What is Social Work

Social work is a highly fulfilling career for people who are passionate about social causes and taking care of those in need. It entails addressing social issues, fighting against social discrimination, and taking care of the rights of victims of the same. While working with NGOs may be what many visualise social work to be limited to, many social workers also work individually, in communities, and with families.

The practise of social work promotes development, change, cohesion, and empowerment of communities and people. Professionals in this field of work aim to boost the overall well-being of different communities and people, as well as helping them meet their basic needs and exercise their basic rights in the face of injustice.

One might say that a career in Social Work means a lifetime of helping people and enforcing a much-needed change in society. 

Eligibility Criteria (UG & PG) of Social Work

The eligibility criteria for admission to Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work courses may differ from institute to institute, but the basic requirements usually posed by a majority of colleges are: 

  • Aspirants must have passed Class 12 from a recognised board with a humanities and science background.

  • SC/ST candidates must have achieved a minimum of 40% marks in their qualifying examination, i.e. class 12 or any equivalent. This minimum percentage can vary depending on the college.

  • Since most admissions are merit-based, candidates must have acquired good marks in their higher secondary exam to gain admission into a good college.

For Master’s Course in Social Work:

  • Completed a Bachelor's degree in Social Work with a minimum of 50% marks in the qualifying examination.

  • Candidates from Science/Management/Humanities/Social Science backgrounds are also eligible if they acquire a minimum aggregate score of 50% from a recognised board or university. 

Entrance Exams for Studying Social Work 

To begin a career in Social Work, one requires at least a Bachelor's degree in this domain. BA in Social Work or Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is a three-year course offered by many good colleges across India. Admission to these courses is purely merit-based with a minimum cut-off, while only a very few conduct basic Aptitude tests.

Direct Admissions are available through Management quota as well, in certain universities like Amity University. Another means of admission is Lateral Entry, which offers students the chance to get admission directly into the 2nd or 3rd year of the course in certain colleges like Delhi Institute of Professional Studies.

Those wishing to pursue higher studies in Social Work can opt for a Master's in Social Work (MSW) either in regular mode or in distance learning mode. In Master of Social Work courses, once again, admissions are conducted based on the marks obtained in the qualifying examination (Bachelor's in any degree) followed by a Skill Assessment Test or Common Admission Test, and finally an interview. 

Scope of Social Work in India and Abroad

As a degree-holder in Social Work, career opportunities are wide and expansive; one can find work in NGOs or hospitals or, in some cases, even in the corporate sector. The deciding factor here is one's area of specialisation and interest, for instance, those having expertise in the area of labour welfare and legislation can explore work opportunities in the Human Resources, and Industrial Relations areas.

Those who specialise in Mental Health can work in rehabilitation centres, hospitals, or organisations dealing with mental health issues as psychiatric social workers, rehabilitation officers, so on and so forth.

Both in India and abroad, society is in dire need of change. Countless communities of people across the world need help to improve their living standards and receive justice for the wrongs that society has done to them. Irrespective of the country, social work is prevalent and highly important, and therefore one cannot expect career opportunities to run out any time soon.

Course Fees Social Work

Minimum Fees Maximum Fees
Private Government Private Government
2.33 K
B.A.(Hons) in Social Work at RBS College, Teyai
2.15 K
B.A.(Hons) in Social Work at JMDPL Mahila College, Madhubani
3.33 Lakhs
B.S.W. in Social Work at Amity University, Noida
1.67 Lakhs
B.S.W. in Social Work at Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara
4.48 K
M.S.W. in Social Work at Bhagini Mandal Chopda's College of Social Work, Chopda
1.80 K
M.S.W. in Social Work at Government Shahid Chandrshekhar PG College, Jhabua
4.53 Lakhs
M.S.W. in Social Work at Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Amritapuri
1.63 Lakhs
M.S.W. in Social Work at SNDT Womens University, Mumbai
1.05 Lakhs
Ph.D in Social Work at PK University, Shivpuri
43.93 K
Ph.D in Social Work at Central University of Karnataka, Gulbarga
6.11 Lakhs
Ph.D in Social Work at Royal Global University, Guwahati
43.93 K
Ph.D in Social Work at Central University of Karnataka, Gulbarga
3.65 K
Diploma in Social Work at Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Ernakulam
2.00 K
Diploma in Social Work at Vardhman Mahaveer Open University, Kota
3.65 K
Diploma in Social Work at Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Ernakulam
2.00 K
Diploma in Social Work at Vardhman Mahaveer Open University, Kota

Course Subjects

While syllabus may differ from college to college, some of the common subjects taught in Social Work courses are:

  • Introduction to social work practice

  • Introduction to fieldwork practices

  • Integrated social work practices

  • Sociology for social workers

  • Human growth and behaviour

  • Economy and co-operation

  • Social casework

  • Introduction to local self-government

  • Indian Social Problems

  • Population Education

  • Legislation in India

  • Introduction to social work research

  • Introduction to the Indian Constitution

  • The social reform movement in India

  • Introduction to tribal life in India

  • Participatory approaches in social work

  • Management of welfare organisation

  • Social policies in India,

And many others. 

