Unit description

Introduces students to the profession of social work, and outlines the core knowledge and values required of practising social workers in Australia. The profession is understood within the context of contemporary social welfare arrangements and labour market. The unit seeks to critically examine social work theories and models, as well as different ways of transferring knowledge into practice.

Unit content

  1. The social work profession
  2. The self and social work 
  3. Social work ethics
  4. The welfare state 
  5. The labour market context
  6. Disadvantage and inequality
  7. Social justice, need and empowerment
  8. Knowledge, reflective practice and evidence-based practice
  9. Social work practice theories
  10. Cross-cultural work
  11. Indigenous issues and cross-cultural work
  12. Conclusion

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

  • O'Connor, I, Wilson, J, Setterlund, D & Hughes, M, 2008, Social Work and Human Service Practice, 5th edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest.

Session 3

  • O'Connor, I, Wilson, J, Setterlund, D & Hughes, M, 2008, Social Work and Human Service Practice, 5th edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Gold Coast

Teaching method
Residential session 7 hours (2 Days)
Structured online learning 1 hour (12 Weeks)
Tutorial on-site 2 hours (6 Weeks)
Discussion board20%


Teaching method
Structured online learning 1.5 hours (12 Weeks)
Residential session 7 hours (3 Days)
Discussion board20%

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 2017 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.