Unit description

Develops an understanding of human development across the lifespan particularly with respect to changes in health and wellbeing. Explores the potential of social work practice with people of different ages, health conditions and disabilities. Focuses on social work practice with people experiencing mental health issues and strategies for promoting mental health in diverse communities.

Unit content

1. Lifespan perspectives and life stages
2. Understanding and theorising human development, including child development, and sexuality
3. Social work practice with people in different age groups
4. Understanding health, wellbeing and disability, including social determinants of health and stigma
5. Social work roles in building resilience and aiding recovery
6. Inter-professional work in health settings
7. Physical health and disability across the lifespan
8. Intellectual and cognitive disability across the lifespan
9. Mental health across the lifespan
10. Social work with people with mental health needs, their partners, family members and friends

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

  • Bland, R, Renouf, N & Tullgren, A, 2009, Social Work Practice in Mental Health, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
  • Harms, L, 2010, Understanding Human Development: A Multidimensional Approach, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Workshop on-site 20 hours (1 week)
Structured online learning 1 hour (12 weeks)
Clinical skills30%
Exam: take home40%

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 2014 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.