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Graduate Diploma in Social Work

Graduate Diploma

Equips graduates with clinical social work skills, administration skills and supervision skills to function at management positions in the sector.

Graduate Diploma in Social Work


Evolving societal, community and individual needs bring about heightened expectations of contemporary social workers, from both clients and employers.

To meet these challenges of the new era, leaders in the social services sector are required to play a vital role in guiding and grooming fellow social workers as well as to possess a wealth of knowledge in a specific field. This programme offers the key to satisfying this new role.

The Graduate Diploma and Master of Social Work programmes are practice-based programme designed to prepare social workers aspiring to take up leadership positions in the social service sector. They aim to equip graduates with clinical social work skills, administration skills and supervision skills to function at management positions in the sector.

Unique Features of the Programme

  • A special feature of this programme is the option of exiting with a graduate diploma or graduating with a master's degree. Upon completion of the six compulsory core courses plus three pre-requisite courses and practicum, if applicable, students may choose to exit with a graduate diploma. Re-entry to the master's programme may be allowed within the maximum candidature of 4 years.
  • All courses are taught by established academics and professionals in leadership positions with vast real-time experiences, ensuring that issues discussed are always kept current and relevant for practical application.

Admission Requirements

Refer to general admission criteria for graduate programmes.

For Couple and Family Therapy specialisation track, applicants should have good individual counselling skills, with at least one year of working experience with couples and families.

In the event of overwhelming demand and limited vacancy, priority will be given to eligible applicants who applied early. You are encouraged to submit your application early to avoid disappointment.

This programme is currently unable to take in international students, i.e., you must be a Singapore citizen, permanent resident or a resident in Singapore (e.g., Employment Pass holder) in order to apply for admission.

Financial Assistance


The University offers course fee concession for selected graduate programmes. Please click here for more details.

WSG - Professional Conversion Programme (PCP)
Click here for more details.

Programme Structure

Graduate Diploma in Social Work
Students are required to complete a total of 30 credit units (cu) with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 to graduate.

Students may opt to continue with the Master of Social Work or Master of Couple and Family Therapy specialisation with a minimum CGPA of 3.0.

Pre-requisite courses (for students without social work degree)
Three pre-requisite courses are designed to prepare the non-social work degree holders for entry into the graduate diploma/master's programme. A supervised practicum (400 hours) is also required for graduates to apply their knowledge in an actual social service setting.

The Graduate Diploma in Social Work (GDSWK) and Master of Social Work (MSWK) programmes are specially designed both for graduates with a social work degree and those with other degrees. For graduates without prior social work training, pre-requisite courses will equip you with the basic social work knowledge and skills so as to ease you into the master's programme.

Graduates from the graduate diploma programme will be recognised social work professionals with administrative and supervisory abilities, as accepted by the Social Work Accreditation and Advisory Board (SWAAB) and the main employers of social workers namely the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). Those who proceed to complete the master's programme will become domain specialists as well.

  1. How many intake(s) are there in a year for Graduate Diploma and Master of Social Work (MSWK)?
    There are 2 intakes a year; every January and July.

  2. What is the duration to complete the programme?
    Pre-requisite courses take 1 semester to complete, followed by core courses (GDSWK) for 2 semesters, and electives (MSWK/MSWK-CFT) for another 2 semesters. This is based on the recommendation of 3 courses per semester.

  3. Do all students have to complete pre-requisite courses?
    Only students without a social work degree have to complete the pre-requisite courses.

  4. How many courses students take in each semester?
    Students are recommended to take up to 3 courses per semester.

  5. When are the lessons scheduled?
    Lessons are scheduled on 4 Saturdays per course, from 8.30am to 5.30pm, with a lunch break of an hour.

  6. Currently I'm holding a full-time job. How should I go about completing the supervised practicum sessions?
    The practicum stretches over 2 semesters and students who are not able to do the block practicum (full-time) will be assisted to complete the 400 hours in smaller stretches.

  7. Will Singapore University of Social Sciences help to source for practicum sites or must the student self-source the practicum sites?
    The University will assist to source for practicum sites for students. However, students may also nominate their preferred self-sourced practicum sites which are subjected to screening and approval.

  8. How long does it take to complete the practicum?
    Students have up to 2 semesters to complete the practicum.

  9. How long will the applied research project take?
    Students can take up to 2 semesters to complete the applied research project.

  10. What happens if I do not complete the graduate programmes (e.g. Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Master) within the candidature period? Can I apply to take the remaining courses via CET pathway?
    Students who have not completed their graduate programmes within the stipulated candidature period will not be eligible for the award of the qualification for such graduate programmes. Such students however may apply to take, via the CET pathway, the remaining courses which they did not complete under their graduate programmes as part of their personal learning and development . Such application will be subjected to the CET admission requirement. However, as such students have exceeded the candidature period for their graduate programmes, they will not be awarded the qualification for such graduate programmes even after taking and completing the remaining courses via the CET pathway (“Condition”).

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