    • Delhi University Skill Assessment Test: This is a 2 hours MCQ based test, conducted by the Dept. of Social Work, Delhi University.
    • BHU PET 2020: BHU PET exam is conducted by BHU, for admission into various PG courses including social work.
    • TISS NET 2020: TISS NET is also an MCQ based test which includes questions related to General Awareness, English Proficiency, etc.
    • Christ University Entrance Test: This test is also MCQ based and tests student’s ability and logical reasoning skills.
    • MS University Written Test: This exam is conducted by the Faculty of Social Work, MS University for admission into its social work program.
    Notes on Admissions in good colleges

    MSW Entrance Exams Preparation Tips

    Admission to the course MSW in India is based on Bachelor degree marks, performance in the Written test and Personal Interview or Group discussion round.

    In order to get admission in prestigious colleges like Jamia, AMU, Loyola, DU, etc. you must pay attention to the below-mentioned points:

    • The above mentioned entrance exams usually consist of General Awareness, General Knowledge, Logical Reasoning, English Proficiency, Subject Knowledge.
    • It is necessary to know the exact syllabus of each exam that you are planning to give. It is usually mentioned in the college’s official website.
    • Although the minimum eligibility is 50%, you should score at least 80% in your Bachelor course. Higher the scores, better are your chances of admission in that particular college.
    • In the Written Test, questions are mostly MCQ based which tests your skill assessment, logical thinking, and critical ability. Be prepared and be alert during the exam. Keep yourself updated with GK and General Affairs as well.
    • In the Personal Interview Round, you should speak with confidence and eloquence. The panelists might ask you questions to judge your skills and know your interest, so answer all the questions briefly and pay full attention to their questions.
    • Stay updated with the important dates such as the Application Period so that you can fill the college application form on time.
    Top MSW Colleges

    Top MSW Colleges

    Below table lists the top MSW colleges in India as per the 2019 India Today Ranking:

    India Today Ranking 2019College NameLocationAverage FeesAverage Salary
    1TATA Institute of Social SciencesMumbaiINR 1,00,000- 1,20,000INR 3-8 LPA
    2Delhi University (DU)DelhiINR 20,000- 30,000INR 2-5 LPA
    3Rajagiri College of Social ScienceKochiINR 4000- 5000INR 3 LPA
    4Madras School of Social WorkChennaiINR 16,000-20,000INR 3-5 LPA
    5Loyola CollegeChennai-INR 2-4 LPA
    6Jamia Millia IslamiaNew DelhiINR 20,000-22,000INR 3-8 LPA
    7Christ UniversityBangaloreINR 1,80,000- 2,00,000INR 2-6 LPA
    9Banaras Hindu University (BHU)VaranasiINR 60,000INR 3-6 LPA
    10Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)AligarhINR 28,000- 30,000INR 2-4 LPA
    11Kristu Jayanti CollegeBangaloreINR 1,57,000INR 3-6 LPA
    12Stella Maris CollegeChennaiINR 7700- 8000INR 2-8 LPA
    13Central University of RajasthanAjmerINR 12,000- 15,000INR 2-4 LPA
    Check: Top MSW Colleges in India 

    Also Check:

    MSW Colleges in UPMSW Colleges in DelhiMSW Colleges in Lucknow
    MSW Colleges in KeralaMSW Colleges in PuneMSW Colleges in Mumbai

    MSW College Comparison

    The comparisons between the best colleges providing MSW degree courses according to the

    ParametersTATA Institute of Social Science (TISS), MumbaiBanaras Hindu University, VaranasiMaharaja Sayajirao (MS) University, Vadodara
    OverviewTISS is a research based university established by Sir Dorabji TATA Trust in 1936. It is considered one of the best private colleges in India for social work education and offers various UG and PG courses including MSW.BHU is one of the central universities in India. Ranked 3rd by NIRF, this university has students from all over the country studying various Science, Humanities and Commerce courses, offering UG, PG, diploma and certificate courses.MS University was made by Maharaja Gaekwad III in the year 1879. It is considered one of the top universities in Gujarat and has many faculties like Science, Biotechnology, Commerce, Humanities, Fine Arts and many more.
    RankingNIRF: 57/200NIRF: 10/200NIRF: 151/200
    Course OfferedSchool of Social WorkDepartment of SociologyFaculty of Social Work
    Average FeesINR 1,00,000- 1,20,000INR 60,000INR 16,000- 20,000
    Average SalaryINR 3-8 LPAINR 3-6 LPAINR 2-4 LPA
    MSW Distance Education

