SWK1011 - Introduction to human services practice - 2017

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

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces students to the human services profession, its history and contemporary context of its practice.

The profession's values and ethics and contemporary issues such as climate change, Indigenous issues, human rights, diversity, the role/reality of the welfare state and globalisation will be examined.

Particular attention will be given to various practice methods such as case work, research and policy development.

Students will also explore a variety of fields of practice such as child protection, aged care, drug and alcohol and mental health.


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

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


  • Task based Assignment (1,500 words) (30%)
  • Small group in-class presentation and summary (1,000 words) (30%)
  • Individual assignment (2,000 words) (40%) (hurdle)

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

Social work

Human services

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: