SWM5220 - Longevity and social work - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - 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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jennifer McConachy


Fiona McAlinden

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis.

Unit guides




Must be enrolled in a Postgraduate Degree


This unit presents aspects of contemporary social work policy and practice in ageing through a lens of longevity and ongoing change. Aging is conceptualised in dynamic and innovative ways that reflect and encourage changing perceptions, theoretical understandings and possibilities of this transition phase. The impact of dimensions such as gender, class, location, diversity and spirituality on the transition phases of ageing will be explored. The notion of risk will be examined as an underlying tension in social work practice in this field.


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

  1. Review contemporary debates about life transitions with a focus on ageing.
  2. Evaluate concepts of ageing and longevity using dimensions such as gender, class, time, space and place.
  3. Assess current and emerging theories of ageing and their relevance to social work.
  4. Critically analyse the notion of risk and its implications for social work practice in this area.
  5. Examine relevant social work policy and practice issues in longevity and ageing.
  6. Apply a multi-dimensional approach in a specific area of ageing.


  • Case study analysis (2,500 words) (20%)
  • Narrative interview (3,500 words) (25%)
  • Literature review (4,000 words) (40%) (hurdle)
  • Online participation (2,000 words) (15%)

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

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