    MSW Distance Education

    Students can also pursue MSW courses through distance learning. Though students usually prefer IGNOU for MSW distance course, there are many other colleges through which you can pursue this degree through correspondence mode in the duration of 2-3 years.

    MSW Distance Eligibility

    The Eligibility Criteria for MSW Distance Education is different in colleges. The basic Eligibility for all Colleges is :

    • The Student must have completed the graduation degree from a regionally accredited university

    Candidates from any stream Humanities, Commerce or Science are eligible to pursue MSW as a course at the post-graduation level.

    Some of the best MSW Distance Education Colleges are mentioned below along with duration and average fees:

    College NameDurationAverage Fees
    IGNOU2 yearsINR 36,000
    Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University2 yearsINR 11,820
    Annamalai University, Dir. of Distance Learning2 yearsINR 11,790
    Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University3 yearsINR 24,000
    The Global Open University2 yearsINR 24,125
    Vardhman Mahaveer Open University2 yearsINR 16,550
    MSW Abroad Options

    MSW Abroad Options

    MSW has a lot of options in other countries especially in the US and Europe. Top colleges in Europe and the US cater to this subject and there are other added benefits of a better environment and career opportunities are also present there.

    MSW Abroad Eligibility

    Some of the basic eligibility criteria for admission in an Art School around the world are mentioned below:

    • Successful completion of 15 years of study qualifications
    • A personal statement from the applicant
    • A research proposal will be very helpful
    • A personal statement from the applicant
    • At least 2 references
    • Work experience for 1-2 years is very important
    • Proof of English language proficiency
    • Quality of portfolio must be high
    • Interview performance must be good

    The language requirements for studying abroad are mentioned below:

    • Minimum 6.5 in IELTS
    • Minimum 90 in TOEFL
    • Minimum 61 in PTE
    Best Countries for Studying MSW

    MSW Abroad Top Colleges

    The Top Colleges in the world that teaches subjects related to Social Work Subjects, including the college name, Percentage of International Students and Fees.

    College NameCountryFees (INR)
    University of MichiganUnited States38,09,000
    Columbia UniversityUnited States39,30,700
    Lancaster UniversityUnited Kingdom18,00,000
    Glasgow Caledonian UniversityScotland21,50,500
    Flinders UniversityAustralia15,70,700
    MSW Scope

    MSW Scope

    Master of Social Work is a professional course to train students to become social activists, social workers, and social personals.

    This course includes classroom training and fieldwork so that graduates get complete knowledge and live experience to easily establish their career in this field.

    Higher Education

    MSW graduates have the option to go for higher studies as well. These include research degrees such as MPhil, PhD, management degrees such as MBA, professional certificate course and relevant PG diploma courses.

    A few courses which you can pursue after an MSW degree are MBA in Social Work Management, Certificate course in Social Work & Criminal Justice System, among others for better opportunities and career growth.

    MPhil (Master of Philosophy)MBA (Master of Business Administration)PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

    MSW Jobs

    The career opportunities for graduates of MSW are quite high. All jobs in this field are related to social service or charity work. There are abundant jobs in government sectors, NGO, educational institutes, rural areas, and many international companies.

    It is possible for graduates also to work with educational institutions. After gaining enough spectrum in this field, students can work as consultants in many renowned organizations.

    Common areas of work include:

    ClinicsCorrection CellsCounseling CentersDisaster Management
    Education SectorHealth Industry & HospitalsHuman Rights AgenciesMental Hospitals
    PrisonsManagement CompaniesOld Age HomesGender Issues
    Salary of Different Professions
    • Government Sector:

    You can work with the govt. to ensure that basic policies and rights are being followed and formulated and practiced in different parts and sections of the society, especially among uneducated and underprivileged parts and people.

