Human Services in the 21st Century: Care, Gender and Institutions - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP2
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1
  • Assessment: Non-Invigilated Exam (10%) , Online Discussion (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 798.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,048.00

This unit was previously known as SOCX322 Human Services: Organisations, Structures and Policy.

This unit is based on an exploration of the concept of care and its meaning in a range of different human service developments such as mental health, childcare, child protection, disability services and aged care. A starting point for these discussions is an examination of the ideas of care. We explore the links between informal supports, typically, although not exclusively, provided by women within families and households, and formal supports as provided by professional, trained and untrained staff, through organisations and other, often newly emergent, systems of support. Drawing together the fields of social theory and applied research, this unit provides an opportunity to examine responses to changing concepts of human need for interpersonal support. You will be able to learn from policy makers and practitioners working in this field, and enjoy opportunities to analyse state of the art studies of care and human services in Australia and other comparable countries

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

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the different meanings attached to the concept of care, and of changing patterns in the need for care across the life course
  2. discuss some of the characteristics of care in intimate interpersonal relationships and in contexts involving the provision of care to strangers
  3. recognise the importance of sociological and other research in the development of human services
  4. analyse and respond to policy documents with the planning, provision, regulation and funding of human services
  5. demonstrate capability to use research and contribute to the development of policy in the field.
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (10%)
  • Online Discussion (20%)
  • Paper — Briefing (30%)
  • Report (40%)

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:

  • SGY310 — Human Services: Organisations, Structures and Policy

You must complete Level 1 and 2 studies in Sociology before starting this unit.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction: Care and Human Services
2Understanding care: Contested definitions and perspectives
3Families or organisations? The substitutability of care
4Care and organisations: Bureaucracies and alternative models
5Total Institutions; Reinventing Human Services: The social market for care
6The Human Services Workforce
7New organisational logics and the political economy of globalised service provisionInnovations/dilemmas of community-based approaches
8Human services site visit
9Care around the world: Care and welfare state regimes
10New perspectives on human services: Individualisation, the body and risk
11Conclusion- The Future of Human Services

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective 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

Ready to enrol?

Start studying this unit now.


Got a question?

Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.