Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work

Course MC-NTCW (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Associate Professor Louise Harms


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Currently enrolled and future students:

Course Overview:

The Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work is a postgraduate specialist qualification for professionals interested in enhancing their clinical and practice-research skills. The degree is delivered as a joint initiative of the Department of Social Work (The University of Melbourne) and The Dulwich Centre, Adelaide. The Dulwich Centre is the international centre for narrative therapy training, established by the internationally renowned social worker and narrative therapist, Michael White, in 1984. The degree is a 100 credit point Master level degree, comprised of three coursework subjects.

Narrative approaches to therapy and community work are used by social workers, psychologists, community development workers, nurses, teachers, doctors, and other health professionals in a wide range of practice settings. The degree prepares graduates for working with narrative approaches with individuals, families and communities, particularly in the areas of trauma and recovery.

Learning Outcomes:

This course prepares graduates for narrative therapy and community work.

The course:

  • Provides graduates with the theoretical and advanced skill base for working with narrativeapproaches with individuals, families and communities across the life course, particularly in the areas of trauma and recovery.
  • Prepares graduates for narrative practice in diverse cultural contexts
  • Introduces the specific theories and advanced skills of narrative therapy
  • Engages students in critical reflection of their own practice development
  • Engages students in practice research and writing for publication.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The MNTCW is comprised of three compulsory subjects, all at level 9:

  • SCWK90060 Advanced Narrative Skills Development (25 credit points)
  • SCWK90062 The Art of Narrative Practice (25 credit points)
  • SCWK90061 Narrative Practice and Research Synthesis (50 credit points)

The course structure:

Year-long subject:

SCWK90061 Narrative Practice and Research Synthesis

Semester 1:

SCWK90060 Advanced Narrative Skills Development

Semester 2:

SCWK90062 The Art of Narrative Practice

Subject Options:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline, or equivalent; and
• at least two years of documented, relevant work experience; and
• evidence of completion of prior narrative therapy studies at Dulwich Centre, or equivalent; and
• a personal statement outlining why they wish to be considered for the course; and
Applicants must also nominate a professional referee from whom a report may be sought.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance; and
• the work experience; and
• the personal statement; and
• the professional referee report.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes:


Graduates of the Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work degree will have:

  • a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in narrative therapy and community work, and how they relate to professional practice.
  • knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to narrative therapy and community work.


Graduates of the Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work degree will have:

  • cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of narrative therapy and community work theories and skills; and to reflect critically on the theory and professional practice of narrative therapy and community work.
  • cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply established theories of narrative therapy to different bodies of knowledge or practice
  • cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas concepts at an abstract level
  • communication and technical research skills to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse, theorise about developments that contribute to professional practice or scholarship

Application of knowledge and skills

Graduates of the Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work degree will demonstrate the application of knowledge & skills:

  • with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning
  • with high level personal autonomy and accountability
  • to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or piece of scholarship
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