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Unit of study_

SCWK1002: Introduction to Human Services

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit provides an introduction to human services in Australia. It will provide insights into the historical and contemporary characteristics of the human service sector, including the challenges posed by marketization, professionalization and neoliberalism for addressing human needs in different fields of practice. The unit introduces foundational knowledge and skills needed to work in human service organisations.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SCWK1002
Academic unit Social Work
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Margot Rawsthorne,
Tutor(s) Meaghan Katrak Harris,
Dara Sampson,
Margot Rawsthorne,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Key challenges facing human services: discussion paper
Written task
40% Week 08
Due date: 04 Oct 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 28 Nov 2021
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4
Assignment group assignment Organisational Analysis and Profile
Group project
30% Week 12
Due date: 07 Nov 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 28 Nov 2021
10 minutes presentation plus powerpoint
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment Collaboration: blog posts
Reflective blog post
30% Week 12
Due date: 07 Nov 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 28 Nov 2021
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Organisational analysis: This is a group work project. Your group will undertake allocated a human service organisation and undertake a detailed analysis, including: mapping; interviewing; and assessment. Your group will present on the organisation to your peers (your presentation will be submitted for marking).
  • Key challenges facing human services: Discussion paper . This is an individual written essay. You will identify and discuss a key challenge facing human services, making explicit links to theoretical ideas. Using research, policy and other academic literature develop an argument for a promising strategy to address this challenge.
  • Collaboration: blog posts. Write 3x500 word blog posts reflecting on the collaborative process taking shape in your 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 Module 1 – Human Services: What are they and why are they? Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 02 Module 2 – Where are we now…..really Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 03 Module 3 - Resourcing support – funding models and their impacts Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 04 Module 4 – People, systems and power Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Module 5 – A closer look at some examples Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Module 6 – Social Work practice in the service system Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 07 Module 7 – Size matters Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 08 Module 8 - Who is listened to? Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 09 Module 9 – If all the world is a problem…. Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 10 Module 10 – Imagining a different world Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 11 Knowledge Sharing Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3
Week 12 Knowledge sharing and what have we learned this semester? Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

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.

Required readings

Readings provided via Canvas site

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. identify key theories, developments and debates in the human services sector
  • LO2. demonstrate an understanding of the role of human service workers
  • LO3. undertake a human service organisational analysis
  • LO4. critically analyse the impact of current policy and practice developments on service users and human service workers.

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.

90% attendance is required for tutorials for 1 hour per week

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 organization. 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 organizing reasonable adjustments, only the impact and not the nature, of your disability will be disclosed to the host organization.

Work, health and safety



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