Courses & Units

Contexts of Social Work Practice HGW516



The unit focuses on key contexts of social work practice in the human services. By developing this understanding, you will gain knowledge of how you can practice effectively and influence these contexts to enhance outcomes for social work clients. Through a critical lens, you will examine ethical decision-making models, policy frameworks, legal and justice models and organisational theory. You will consider their relevance to contemporary human service organisations and for informing social work practice. Importantly, the unit emphasises lived experience and cultural diversity as key considerations for all practice contexts. This includes examining the need to decolonise institutional arrangements and on-the-ground practices using a diverse range of knowledge, including First Nations perspectives. Critical analysis and reflection is consistently used throughout the unit to challenge you to work respectfully with each other and in culturally relevant ways as a part of team projects. At all times, you are expected to demonstrate your commitment to professional standards that are presented in the Australian Association of Social Work (AASW) Practice Standards and the AASW Code of Ethics.


Unit name Contexts of Social Work Practice
Unit code HGW516
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Social Sciences
Discipline Social Work
Coordinator Doctor Kate Vincent
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Postgraduate


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Launceston Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Cradle Coast Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Appraise relational and self-reflective practices that facilitate respectful access and application of culturally relevant knowledge in social work.
  • Experiment with creative, ethical and responsible ways of using digital technology to progress the goals of social work in all practice domains and settings
  • Evaluate the use of ethical decision-making models by engaging in reflective practices that are culturally and professionally relevant.
  • Recommend reforms to discriminatory social policies, laws, service systems and service delivery methods that are informed by the diverse range of lived experience knowledge.
  • Suggest ways to resolve experiences of ethical and moral dissonance that occur in organisational, policy and legal settings that are supported by a range of knowledge sources including theoretical, research, professional and culturally relevant knowledge.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
090501 $1,892.00 $888.00 $1,037.00 $2,213.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.


Teaching Pattern

Each week, you will complete an hour of online learning activities (including lectures, videos, podcasts and other activities). You will also have approximately one hour of prescribed reading to complete each week. In addition, you will attend weekly 2-hour face-to-face tutorials. In total, you will need to allow 8-10 hours per week to complete all of the learning and assessments for this unit, including independent study. There is an 80% attendance requirement to meet accreditation standards.

AssessmentBlog post of social policy analysis (40%)|Group class presentation and individual written summary of agency visit (30%)|Develop and respond to a social work ethical dilemma (30%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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