Assessing Risk and Vulnerability

Subject SCWK50009 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

September, Parkville - 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours (8 x 1.5 hour lecture, 8 x 1.5 hour seminar)
Total Time Commitment:

24 contact hours

16 hours of class preparation and reading

24 hours of assessment related tasks

= 64 hours total time commitment

= 8 hours total time per week


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 think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Ms Sevi Vassos


Social Work
Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 5, 234 Queensberry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 9400
F: +61 3 9347 4375

Subject Overview:

This subject critically examines a range of psychosocial issues – mental health, child abuse and family violence, substance abuse, disability and chronic illness. These experiences will be critiqued using a number of perspectives – including epidemiological, consumer, human rights and social constructivist perspectives. The implications for social work practice will be explored.


At the end of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate substantive knowledge about a range of issues such as mental health, child abuse and family violence, substance abuse, disability and chronic illness, by drawing on national and international research and epidemiological resources.
  • apply a multidimensional approach to understanding how people respond to these issues
  • appreciate the diversity and complexity of consumer perspectives, as presented throughout the semester
  • Critically analyse different theoretical approaches to understanding these psychosocial issues
  • Identify the implications for social work assessment and practice
  • Critically reflect upon personal and professional values in relation to these issues
  1. Written essay 3,000 words (60%) - due end of semester
  2. Written case study 2,000 words (40%) - due mid semester
Prescribed Texts:

Connolly, M. & Harms, L. (2008). Social Work: Contexts and Practices. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • critically analyse texts and practices;
  • understand recent developments in social work contexts of practice;
  • link theory to practice;
  • competently communicate in ways relevant to both academic and practice contexts;
  • undertake independent research.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Social Work

Download PDF version.