The course syllabus includes a mandatory fieldwork module in each semester and lastly, a research dissertation in the final semester. 

Careers in Social Work

A career in social work is most suitable for a person who is passionate about taking care of others and likes to shoulder responsibilities against the cruelty that humans and animals are subjected to. With a career in social work, one will be presented with ample opportunity to help people suffering from troubles due to economic, social, domestic, traumatic or other factors. Upon completion of a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, students can immediately apply for jobs or can opt for higher studies, the latter of which opens up more job possibilities.

Social workers can be categorised based on the type of work they do each day into the following four types:

a) Medical and Public Health workers

b) Child, Family and School social workers

c) Mental Health and Substance Abuse social workers

d) Other types of social workers involved in administration, planning and policymaking. 

Job Profiles and Top Recruiters

Candidates who possess a degree in social work usually choose to work in socially relevant areas such as community development, education, health care, family, correction, rehabilitation, counselling, social defence, women, and children. Some popular choices for job profiles in the field of social work include: 

Job Profile 


Social Worker

Counselling clients who approach them or their organisation, maintaining case histories and records, coordinating with other NGOs, hospitals, the legal aid board, whenever required


Teaching students about the importance of social work, training them in ways to help those in need, educating them about the different social issues that are prevalent

Habilitation Specialist

Providing support and help to clients with disabilities to help them live independently, designing and executing programs for rehabilitation, training and hiring staff, creating personalised treatment plans, conducting client assessments

Special Educator

Planning, organising events for social issues awareness, facilitating and coordinating committee meetings of the Public Affairs & Social Issues dept, engaging with companies for jobs for clients.


The top recruiters of Social Work degree-holders vary from NGOs to hospitals to correction cells, including:

  • HelpAge India

  • CRY

  • Department of Rural Development



  • Goonj

  • KISS Foundation

  • Ministry of Culture

  • Ministry of Human Resource Development

  • Ministry of Labour and Employment

  • Ministry of Women and Child Affairs

So on and so forth. 

Average Salary

The average annual salaries of various job profiles in social work can be estimated as below:

Job Profile

Average Annual Salary

Social Worker

Rs. 2.0 - 3.0 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)


Rs. 4.50 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)

Habilitation Specialist

Rs. 7.50 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)

Special Educator

Rs. 2.16 Lakhs p.a. (Approx.)

Required Skillset for Social Work

Social Workers are essentially those who reach out to and help others. Empathy is a very important trait for such professionals to have; they must personally feel the urge to do something to change lives for the better. This, and many other skills are required for a successful career in social work, for instance: 

  • Empathy: As mentioned above, empathy is an essential trait of Social Workers because one must be able to understand and identify with another person's experience and emotional state to discern how best to extend help. One must be able to step into another's shoes to recognise their perceptions, views and unique experiences to build strong relationships with clients and determine their needs.

  • Communication: Another seemingly obvious requirement, communication (both verbal and non-verbal) is important because social workers communicate regularly with many different kinds of people. Effective communication ensures that they can correctly understand and therefore advocate for their client's needs.

  • Critical Thinking: It isn't enough to just want to help those in need, one must have the ability to observe, communicate and gather information, which they can then analyse. Critical, prejudice-free thinking helps social workers arrive at informed decisions, formulating the best possible means of going about helping their clients to the best of their abilities.

  • Organisation: Busy schedules and multiple responsibilities, supporting multiple clients, documentation, billing, reporting, collaboration- a social worker's day isn't exactly easy. Without good organisation skills, one can very easily overlook important information and thereby arrive at negative outcomes.

  • Active Listening: A thorough understanding and identifying a client's needs requires special active listening skills. Any detail, however small, can be important in determining how to help someone.

  • Cultural Competence: Social workers work with people from different backgrounds, which requires them to be understanding and respectful of all cultural practices and beliefs. They must have some knowledge of a client's background and possess a non-judgemental approach when interacting with them.

  • Patience: Certain complex cases require a great deal of patience, especially with clients who take longer than others to show signs of progress/improvement. Hasty decision-making and frustration can harshly get in the way of one's work and can result in poor outcomes and errors.

  • Professional Commitment: When faced with an array of challenges and difficult circumstances, social workers must uphold their commitment to ethics and work values and strive continuously to develop their professional competence. This commitment is essential to ensure a sustained journey of enhancing the well-being of humans and helping them meet basic needs.

  • Advocacy: "Fighting" for people's rights essentially means employing advocacy to promote social justice and empower clients. With good advocacy, social workers can represent their clients and argue for them, connect with them and help them find opportunities and resources within their reach, especially when clients are unable to advocate for themselves.

Course Curriculum for Social Work

Courses in Social Work aim to enable social work candidates to cultivate rights-based values, ethics and perspectives, develop sensitivity toward human issues, learn research skills, and build skills required for a career in social work.

Graduates are expected to achieve critical thinking skills, conceptual clarity, analysis, reflective learning, self-awareness, and other necessary skills necessary to make meaningful contributions to society.

