Human Services: Law and Social Policy - 2016

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: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sem 1
  • Availability for 2017: Sem 1
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Written Assignment (35%) , Assignment 2 - Written Assignment (50%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 2,188.00
HECS 782.00

Effective human services practitioners have a sound understanding of the institutions of public policy including the Australian system of government, and legislative instruments such as courts and tribunals, together with their roles and responsibilities in implementing policy. With this knowledge, they can influence, advocate, and improve social policy and legislation. This course develops students' knowledge and skills in negotiating their roles as human services professionals across four policy and legislative domains:

1. Policy and legislative analysis, development and implementation.

2. Client representation and advocacy within the Australian legal system, courts and tribunals.

3. Ethical and legal obligations, rights and responsibilities of human services professionals.

4. The inter-relationships between human services policy, practice, law and ethics.

Students will be exposed to the analysis of, and debates in, contemporary human services and social policy issues. While the course is weighted towards establishing generic foundations in policy and legislation, students will have the opportunity to develop their specific policy and legislative interest areas.

After successfully completing this unit you should be able to:

  1. Critically describe the nexus between law, policy and human services practice
  2. Be cognisant of practitioner legal obligations such as duty of care, provision of information, privacy and confidentiality requirements
  3. Describe the various philosophical frameworks that inform particular models of welfare, policy development and legal reasoning
  4. Read and understand key aspects of selected legislation
  5. Describe how social policy and law are made and understand factors influencing its implementation and application in practice
  6. Identify and critique different policy development and advocacy frameworks and their impact on policy and legislative reforms
  7. Describe and analyse the practices and structures of systems of government and law in Australia that contribute to policy formation.
  • Assignment 1 — Written Assignment (35%)
  • Assignment 2 — Written Assignment (50%)
  • Quiz — Test or Quiz (15%)

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

Pre requisite: HSV7134 1b (Field Placement 1)

  • Broadband access — Students must access the learning@griffith site for this unit
  • Other special requirement — Admission to Griffith University MSocial Work (Qualifying) OUA Course required

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.

1Course Overview and Reasons to Study Policy & Law
2The Law/Human Service Nexus
3Laws: Children and Young People
4Court Process,Evidence, Case Notes, Report Writing
5Diversity & Vulnerability - Duty of Care & Negligence
6Introduction to Social Policy
7Australian Social Policy
8The Policy Process
9Policy Implementation
10Influencing Policy Change
11Housing as a Case Study
12Review: Reconnecting Law and Policy

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links
  • Wikis

Online materials

  • 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.

Enquire online

Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
Make an online enquiry.

Enquire now

Got a question?

Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.