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Master of Arts [MA] (Social Work) - Course Overview




    2 YEARS


    Social Work


    Post Graduation

Updated On - January 3rd 2019 By SAKSHI GUPTA

MA Social Work is a 2-year post-graduate degree which aims to equip a candidate with the knowledge of social practices and prepares them to work for the welfare of the society. The minimum eligibility for admission to MA Social Work in India is a Bachelor’s degree in any stream. The program is generally divided into 4 semesters which consists of theory and practical knowledge and the last semester usually dedicated to research and dissertation.

Admission to MA in Social Work in India in most of the institutes is done through an entrance test which is generally conducted in the month of June or July. However, there may be an additional round of Personal Interview which may be conducted by some universities.

Few top universities which conduct entrance test for admission to the course are:

Social workers work for the resurgence of that section of society which is deprived of its basic amenities. This includes children, women, physically handicaps, backward class people etc. MA Social Work is an ideal course for those with a zeal to bring change in society. Since the course demands a progressive view in its pursuer plus a sensitive view towards the issues of social cause, a person with a heightened sense of responsibility towards citizen and society should opt or the course. The course also acts as a natural successor for courses like BA Social Work or Bachelor of Social Work.

The average tuition fee charged for the course in India ranges from INR 20,000 to 30,000MA Social Work makes one eligible for job opportunities in both government and non-government organizations which function in the area of social welfare. After the completion of the course, candidates can work as social workers, counselors or therapists. There is also an option for specialization in mental health, substance abuse, and family services. The expected initial salary for such professionals can be anywhere between INR 8,000 to 15,000 per month.

MA Social Work: Course Highlights

Mentioned below are some of the major highlights of the course. 

Course LevelPostgraduate
Duration2 years
Examination typeSemester System
EligibilityBachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline
Admission ProcessEntrance exam based
Course FeeINR 20,000 to 30,000
Average Starting SalaryINR 8,000 to 15,000
Top Recruiting AreasPrivate clinics, NGOs, Correction cells, Hospitals, Counselling sector, Education sector, MNCs, Old age homes, Prisons and others such.
Job PositionsSocial Worker, CSR Representative, Journalist, Counselor, Community Mobilizer etc. 

MA Social Work: What is it about? 

MA Social Work is a course which emphasizes on the aspects necessary for humanitarian efforts in a society. Social Work is a domain which focuses on the disadvantaged and the weaker sections of a society and emphasizes on their upliftment. This course aims to provide necessary insight and training which can aid in carrying out social work for the welfare of citizens, animals, etc.

The program consists of Foundation Courses (FC), Core Courses (FC) and Extra Disciplinary Courses (EDC) distributed among the four-semester period. The course offers opportunities for specialization in 4 distinct areas which include Family and Child Welfare, Medical and Psychiatric Social Work, Industrial Relations and Personnel Management and Community Development. 

MA Social Work: Top Institutes 

Mentioned below are some of the top institutes offering the MA in Social Work in India along with their location and average annual fees. 

College NameLocationAverage Annual Fees in INR
Loyola CollegeChennai5.01k 
The University of DelhiDelhi-
Jamia Milia Islamia UniversityDelhi7.05k
Amity UniversityNoida2.42 lacs
Jaipur National UniversityJaipur31k
Institute for Excellence in Higher EducationBhopal16.9k
Rajeev Gandhi CollegeBhopal10k
Shia PG CollegeLucknow6.75k
RKDF UniversityBhopal18k
Banaras Hindu UniversityVaranasi1.9k

MA Social Work: Eligibility 

Interested aspirants for MA Social Work course are required to fulfill the below-mentioned eligibility criteria.

  • Bachelor’s degree in any stream
  • Minimum 55% marks at the level of graduation

MA Social Work: Admission Process

Admission Process for MA Social Work is based on entrance test conducted by various institutions which may sometimes be followed by a round of Personal Interview.The entrance test is designed so as to test a candidate’s aptitude to work as human service professional. Some of the topics which are included in the test are:

  • Analytical ability
  • Language comprehension
  • General Awareness
  • Awareness of Socio-political issues

The test is mostly of two hours duration. A candidate needs to score 40% marks in the entrance test to be eligible for interview.Candidates who score minimum requisite marks in the entrance test, which in most cases is 40%, are then called for a group discussion and personal interview. While group discussion may not be held by all universities, a personal interview is a common selection criterion. The final list of selected candidates for admission is on the basis of their performance in the entrance test, personal interview, and group discussion. The weightage for each criterion is as follows:

Assessment Criteria


Written Test


Group Discussion


Personal Interview


However, there are certain universities which do not conduct entrance test for admission and instead select candidates on the basis of marks scored in the qualifying examination. For example, Jaipur National University which offers merit based admission. However, it does conduct an interview with shortlisting candidates.

