Gold CoastSession 1Session 1
OnlineSession 1,3Session 1

Unit description

Introduces the legal and social policy contexts of social work practice. Identifies the ways in which the law and social policy can be used to promote the rights and needs of clients and community members. Examines the legal obligations of social works and strategies for social workers to use the law and policy in their practice.

Unit content

Topic 1: Introduction

Topic 2: Networks of policy and legislation

Topic 3: Social work practice, the law and social policy

Topic 4: Historical context for social policy and the law in Australia

Topic 5: Analysing and taking action

Topic 6: Domestic and family violence, and sexual violence

Topic 7: Ageing and aged care

Topic 8: Child protection and out of home care

Topic 9: Mental health

Topic 10: Immigration, refugees and asylum seekers

Topic 11: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Topic 12: Disability

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Rice, S., Day, A., & Briskman, L. , 2018, Social Work in the Shadow of the Law , 5th Edition, The Federation Press , Sydney. ISBN: 9781760021610.

Session 3

  • Prescribed text information is not currently available.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Gold Coast

Teaching method
Tutorial on-site 3 hours (Fortnightly)


Teaching method
Structured online learning 3 hours (12 weeks)

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.