    You can work in departments such as Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Law & Justice, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Ministry of Social Justice & Employment, Ministry of Women & Child Affairs, etc.

    If you want to go into teaching, you can clear the required examination like UGC NET and get employed as a Lecturer or Professor in central or state government colleges or institutes.

    • Educational Institutes:

    You can become a teacher or professor or a researcher in various schools, colleges, and institutes across India. To do so, you should clear the UGC NET to get a salary as per the govt. emoluments.

    You can be hired as a Junior Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, Project Assistant, Professor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, etc.

    • Non Government Organizations (NGOs):

    You can get the reputed jobs and opportunities while working for NGOs as well for a variety of job roles.

    They work effortlessly to bring social justice and spread awareness in less privileged sections of society, both in the urban sector or rural sector. They fight for social injustice, poverty, animal abuse, caste discrimination, social discrimination, etc.

    Top NGOs in India are TeachForIndia, Goonj, KISS Foundation, among others.

    More Info: MSW Jobs & Career

    A few of the reputed organizations that work for the socio-economic support as well as the welfare of the disadvantaged, orphans, people with disabilities are:

    • CINI
    • CRY
    • Department of Rural Development
    • HelpAge India
    • UNESCO
    • UNICEF

    A short description of each job type is listed below:

    Job ProfileJob DescriptionAverage Total Salary
    Social WorkerA social worker works for the upliftment of different spectrums of society to fight for a number of social issues and social evils.INR 3.88 LPA
    Project CoordinatorA Project Coordinator maintains all the information of project(s) assigned, and coordinates with everyone to make it efficient. INR 3.90 LPA
    Professor/LecturerA Professor is employed with schools or in colleges and they take lessons and do research work in different subjects of social work. INR 7.50 LPA
    Program ManagerA Manager is a top-level position who checks the proper functioning of that program to fulfill the aim, objects and all the targets. INR 4.10 LPA
    ConsultantA Consultant in an NGO or any organization gives ideas and solutions to how to go forward with a particular case.INR 3.5 LPA
    CounsellorThey interact with the victims of patients directly, and guide them with solutions or try to solve their problem.INR 4.2 LPA
    Documentation SpecialistThese people take care of all the paperwork required in all the projects, programs and cases.INR 3.10 LPA
    Community Health WorkerThese professionals are the main personnel employed to ensure community health in that area.INR 2.39 LPA
    Case ManagerHe/she manages all the related work associated with the case on which he/she is appointed.INR 5.0 LPA
    MSW FAQs


    Ques. What is the use of MSW Course?

    Ans. Candidates can work as healthcare social workers, clinical social workers, therapists, or social workers in the field of medical health, mental health as well as educational fields after completing MSW Course.

    Ques. What is the qualification for MSW?

    Ans. A candidate who has passed B.S.W. / B.A. degree examination from under a recognized university can see MSW admission. A candidate who has secured a minimum of 50% aggregate marks in B.S.W. / B.A. degree under a recognised university has the required MSW course eligibility.

    Ques. Is a MSW a doctor?

    Ans. Distinctive nomenclature are named after applied disciplines, including Master of Social Work (MSW), Doctor of Social Work (DSW), Master of Education degree (MaEd), Master of Business Administration (MBA), or Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). But they cannot perform surgeries or prescribe medications.

    Ques. Is MSW Hard?

    Ans. Getting a MSW is difficult/hard. Moreover, it will be challenging physically, emotionally, and mentally. That said if you're passionate and determined enough getting an MSW is both doable and well worth it.

    Ques. What is the scope of Master in Social Work?

    Ans. With social work booming in the country, the need for professionals in the field is growing day by day. Candidates who pursue a Master's in Social Work can work in the field of medicine, psychiatric social work, Human Resource Management, criminology, correctional administration, NGOs and many welfare communities.