MA Social Work is also available in correspondence mode for students at open universities such as:

  1. Tamil Nadu Open University
  2. Uttar Pradesh Rajarshi tendon Open University
  3. Acharya Nagarjuna University

MA Social Work: Syllabus and Course Description

The curriculum for the course comprises core courses and electives. The course delivery methods include lectures, fieldwork, assignments, seminars, presentations etc. Dissertation forms an integral part of the curriculum and each student needs to submit a dissertation at the end of the course on a topic relevant to the field. 

A general overview of the syllabus for MA Social Work course is given below:

Subject Name



Foundation Of Social Work Practice

Concept and History of Social Work, Social Work as a Profession, Theoretical Approaches to Social Work

This course helps in developing an understanding of the need for Social Work practices and the theoretical approaches towards various practices.   

Theory and Practice Of Social Group Work

Understanding Groups, Theoretical Approaches to Group Work

Through this course a student understands the dynamics of a group and its utility for intervention.

Working with Communities

Basic Concepts, Process of Community Work, Participatory Approach to Community Work

In this course students learn the concepts behind community work and community mobilization.

Social Science Concepts for Social Work

Key Concepts in Understanding Society, Social Processes, Social Theory and Social Work

Through this paper students understand the significance of Social Science concepts in social welfare.

Theory and Practice of Social Case Work

Understanding Individual, Case Work in Practice, Therapeutic, Approaches to Social Case Work

It helps students develop an ability to apply for case work in different settings.

Child and Women Development

Child Development, Adolescence, Women and Social Work

This paper helps develop an understanding of the needs of a child and an adolescent. It also informs about the gender dynamics in a society.

Social Work Research

Basic Concepts, Social Research Methodology – Quantitative and Qualitative

In this course students learn the methods of social research.

Human Rights and Social Justice

Human Rights, Social Justice, Rights-based Approach 

In this paper students learn about the concepts of Human Rights and Social Justice.

Social Policy, Planning & Development

Social Policy, Social Planning, Social Development

In this course students learn about social policies and their role in planning and development.  

Rural Development

Rural scenario in India, Rural Development, Rural Development Mechanisms and Programmes 

In this paper students learn about the rural society, issues and development practices introduces in rural societies.

Poverty and Livelihood

Poverty, Measurement & Interventions, Livelihoods

This subject introduces to the poverty perspective in our country and methods of livelihood.

Urban Development

Contextualizing Urbanization, Issues and Challenges, Urbanization: Strategies and Interventions

This course teaches about various aspects of urban development.

MA Social Work: Career Prospects

After an MA Social Work, there are options in research degree for those looking to pursue an academic career in Social Work. Students willing to continue studies can opt for M.Phil. in Social Work which is available at universities like Christ University, Bangalore and Jaipur National University, Jaipur. Social Work or M.Phil. in Social Work is available at universities such as Bharathiar University and Jamia Millia Islamia University. Another option for such candidates can be M.Phil. in Women Studies which is offered by universities such as Jadavpur University and the University of Calicut.

Although the field of Social Work is highly satisfying and instills a deep sense of responsibility towards the society, the field is low on remuneration. Hence those, for whom monetary benefits are not a concern should venture in this field. Compensation is no doubt lesser in comparison to other mainstream courses, but it is enough for beginners and it certainly increases with experience in the field.

The graph below will help develop a basic idea about salary trend in the field of social work:

salary graph for MA in Social work

After the completion of the course, a candidate can work as a social worker, counselor or therapist. There is also an option for specialization in mental health, substance abuse, and family services. A person who has completed MA in Social work can also set up their own NGO. Career options are open to both government and private organizations and interested students can also join international organizations such as UNICEF or UNESCO etc.There are various issues on which a social worker can work. Some of them are as follows:

  • Substance Abuse is one of the major issues in our society. Social workers can work for the rehabilitation of the victims of substance abuse.
  • Public Health is a concern. Social workers can work for the betterment of public health and spread awareness regarding diseases.
  • Child Welfare is one of the most sensitive topic in our society. Children are a very easy target for labor and trafficking purpose. Social workers can work for the betterment of such children.

Some of MA in Social Work jobs which candidates can opt for along their description is given below:



Social Worker

Social Workers work in various domains and represent under-represented sections of the society. They crusade against social evils and often work as whistle-blowers for corrupt practices in society.

CSR Representative

Nowadays corporate organizations are obliged to contribute towards the betterment of society. Corporate organizations set up a CSR team which guides an organization towards the kind of initiative they should take. This where a CSR representative comes in. MA Social Work graduates can work efficiently in sync with corporate organizations to help them achieve their goals.


Though it is an off-beat choice, MA Social Work graduates can work as journalists for a newspaper or write for magazines and draw attention to issues of social importance.


Counselors work for various organizations and their primary role is to assist victims of social evils such as domestic abuse, molestation, trafficking etc. They are responsible for taking care of these victims and rehabilitating them.


After an MA in Social Work, one can also start their own NGO and work towards the betterment of society. There are several domains in which one can start  their NGO such as for victims of domestic abuse, victims of child abuse, stray animals etc.

Community Mobilizer

Community Mobilizers ensure that people are available as a community to help plan and execute various initiatives for the betterment of the society.



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