Lifespan Risk and Resilience

Subject SCWK90064 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 15-Feb-2016 to 15-Apr-2016
Assessment Period End 29-Apr-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 26-Feb-2016
Census Date 04-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 01-Apr-2016

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

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

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 programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Louise Harms


Subject Overview:

This subject examines the ways in which social work understands the inner and outer world dimensions of human vulnerability, adaptation and resilience across the lifespan. The usefulness of theories of grief, stress and trauma for understanding individuals’ capacity for coping with adversity is examined critically, as are understandings of diversity.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject explores individual and environmental sources of risk and resilience. Stress, trauma and grief theories are examined as they apply across the lifespan. At the end of this subject, you will be expected to be able to:

  • apply your understanding of a multidimensional approach to specific human experiences of adversity and diversity
  • analyse social contexts in relation to their oppressive and protective dimensions
  • identify significant biopsychosocial-spiritual transitions across the lifespan and the influence of gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and other dimensions of diversity on these transitions
  • critically assess the coping and adaptation processes of individual’s facing adversity and identify the implications for social work practice
  • critically reflect on these theoretical perspectives and their implicit value assumptions as well as your own subjective positioning.
  1. Written essay 2,000 words (40%) - due mid semester
  2. Written essay 3,000 words (60%) - due end of semester
Prescribed Texts:

Harms, L. (2010 2nd ed). Understanding human development: A multidimensional approach. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Readings will be available on the LMS.

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.
Related Course(s): Master of Social Work

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