    Ques. After pursuing a Bachelor’s in Social Work, is it wise to take up a Master’s in Social Work?

    Ans. If your aim is to be a social worker and want to make a career in the field, a Master's in Social Work will only enhance your skills and widen the horizons in the field. The field also requires licensed people so a master's degree can provide you with many opportunities. More the knowledge gained in the field, the better the scope going forward.

    Ques. Can I pursue a specific subject while pursuing a Master’s in Social Work?

    Ans. Yes you can. Candidates can pursue a Master's in Social Work in a specialized field such as Childhood studies, medicine, and research. This can allow the aspirant to narrow down what specific field the candidate actually wants to work on. There are many options such as Social services, social policy, clinical social work and more.

    Ques. Which are the famous colleges offering a Master’s in Social Work?

    Ans. Colleges which offer a Master's in Social Work are as follows: Jamia Millia Islamia Indira Gandhi National Open University Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU) Chris University University of Mumbai

    Ques. What are the entrance exams for Masters in Social Work?

    Ans. The entrance exams for Master's in Social Work are as follows: Jamia Millia Islamia Entrance Test TISSNET PU-CET (PG)

    Master in Social Work [MSW] Fee Structure in India

    1.73 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES2.12 L (Maximum Fee)
    49.66 K (Average Fee)
    2.01 K (Minimum Fee)PRIVATE COLLEGES2.95 L (Maximum Fee)
    60.56 K (Average Fee)

    Master in Social Work [MSW] Fee Structure by State

    Tamil Nadu

    26.01 K
    38.98 K


    11.56 KPUBLIC COLLEGES1.97 L
    46.9 K
    87.44 K

    Madhya Pradesh

    29.92 K
    40.31 K


    61.52 K
    75.72 K

    Uttar Pradesh

    52.5 K
    63.57 K


    74.94 K
    54.74 K


    58.28 K
    58.1 K


    50.01 K
    76.84 K


    26.36 K
    34.19 K


    13.05 KPUBLIC COLLEGES56.55 K
    38.43 K
    55.26 K

    West Bengal

    80.7 K
    89.6 K

    Delhi NCR

    1.34 L
    1.1 L


    16.8 K
    75.75 K


    14.35 KPUBLIC COLLEGES14.35 K
    14.35 K
    32.55 K

    Andhra Pradesh

    9 K
    18.93 K


    1.08 L
    80 K


    34 K
    55.63 K


    1.33 L
    2.95 L



    Varun Kumar

    Iam foreign medical graduate, can I know that Iam eligible for msw course

    09 Dec, 2019 08:29
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Varun, as eligibility criteria varies for a specific course varies from college to college, thus, it would depend on the college/university in which you are applying for admission whether they provide admission to foreign students or not.

    09 Dec, 2019 10:08
    Jai Prakash Swami

    ???? ??? ?? ????? ?? ???? ??? msw ???? ???? ??? BA Degree ?? ?? ????? 43% number ?? please ?????

    18 Nov, 2019 13:43
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Jai, kindly mention the college/university in which you want to take admission so that we can provide you eligibility criteria and admission procedure of the concerned college.

    18 Nov, 2019 14:31
    br Eshwar

    After intermediate any course is realated to msw

    12 Nov, 2019 15:41
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Eshwar, you can apply for BSW after intermediate. You can check the list of some of the best BSW Colleges in India from here.

    12 Nov, 2019 16:44
    santhosh viky

    i ahve completed BE Mechanical engineering, Is i am eligible for this course!

    07 Nov, 2019 15:28
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Santosh, this depends on the college/university in which you are applying for admission as in some colleges, subject-specific criteria is there while in others it can be general. Minimum percentage criteria is also applicable in some of the colleges.

    07 Nov, 2019 16:40

    I have bsc degree in mathematics.can I join msw

    06 Oct, 2019 10:29
    Shobhna Chaturvedi

    Hi Divya, yes, you are eligible for this course. Generally, students who have done graduation in relevant stream are preferred over others.

    10 Oct, 2019 16:25

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