SWK2001 - Introduction to the Australian welfare state - 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


Ms Samone McCurdy

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces students to the core aims, functions, and programs of the Australian welfare state, and the key role that social policy plays in human services practice.

Case studies will be used on a weekly basis to enable students to link theory to practice, and develop students' perspectives on potential policy solutions to social problems and the connections between the policy making process and their everyday service and practice.


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

  1. Define the core aims, functions and programs of the Australian welfare state;
  2. Analyse the diverse roles that a variety of human service workers play in the welfare state;
  3. Distinguish the differing values and philosophies that influence social policies in a range of practice areas;
  4. Identify and evaluate the specific impact of the welfare state on some of our most disadvantaged groups.
  5. Identify and synthesise the impact of social and economic structures on welfare service users;
  6. Contrast and compare the different registration requirements and ethical mandates of professions within the welfare state.


  • Report on an Interview (1000 words) (20%)
  • Essay (1500 words) (40%)
  • Critical essay (1500 words) (40%) (Hurdle)


Workload requirements

12 hours per week comprising 2 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial and 8 hours of online exercises and recommended reading.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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

Social work

Human services