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.

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Unit Overview


Personal and professional values underpin the practice of social work and determine our responses to complex issues. This unit encourages students to integrate values in a framework that critically analyses the socio-political context in which social work exists. There is an emphasis on building theoretical knowledge of social work and developing cognitive skills for critical thinking, evaluation and practice-based research. Key aims of this unit include developing social work cognition, mindset and identity within the context of the historical and evidence-informed theories that relate to the profession.

Key objectives of the unit include:

- That students have a beginning understanding of the role of professional associations and the Code of Ethics that will guide their practice.

- Be familiar with, and able to engage in, informed debate about the value base and common assumptions that underpin the profession.

- Have a beginning understanding of some of the complex debate about methods, means and models that surround the profession.

- Be able to identify the complex, and sometimes apparently contradictory, value base of social work and other human services and to start to articulate this within the context of their own value base and ideology.

- Be able to identify and articulate how the role of a social worker may fit within the broader framework of human service delivery.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) critique the attitudes, ethics and values important to social work as determined by the Australian Association of Social Workers; (2) demonstrate the capacity to critically reflect on social work theory and practice issues; (3) analyse different issues, problems and dilemmas that confront social workers in the context of their daily practice; (4) develop confident communication skills in both written and verbal formats in group and class settings; and (5) demonstrate professional attitudes, workplace behaviours and communication skills appropriate to the profession of social work.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written assignment; (2) test; (3) blog post; 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 Coordinator(s)
Dr Stephan Lund
Unit rules
Enrolment in
11550 Master of Social Work (ID 127)
Contact hours
3 hours per week x 12 weeks
  • 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.