SWSP5630 Introduction to Psychosocial Theory

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit examines explanatory (explaining how and why, but not necessarily how to intervene) and practice (specific instruction on how to intervene) theoretical frameworks that assist social work understanding. Social work is a profession that relies on the understanding that theory provides in order to first conceptualise a clinical presentation, formulate appropriate assessments and ultimately intervene in a case. All of these tasks typically rely heavily, although not exclusively, upon theoretical understanding and direction. This unit assists students to appreciate the ways in which a range of explanatory and practice theories, and personal and process knowledge combine to influence professional social work decision making.
Students are able to (1) compare and contrast the normative and pathological phases of human development of individuals and families across the life span and be aware of how these phases influence cognition, mood and behaviour; (2) develop the capacity to identify and articulate the major psychosocial theoretical paradigms taught in the program; (3) critical analysis of mental illness; (4) critically analyse and apply theoretical explanations of human behaviour to clinical situations; and (5) develop an ability to clearly and confidently communicate their ideas.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) test and (2) essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Mark Sachmann
Contact hours
30 hours
This unit does not fall into the standard University semesters and thus has non-standard withdrawal and census deadlines. Contact Student Administration for more information.
  • 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. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. 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. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.