Courses & Units

Direct Practice 1 & Professional Communication HGW517


Restricted to MSW


The unit HGW517 Direct Practice 1 & Professional Communication provides a broad overview of social work theories and direct practice skills underpinning work with individuals and groups. There are two key points of focus in this unit: firstly, working with individuals, and secondly, working with people in groups. Two key themes; 'deep listening' and 'reflective self-awareness', are taught throughout this unit to guide you to respond appropriately and purposely to address people's needs in a variety of contexts. You will be provided with the opportunity to develop core professional communication skills and techniques in direct practice and be required to engage in critical reflection. Approaches focusing on the strengths based approach and social justice principles are applied throughout the curriculum.

The professional communication skills learned in this course are advanced in the final year unit HGW611Direct Practice 2. You can feel confident that at the completion of these two units, you will have been taught the necessary generic skills for working effectively for change with individuals, families and groups. This will occur within a learning climate that aims to engage, support and encourage you in your learning.

Social Work is a course that prepares you for professional work. As such, there are strong links between this unit and all other units in your course and together, all units that are undertaken prior to practicum prepare you for your field experience. Your progress in this unit is therefore considered when planning and establishing your readiness for undertaking a professional education placement. This is consistent with requirements of the University's Safety in Practice policy that requires students to be deemed able to commence their professional education placements.


Unit name Direct Practice 1 & Professional Communication
Unit code HGW517
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Social Sciences
Discipline Social Work

Dr Jenny Hay

Teaching staff

Level Postgraduate
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No


This unit is currently unavailable.


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Unit census dates currently displaying for 2020 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2020 will be available from the 1st October 2019.

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Band Field of Education
1 100799

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Teaching Pattern

Online learning modules; 1 x 90 minute weekly face-to-face tutorial


Tutorial participation (20%); Written assignment 2500 words (or equivalent) (30%); Recorded Interview (client-focused)(50%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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