Assessing Risk and Vulnerability

Subject SCWK90054 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours (8 x 1.5 hour lectures, 8 x 1.5 hour tutorials)
Total Time Commitment:

96 hours



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.


School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Alan Gilbert Building, Level 7, 161 Barry St
Carlton Victoria 3053 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 9035 4799
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview:

This subject critically examines perspectives on risk and vulnerability relating to 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 assessment and practice will be explored.

Learning Outcomes:

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. Case study presentation and report 3,000 words (60%) due end of semester
  2. Theoretical paper 2,000 words (40%) due mid semester
Prescribed Texts:

Connolly, M. & Harms, L. (2013). Social Work: Contexts and Practices. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press (2nd Ed.)

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:
Related Course(s): Master of Social Work

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