Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit examines explanatory practice frameworks and psychosocial theories that guide social work understanding. This includes theoretical perspectives to inform ways of engaging with individuals, families & communities. The unit helps students appreciate how a range of explanatory theories intersect within social work practice. It also supports the development of articulating theory and practice links. Students are encouraged to explore and question their ways of knowing through exposure to broad theoretical social work approaches.

6 points
AvailabilityLocationModeFirst year of offer
Not available in 2023

Students are able to (1) examine competing micro, meso and macro level theoretical frameworks for defining the purpose and place of social work; (2) critique human development, behaviour and needs across the life cycle, including consideration of: systems, attachment relationships, major life stage transitions and culture; (3) critique dominant discourses and constructions of mental and physical health, with a critical awareness of the issues inherent in using deficit models; (4) analyse loss, grief and trauma as it impacts individuals, groups and communities; (5) examine the impact of socio-economic status, life opportunities, trauma and environment on the mental and physical health and wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities; and (6) demonstrate an understanding of evidenced based practice, and how this informs contemporary social work practice.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written assignment and (2) test. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit rules
Enrolment in
BH017 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
and Successful completion of
48 points
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.