Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Social Work


Dr Kerri Whittenbury



  • First semester 2016 (Day)
  • First semester 2016 (Off-campus)


This subject is an introduction to the profession of Social Work. It will cover the history and contemporary context of practice. Students will be introduced to the values and ethics of the profession, and will consider contemporary issues in the field - such as climate change, Indigenous issues, human rights, diversity, the role/reality of the welfare state, globalization. Sessions will focus on methods of Social Work practice - for instance case work, research, policy development - and/or a field of practice- such as child protection, aged care, drug and alcohol, mental health.


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

  1. Identify the various methods and fields of social work practice
  2. Articulate the importance of research, policy and evaluation on practice
  3. Describe the historical and contemporary issues that influence social work practice
  4. Recognize the impact of self on practice
  5. Demonstrate how social work knowledge, values and ethics impact on the development of a social work identity.


Essay (1,500 words) (30%)
On-campus: Small group in-class presentation (1,000 words) (30%)
Off-campus learning: Small group (5 students) (1,000 words) (30%)
Individual assignment (2,000 words) (40%)

Workload requirements

On-campus: lecture - 1 hour; tutorial/ workshop - 2 hours; reading - 3 hours; preparation of assignments - 3 hours; library and internet searches - 3 hours
Off-campus learning: Online and independent workbook based exercises - 3 hours; reading - 3 hours; preparation of assignments - 3 hours; library and internet searches - 3 hours. There is no residential component.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

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