Critical Issues in Social Work

Subject SCWK90044 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours (4 x 6 hour seminars) - Intensive in February
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.


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:

In this subject contemporary issues and debates arising from within the social work profession are explored. This will include consideration of topics such as the adequacy of theory; the influence of evidence-based practice approaches; and issues arising from external sources and events including internationalisation, technological change, and policy and organisational influences. This subject asks students to revisit, in a critical and constructive spirit, the bases of social work knowledge and practice, with particular attention to the concept of human rights.

  • Understand contemporary challenges in social work practice
  • Understand how a human rights framework underpins social work practice
  • Critically analyse the debates in relation to a human rights discourse
  1. Class presentation 1000 words (20%)
  2. Written essay 4000 words (80%) - due at the end of semester.
Prescribed Texts: A reading guide will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students who complete this subject 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:

This subject is available to BSW (Hons) students and MASW coursework students.

Related Course(s): Master of Social Work

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