Contemporary Social Policy

Subject 586-204 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Students are expected to devote approximately 5 hours per week to this subject. (30 Contact hours, 12 hours of class preparation, 18 hours of assessment related tasks = 60 hours)
Prerequisites: Admission into the Bachelor of Social Work. This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's courses. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Winsome Roberts
Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the principles and concepts by which they can decipher and read contemporary social policy so as to understand the way government decision making changes the distribution of supports and opportunities to different groups in society and how this ultimately affects human lives. The subject highlights the value basis of policy decisions and the inherently political nature of social policy analysis, practice and advice. In addition, the subject demonstrates the unique role of social work for social policy development both because of its professional commitment to the principles of social justice as well as its integrated practice methods that allow it to keep in touch with the impacts of the broader policy environment as well as working within that policy environment.

Assessment: An essay of 4000 words 100% (due at the end of the semester). A hurdle requirement of a minimum 75% attendance of tutorials required.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the Bookroom at the beginning of semester
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to critically analyse texts and policy documents;
  • be aware of the competing interests that together shape such policies and documents;
  • be able to communicate effectively in writing;
  • be able to link theory to practice.
Links to further information:

Only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work with approval from the course coordinator.

The disciplines of Nursing and Social Work are now co-managed within the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences. At the time of publication Social Work subjects are under the administrative management of the School of Nursing.

Download PDF version.