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HSM4310 - Building Practice Wisdom in Social Welfare

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Margaret Lynn


Gippsland Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)


This unit surveys and analyses the epistemological foundation of social welfare. It deconstructs orthodox conceptualizations of "knowledge" that predominantly inform social welfare practice, and contrasts these with postmodern and post-structuralist interpretations. Particular emphasis is placed on a critical examination of the power of knowledge and its relationship to practice wisdom in social welfare.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Grasp the nature of, and interrelationships between "knowledge", "theory" "research" and "practice" in social welfare;
  2. Understand the epistemological foundations of social welfare practice;
  3. Recognise and articulate the process by which personal knowledge and theories are constructed;
  4. Appreciate the particular and relative merits of "practice wisdom" and examine its contribution to the development of social welfare work;
  5. Prepare and deliver an oral defence of the subject of their dissertation;
  6. Enunciate and address personal learning objectives.


Viva (3500 words): 20%
Learning contract (1000 words): 20%
Research paper (6000 words): 60%


HSM4301 and HSM4302