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Unit of study_

SCWK3008: Professional Practice

In this unit of study students are asked to imagine themselves as emerging social worker practitioners. The unit of study provides an introduction to the diversity of social work practice and aims to develop the capability of students to practise generic skills needed in the field. It addresses the theory-practice relationship and provides students with opportunities to engage with reflexive practice. There is an emphasis on understanding social work values and the fundamentals of ethical practice. Students are encouraged to recognise and build upon skills and knowledge they already have, and to develop their capabilities for acquiring further knowledge and skills.


Academic unit Social Work
Unit code SCWK3008
Unit name Professional Practice
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 8

Enrolment rules

96 credit points including (KOCR2600 or KOCR2603 or SCWK2009), and SCPL2601 and (SCWK2006 or SCLG2602) and ((two of SCWK2004 or SCWK2005 or SCWK2007 or SCWK2008) or (12 intermediate credit points from Psychology))
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Margaret Spencer,
Tutor(s) Pam Joseph ,
Margaret Mary Spencer,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Interview assignment
(1) digitally recorded interview (10%) (2) Reflection (20%)
30% -
Due date: 20 Apr 2020 at 18:00
10 minutes & 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5
Assignment Reflective journal
20% - 2000-2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6 LO7
In-semester test Exam
This exam will cover material from weeks 1-4
20% Week 05
Due date: 24 Mar 2020 at 13:00
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Social Work Report
Social Work Report
30% Week 10
Due date: 04 May 2020 at 23:00
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
  • Reflective journal: Over the course of this unit of study, you will be asked to collate a photovoice journal. It involves taking a photo (or finding other visual imagery) to visually represent what the word or phrase evokes for you. Each of the words or phrases relates to the topics being covered in the unit of study.  Each image is to be accompanied by a 250-300 word reflection. Over the course of the Unit of Study, you will receive a total of six prompt words or phrases to stimulate your reflection.
  • Interview assignment: This task requires each student to create a 8-10 minute recording of an interview they role play with another student.The second component of the assessment is to analyse the interview.  Use academic literature to support your analysis (see readings as well as other resources you may find helpful and relevant).
  • Social Work report:  Using the information provided you are to prepare a  social work report. The report should present the material in a logical and analytical format. The report will conclude with a set of recommendations. 

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

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.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, 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 dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

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

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to Professional Practice Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 02 Positioning oneself: becoming a critically reflexive social worker Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 Ethical practice Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 In Class Exam Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Casework: Becoming an Effective Communicator Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 06 Interviewing (Cumberland Campus) Simulation laboratory (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 07 Interview assessment part 1 (11-12) / Interprofessional learning session (joint workshop with OT students) Workshop (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 08 Documenting Practice Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Advocacy Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 10 Working with Groups and Communities Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 11 Groupwork in Practice Field trip (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 12 Integration of Learning Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 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 on Canvas.

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 8 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 160-200 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

See Canvas

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. Recognise the diversity of the social work practice in contemporary contexts
  • LO2. Develop critical reflection skills and demonstrate application of these skills in classroom activities and assessment tasks
  • LO3. Articulate and apply the values and ethics underpinning social work
  • LO4. Demonstrate the capacity to identify and apply theory and prior learning to social work practice
  • LO5. Develop and demonstrate professional communication skills (interpersonal and written).
  • LO6. Understand and develop basic competencies in working with groups/communities.
  • LO7. Learn about working as a social worker with other professionals

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
Assessment schedule and learning format have been changed based on student feedback, teaching teams evaluation and consultation with the Learning and Teaching Unit.

Work, health and safety

When undertaking field visits, students are expacted to wear smart casual attire.


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