SWK4031 - Working with complexity - 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


Lauren Wills

Debbie Ling

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • First semester 2017 (Off-campus)
  • Second semester 2017 (Day)
  • Second semester 2017 (Off-campus)


Please note, this unit has had the following change/s during 2017: change to unit coordinator and chief examiner.

For previous handbook information please contact the Faculty office.


This unit uses a range of case studies to assist the student in working through the complex issues faced by many social work clients. The unit asks the students to reflect on their knowledge and theory to draw upon appropriate assessment and intervention techniques for a range of social work situation.


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

  1. Develop the ability to critically reflect on their own values and how this impacts on social work practice.
  2. Develop an understanding and appreciation of the depth and complexity of use of self in professional practice.
  3. Develop an understanding of complexity in areas such as but not limited to ageing, cultural and linguistic diversity, class, family dysfunction, violence, poverty and disability.
  4. Develop an understanding of theoretical approaches and models of practice to be able to respond to the complexity of diversity in social work practice.
  5. Develop a framework for dealing with complexity in social work and the ability to develop appropriate strategies and interventions.


  • Assignment 1 (1,500 words) (40%)
  • Assignment 2 (3,000 words) (60%)

Workload requirements

On-campus: 4-5.5 hours per week over 6 weeks, 20 hours self-directed study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus students are expected to undertake 144 hours per semester in private study, completing readings and other tasks as outlined on the Blackboard site in the off-campus Unit Guide, and to complete three assignment tasks.

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

Social work

Human services



Must be enrolled in Bachelor of Social Work or the Human Services stream of the Bachelor of Health Sciences.

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