Foundations of Social Work Practice - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.25 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Web Dependent
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Government loans available: HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 2 , Sess 3
  • Availability for 2017: Sess 2 , Sess 3
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Written Assignment (25%) , Assignment 2 - Writtien Assignment (25%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 5,125.00
HECS 1,587.00

Foundations of Social Work Practices introduces the fundamentals of working in the human services including institutional structures and welfare discourses, models, research and processes of human service delivery and methods of social work intervention: interpersonal helping, group work and community work. This unit contains a compulsory on-campus intensive. The July and Nov offerings have a 2 week embedded on-campus intensive.

This unit is the foundation course for students with previous related undergraduate study wishing to pursue a professional career in social work. This course is situated at the front-end of the Master of Social Work program so that students are given sound contextual knowledge about the discipline of social work before moving into their first field placement experience. Students are required to pass this course before they can progress into a field placement. This unit is studied in external/distance mode through to the compulsory 10 day intensive at the end of the course. The intensive will focus on interpersonal and communication skills, in preparation for engagement with the field.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. understand the historical and current concepts in social work and human service development and the complexity and diversity of the human service industry
  2. capacity to analyse and discuss aspects of the contemporary Australian welfare system
  3. understand the value and ethical foundations of social work, and appreciate the knowledge and theoretical base that informs social work practice
  4. develop theoretical and practical understandings of interpersonal communication processes and group facilitation and the capacity to apply these skills in a range of human service contexts
  5. increased knowledge about different approaches to social work intervention and problem solving in an interprofessional context
  6. understand the transferability of knowledge, skills and values from previous study, work and life experience to the profession of social work
  7. Recognition of the importance of research in practice and a beginning understanding of how research is used in social work practice.
  • Assignment 1 — Written Assignment (25%)
  • Assignment 2 — Writtien Assignment (25%)
  • Assignment 3 — Practice Based Assignment (20%)
  • Group Project — Guided Discuss Using Research (5%)
  • Online Discussion — Guided discussion (5%)
  • Participation — Intensive-Guided Discussn (20%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • HSV3039 — Social Work in Context
  • Broadband access
  • Other special requirement — Microsoft Excel
  • Some on campus attendance — This unit includes a compulsory 2 week intensive on-campus at Griffith University Gold Coast campus

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Welcome and introduction
2Expectations, content, process, group dynamics, assessment requirements and intro to social work context, definitions, purpose and career motivations
3Introduction to social work values and ethics
4Part 1: The knowledge, theory and organisational base of social work practice
5Part 2: The knowledge, theory and organization base of social work practice
6Independent Study: Readings preparation
7Helping Process: Explores engagement, assessment, intervention, termination and review, and looks at diversity and critical reflective practice
8Explores theory and practice in interpersonal communication and relationships
9Focus on building connections and relationships with fellow students and staff
10Focus on interpersonal and communications skill development
11Explores the field placement learning experience, expectations, responsibilities and assessment
12Focus on interpersonal and communication skill development

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Blogs
  • Chat rooms
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links
  • Wikis

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • FAQs
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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