SOWK11017 - Scope of Social Work Practice in Australia

General Information

Unit Synopsis

The aim of this unit is to introduce you, as a first year student, to the primary fields of social work practice where you will find yourself positioned as a practitioner on completion of your Bachelor of Social Work. In this unit, you will explore several fields of practice and gain knowledge about the interface between the individual and their environment in a range of different practice settings. These fields of practice may include but is not limited to, aged care, children and families, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, youth work, disability, mental health, and refugees and asylum seekers.


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

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. Annotated bibliography 20%
2. Case Study 30%
3. Essay 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 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 85.71% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 20.59% 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: SUTE
I appreciated that the unit coordinators hosted regular interactive Zoom sessions, which included assessment task discussions and useful PowerPoint presentations. Furthermore, each week’s content was amply resourced. The unit coordinators were also extremely prompt and thorough with their responses to student queries.
This is a task that will continue as those who accessed these ZOOM opportunities were more enabled to do well in this unit.
Action Taken
Zooms continued.
Source: SUTE
The unit is very broad and I felt a little bombarded with so much information over so many areas.
We appreciate that the amount of information in this unit can be a lot for many. We are working on creating smaller bite size information options to allow those who are overloaded with information to take on smaller amounts and for those who want more to explore all options.
Action Taken
Re-conceptualised key learning activities.
Source: SUTE
Scope of Social Work Practice in Australia is an introductory unit. Perhaps it is too early in the course structure to have assessment pieces that focus on social work assessment, intervention, and evaluation. These are not terms that have been introduced yet. If they are to remain as part of assessment tasks, perhaps one week should be dedicated to unpacking/exploring these aspects of practice. However, including communication as a topic of investigate seems reasonable as this is an aspect of social work practice that is covered in the first year of the course.
This is excellent feedback and is being taken on board to be included in 2022 more guidance around terminology and reducing some of the expectations for the tasks.
Action Taken
Ensure definitions of key concepts clearly explained.
Source: Student unit evaluation
Clarity in unit expectations could enhance student experience
Ensure clear descriptions of required activities in both unit profile and in Moodle.
Action Taken
Source: Student unit evaluation
The assessment tasks require greater connection to the unit learning outcomes and preparation for social work practice.
Review assessment tasks for strengthened connection to new learning for social work practice.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Compare social work fields of practice within different contexts in Australia
  2. Describe social work processes required for effective communication, assessment, intervention and evaluation
  3. Explore the issues that impact on social work practice
  4. Reflect on the social work ethical issues that have emerged in exploring different social work fields of practice.

The Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS 2020) discuss the importance of students gaining an understanding of the experience of individuals, groups and communities within a range of different fields of practice settings (ASWEAS Appendix 2.1). This unit provides a beginning understanding of social work in general and within these practice settings. It will allow students to understand some of the complex issues that social workers are involved in within their practice. Also, it will commence the process for students to assess whether their value base aligns with that of the social work profession. 

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Annotated bibliography
2 - Case Study
3 - Essay
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
4 - Information Literacy
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
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