Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The BSW Honours programme presents the opportunity to add a research-focussed aspect to the professional qualification. It enables a student to undertake a more detailed study on one specific feature of social work and/or social policy, with a view to learning research skills and demonstrating research competence. Its focus is to prepare students to contribute to the future development of social work and social policy through research that extends existing knowledge and through the critique and analysis of contemporary knowledge in ways likely to impact upon future thinking in this discipline area. In this unit students will define the topic of research inquiry and design the methodology to be used in preparation for carrying out and writing up the research project in Year 4. in this unit, the Research Proposal is the blue print for the research and states clearly what the research is about, why it is important to do and how it is going to be undertaken. The unit will cover material necessary for students to start their own research project: moving from identifying an area of interest, through formulating questions which can be operationalised through a rigorous design into an enquiry process, to producing a research proposal. Issues to be covered are: matching the design to the questions; reviewing the literature; exploring different models of research; employing appropriate and systematic methods to collect data; identifying relevant data analysis approaches; and addressing ethical requirements in the research process. All these will be incorporated into the final assessment piece for the unit: the Research Proposal.

6 points
Not available in 2024OnlineOnline timetabled
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 4 option in the Social Work major sequence

Students are able to (1) distinguish between a variety of research approaches and apply them appropriately to selected research questions; (2) construct a logical research design which may be operationalised; (3) develop a plan for reviewing the literature; (4) write an effective research proposal; (5) articulate procedural and processual ethical requirements for undertaking research; and (6) develop a professional practice framework taking into account key academic and workplace professional behaviour and practice principles.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) develop a research question for exploratory, descriptive and explanatory research; (2) develop a research design for exploratory, descriptive and explanatory research; (3) develop a research proposal for one of the designs; and (4) professional behaviour assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the professional behaviour assessment component.

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
96 points
and SWSP3001 Field Education 1: First Placement
Contact hours
3 hours of workshops
  • 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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.