SOWK11014 - Contemporary Human Services

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit will introduce you to social work and human services in Australia and the changing context for professional practice within contemporary society. You will develop an understanding of the historical and cultural context of social work, and human services more broadly, within the Australian welfare state and how these services are currently organised and delivered. You will be able to conceptualise social justice, inequality and disadvantage and their significance to professional practice. You will understand the values, ethics and principles of social work and human services, and how these inform methods of practice. This unit will focus on the human services context of professional practice and the broader challenges and opportunities within the social services sector. Consideration will be given to reflective practice and the 'use of self' and how social workers navigate complex systems of service delivery.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

Term 1 - 2023 Profile
Term 1 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Reflective Practice Assignment 30%
3. Case Study 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.5 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 29.69% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student feedback
Feedback from students throughout the course in 2021 was overall positive. Students commented on the benefit of the residential school and the content and format of these.
Continue to provide engaging residential schools to support student learning.
Action Taken
In Progress
Source: Evaluations
Students provided feedback on the assessments, stating each were helpful in their learning. There was some feedback that some of the assessments were difficult.
Assessments reviewed and greater clarity about task requirements undertaken.
Action Taken
In Progress
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Examine the historical and contemporary context of service delivery within Australian human service organisations;
  2. Critique the concepts of social justice, and inequality, and how these inform professional social work practice within Australian human service organisations;
  3. Appraise the key values, ethics, principles and models of practice that inform professional practice in social work and human services;
  4. Demonstrate critically reflective practice techniques.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Reflective Practice Assignment
3 - Case Study
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
3 - Critical Thinking
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10