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Unit of study_

SCWK1001: Social Justice Practice

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Social justice is a core value of many professions, organisations and social change movements. This unit engages students in learning about social justice practices, including historic patterns as well as new strategies and new challenges. Students will have opportunities to learn about important social justice practitioners in their area of interest and will be encouraged to explore their own personal or interpersonal connections to power, privilege and oppression. The unit will appeal to students interested in advancing social justice in future projects or professional activities.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SCWK1001
Academic unit Social Work
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Amanda Howard,
Tutor(s) Sacha Jamieson,
Margaret Spencer,
Dara Sampson,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Blog post
Blog post
20% Week 04
Due date: 28 Mar 2021 at 23:59

Closing date: 01 May 2021
700 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4
Assignment group assignment Podcast
Group podcast
30% Week 08
Due date: 24 Apr 2021 at 23:59

Closing date: 30 May 2021
10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO5
Assignment Report on local social justice
50% Week 12
Due date: 28 May 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 15 Jun 2021
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Blog post: From class discussions and your reading, choose a social justice issue which you think needs to be urgently addressed. Using 2-3 references to support your case, write a 700 word blog post outlining the issue, why it is important and 1 practical step which coud be taken to start working on this issue.
  • Podcast: With 2 other students, develop a 10 minute podcast exploring the question - ‘what is social justice practice?’ Along with the podcast, each group will be asked to discuss with your tutorial class, how you worked as a team, communication and decision making strategies and how you shared the workload. This is a group assessment so each group member will receive the same mark as other group members.
  • Report on local social justice:  This assessment is focused on linking some of the theory, ideas and concepts we have covered in class with  local social justice action. Thinking about either the neighbourhood in which the University of Sydney is located, or the community where you live, gather available information about key social issues facing local people. Choose one of these issues and write a report for a local social action group.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction; 2. Big ideas: what is social justice practice?; 3. Putting it into practice: learning together; 4. Thinking about history; 5. Where am I located? Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 02 1. Big ideas: redistribution and recognition; 2. Putting it in practice: critical reading and thinking; 3. Social justice on the ground Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 03 1. Big ideas: power; 2. Putting it into practice: ethics and values, understanding micro and macro power in action Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 04 1. Big ideas: truth, language and discourse; 2. Putting it into practice: making an argument, being heard, framing the discussion, noticing the invisible Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 05 1. Big ideas: structural considerations - gender, sexuality, race, class, ability; 2. Putting it into practice: shaping different power relations, where am I located? Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 06 1. Big ideas: vulnerability, risk and protection; 2. Putting it into practice: making space for self-determination, enacting respect Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 07 1. Big ideas: space and movement – immigration, global social justice; 2. Putting it into practice: advocacy and activism Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 08 Developing your podcast: class time Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 09 1. Big ideas: intersections and complexity; 2. Putting it into practice: making sense of life stories Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 10 1. Big ideas: climate and environment; 2. Putting it into practice: work with disasters and social justice Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 11 1. Big ideas: why should we care about communities?; 2. Putting it into practice: empathy connection and context, working from the bottom up Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 12 1. Big ideas: individual choice and collective action; 2. Putting it into practice: planning, analysis and policy Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance: The Sydney School of Education and Social Work requires attendance of at least 90 percent of all seminars, workshops or lectures. Where a student is unable to attend at the required rate evidence of illness or misadventure may be required and the student may be required to undertake extra work. Students should discuss the circumstances of their absence(s) with the co-ordinator of the unit of study. Further details are provided in the School canvas site:

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand core social justice theories, values and perspectives as they apply in organisations, movements and professions
  • LO2. demonstrate knowledge of social justice strategies, including community-building, advocacy, political and policy analysis and ethical and legal issues relevant to social justice work in organisational settings
  • LO3. undertake a systematic critical reflection in order to make connections with personal or interpersonal connections to power, privilege and oppression
  • LO4. use multimedia strategies to communicate research findings on one particular case conceptualisation of individual or organisational social justice practice
  • LO5. critically analyse past and current theory, research and practice on effective social justice advocacy and practices.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes

Site visit guidelines

If you are undertaking professional experience/field education placement as part of your enrolment in this unit of study, please assess your specific needs and requirements for the safe and successful completion of an external placement within a host organisation. You will be given the opportunity to disclose any health issues that have a work health and safety significance before arranging a placement so that your safety, and the safety of others, can be properly assessed. The Professional Experience Coordinator/Field Education Manager will work to ensure that the workplace assignment to you is appropriate for your needs and requirements. If you are experiencing disability, and require reasonable adjustments to be arranged, please contact Disability Services as early as possible prior to commencing the internship. Please note, in all cases, and for the purpose of organising reasonable adjustments, only the impact and not the nature, of your disability will be disclosed to the host organisation.


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