Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Social Work
OfferedBerwick Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Kerry Brydon


This unit investigates the major political and ideological debates that have, and do, influence social welfare provision in historical and contemporary context, particularly with respect to the fields of child welfare or aged care.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Understand the meaning and nature of social policy and that ways it can be understood from different theoretical and practical points of view;
  2. Critically evaluate the way political parties deal with key issues and describe key trends and philosophies that underpin the position of major political parties;
  3. Discuss key theories and ideological perspectives in social policy and apply these to selected practice fields with particular emphasis on child welfare and aged care;
  4. Discuss the link between social policy and the goals and values of social welfare practice how these relate to child welfare and aged care;
  5. Critically analyze the impact of structure and social policy on the users of social welfare services with particular reference to child welfare and aged care service users; and
  6. Implement social policy interventions in their everyday practice.


One 1,500 word written analysis of media coverage of a social policy issue worth 40% of the unit mark.
One 3,000 word essay, worth 60% of the unit mark analyzing recent developments in a selected area of policy debate in either child welfare or aged care.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Students will attend up to three hours of direct teaching classes per week and are expected to complete nine hours of independent study each week.