1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 Admission into Master of Social Work
1a Admission into MSWQS-Master of Social Work (Qualified Social Worker Entry)
Must Satisfy: ((1 or 1a))
Assumed knowledge
MSW students are expected to have undertaken undergraduate studies in human social development and other areas of the social sciences including sociology.
Course context
Core topic
Case study application, Major essay
Topic description
This topic starts with describing and analysing the institutional and community contexts of social work practice and provides a comprehensive grounding for understanding the links between contexts of practice and theories for social work intervention. The topic introduces and analyses a range of theories to examine the many contexts in which social workers carry out their practice. Social Work Theories in Diverse Contexts will encourage students to build links from social work ethics and history to contemporary practice as they prepare to enter their first placement and for the many challenges in applying theory, knowledge and skills in the complex worlds of social work engagement with vulnerable individuals and communities. The topic provides practice exercises and case studies to assist students in applying ideas to practice.
Educational aims
This topic aims to develop students’ understanding, knowledge and skills in the area of social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and within communities. The topic links introduction to health and human services policies with the activities of human service organisations to present current social work theories and perspectives in a systematic way. It uses an integrated and flexible framework to form links across the research-informed knowledge base with context and theory.
Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic students should be able to:
  • articulate the links between social work contexts, especially within health and human services, and social work theories
  • develop a comprehensive framework for understanding the range of contexts and theories that inform social work practice
  • develop understanding about and skills for work within various client systems, i.e. individuals, families, small groups
  • develop practice knowledge and skills in the areas of client engagement, problem identification, assessment, goal setting and planning, intervention, and endings
  • identify key practice skills and analyse their relevance to specific case examples
  • develop skills in reflecting on, analysing and understanding one's own practice
  • critically and reflexively use supervision and self-care activities.