Coursework includes a balance between fieldwork and classroom training. Theory lessons, presentations, group discussions, and case studies, are covered in classroom learning, whereas field training involves exposure to social realities and adverse work environments. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What kind of jobs can I get with just a Bachelor's degree in Social Work?

Answer :

In the field of social work, higher studies are not essential for a lucrative career with plenty of opportunities. With a BSW degree, one can apply for jobs like Residential Case Manager, Caseworker, Family Service Worker, Mental Health Assistant, Activity/Workshop director and many others.

Question: What is the scope of studying an MSW?

Answer :

Social work is a booming field in India, with a growing need for professionals every day. Candidates who acquire a Master's degree in Social Work can contribute enormously to psychiatric social work, medicine, NGOs, Human Resource Management, correctional administration, criminology- the list is endless.

Question: Can you specialise in a particular subject while studying MSW?

Answer :

Yes, candidates can choose to pursue their Master's in Social Work in a specialised field like research, medicine, or childhood studies. This enables the students to narrow down the specific field in which they would like to work.

Question: What kinds of specialisations can you choose for a Master of Social Work?

Answer :

A social work degree makes individuals eligible to work in many different sectors, like healthcare, mental health, rehabilitation, NGOs, so on and so forth. An MSW course typically offers four areas of specialisation: Medical and Psychiatric Social Work, Family and Child Welfare, Community Development, and finally, Industrial Relations and Personnel Management.

Question: Can I be a social worker without a Social Work degree?

Answer :

Yes, but with limited options. Any organisation may or may not accept job applications from candidates without a degree. Society needs all the help it can get, so nobody stops you from doing social work without a college degree for it, but you won't be able to practice with a license.

Questions related to Social Work

Showing 46 out of 46 Questions

More details of master of social Work. Better colleges in kerala and admission time also want to know

Abir Gayen 13th Apr, 2021

Hi Aspirant,

The MSW course are provided these colleges in Kerala,

  • Vimala College
  • St Josephs College
  • Don Bosco arts Science college
  • Amrita schools of science and arts.
  • Vimala College
  • Marian College

These are some of the good colleges that offers the course with good faculty and infrastructure.

Hope it helps!!


I want to become a school counselor for that what I need to do further, Currently I am pursuing bachelor of social work (final semester)

Dipanwita Sengupta 18th Mar, 2021

Hello Aspirant,

Counselling as a career has a huge range of scope. In the today's times, there are various kinds of counsellors who work on different levels. When we talk about a  school counsellor, we must know that he/she needs to invest a lot of time in dealing with the behavioral, social, personal and academic problems of the students at a very crucial age. So in order to pursue a career in this field, it is very important to have Psychology as a major subject in both class 12th and in the graduation. The most popular degrees in this field are B.Sc /B.A. in Psychology or the Applied Psychology. Once you complete the bachelors degree, you can go ahead for a post graduate degree in M.Sc./M.A. in Counselling Psychology or Psychology.

Since you are in your final semester of Bachelors of Social Work, the best possible way to get a job in Guidance and Counselling to get a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychological Counselling. You can either opt for distance education or regular based on your convenience. There are different colleges that offer PGD in Psychological Counselling. Some of these colleges are:

- Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

- Banaras Hindu University

- CMR University, Bangalore

- Netaji Subhash Open University (NSOU)

- St. Francis College for Women, Hyderabad

So you can start applying in these colleges after checking the placement opportunities offered by them.

You can also check out this link for some more information on the same: https://university.careers360.com/colleges/list-of-pgd-in-psychology-degree-colleges-in-india

Hope this information helps you in making an informed decision.

All the best!


if i get 47% from delhi university in graduation...and i wanted to do master in social work so there is no chance to do this course because of my percentage

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 1st Feb, 2021


When it comes to pursuing MSW from top universities like Delhi University, JMI, BHU etc there is minimum eligibility criteria of passed graduation with 50% aggregate however if we go through official notification of TISS this year then it doesn't mention the compulsory aggregate, so it varies among the universities, if you're still pursuing graduation and enough time is left then try to do well by fetching more marks, there are also open universities such as IGNOU, BAOU, VMOU, Annamalai University, Madhya Pradesh Bhoj(Open) University which offer this course, you can also choose this option as well.


ma social work , CUCET questions and answers

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 6th Jan, 2021

CUCET Entrance Exam for MA Social Work has two part: Part A has 50 questions from sections such as English, General Knowledge, Numerical Ability, part B consists of two sections, section I has 50 questions from Social Work/section II has 50 questions from sociology. you can get the detailed syllabus along with model paper by visiting the official website at https://cucetexam.in/CUCET2020/RecPages/Search01Program16Details.aspx


Anuj More 31st Dec, 2020

Dear Aspirant,

There are numerous sites who offer mock tests for TISS NET exam. You will have to search them personally for MA (Criminal Justice). You will have to pay certain fees for the same & then you can give the mock tests. You will find numerous of these mock tests on edugorilla, gradeup & many others too. Just search the same on internet & you will find many free & paid tests for TISS Net.


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