Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2011 (Day)
Caulfield Second semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Singapore Second semester 2011 (Flexible)
Coordinator(s)Dr Philip Mendes (Social Policy) & Dr Bernadette Saunders (Law)


The social policy component of this unit investigates the major political and ideological debates influencing Australian welfare provision and its unique history. It examines frameworks for analysing contemporary social policies, and examines the social welfare philosophies of the Liberal and Labor parties.
The law component explores the legal mandate and legal processes which implement policies in the key human service areas, and outlines key legal dilemmas which impact on social work practice.


After studying this unit, students will be able to understand the meaning and nature of social policy and be able to describe how it can be understood from different theoretical and practical points of view; be able to describe and evaluate trends in various social policy fields in the light both of history and of contemporary community needs; be able to apply various analytical frameworks to social policy debates, be able to describe the key social policy trends and philosophies of the major political parties, with attention given to media coverage of these.

After studying the law component of this unit, students will be have an understanding of the origins and purposes of law; the values and principles that underpin the law; the common law legal system operating in countries such as Australia and Singapore; legislation, legal terminology, and legal systems which may affect individuals, children and families; and the interaction of law, legal practice and social work practice.


Social policy component - One written analysis of media coverage of political issues (500 words): 10%
One essay (2500 words): 40%
Law component - One short answer assignment which requires students to attend a court or tribunal hearing (500 words): 10%
one essay (2000 words): 40%
Both components must be passed in order to gain an overall pass in the unit.

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Philip Mendes (Social Policy)
Dr. Bernadette Saunders (Law)

Contact hours

4 hours per week


Social work units are available only within the context of the Bachelor of Social Work degree, or with permission.