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


This unit explores the interface between social work practice and human service organisations, with a particular focus on the social work – law nexus. Students gain the knowledge and practical skills required to critically engage within human service organisations as emerging social workers. In addition to formal lectures, this learning is facilitated by guest lecturers with field expertise and case studies that examine and critique organisational operations, structures, and mandates, within contemporary socio-political and legal contexts. Students are introduced to resources that will inform their professional practice, which can assist them to work effectively with legal professionals to provide integrated and responsive service supports.

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

Students are able to (1) analyse the policy, social and legal influences on human service organisational operations and their effect on different client groups (the people social workers support); (2) critically evaluate various organisational structures (i.e., non-government organisations and government organisations (statutory and non-statutory); (3) critically engage with organisational cultural environments as developing practitioners within multidisciplinary settings, including management, supervision, and leadership in human service organisations; (4) discuss the skills, values and knowledge required for effective practice in human service organisations; (5) create alternatives and justice-orientated organisational practice models; 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) case study – placement organisation; (2) devise and present on an organisational practice model for justice-oriented social work; and (3) 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
  • 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.