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Unit outline_

SCWK4004: Issue Based Learning Unit 4

Semester 2a, 2022 [Block mode] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit is the fourth of a sequence of four Issue Based Learning units. It is of five weeks duration and is intended to develop further students' capabilities in the transfer of knowledge and independent work. It builds on the knowledge and includes skills gained in Field Education 2A and 2B.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Social Work
Credit points 9
SCWK4003 and SCWK4005
SCWK4002 and (SCWK4006 or SCWK4007)
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Ruth Phillips,
Tutor(s) Bernard Boerma,
Nina Melander,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment hurdle task Assignment 1 Analysis of Film Scenario - Short Essay
Analyse a theme or scene form one of three video presentations.
25% Week 07
Due date: 12 Sep 2022 at 23:00

Closing date: 19 Sep 2022
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Presentation hurdle task Assignment 3: Group Presentation
Research exercise to extend learning.
25% Week 08 Recorded 20 minutes for the group.
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment hurdle task Assignment 3 Social Work & Ageing Essay
Essay responding one of a list of questions/statements.
50% Week 09
Due date: 04 Oct 2022 at 23:00

Closing date: 19 Sep 2022
3000 words research essay
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO2
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary

See Canvas for full detials.

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 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 04 1. Introduction to the unit of study; 2. Why study age and ageing? Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
1. Emanicipatory social work with older people; 2. Ageing & ageism Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Tutorial 1 & 2 Tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Watch Film Text - Living old Individual study (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Group work preparation Tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 1. Work productivity and retirement; 2. Aged care reform Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
1. Theories of ageing; 2. Hospital social work with older people Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Tutorial 1 & 2 Tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Watch video text - Bleed them until they are die (Four Corners report) Individual study (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Group work preparation Tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 1. The rights of older persons; 2. Dementia speaker TBA Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
1. Engaging and supporting older people in the community; 2. Hoarding and squalor Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Tutorial 1 & 2 Tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Watch video text - Forget me not: Australians living with dementia Individual study (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Group work preparation Tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 1. The place and role of elders in Aboriginal communities; 2. Older people of CALD background Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
1. End of life; 2. Palliative care social work Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Tutorial 1 & 2 Tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Watch video text - Mademoiselle and the Doctor Individual study (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Group work preparation Tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 1. LGBTQI older persons; 2. Ageing in correctional & forensic contexts Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
1. Mental health and older people: emancipatory social work and navigating risk; 2. Decision making in older age Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Unit of study wrap up - advice on final essay, unit of study evaluation Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Tutorial 1 & 2 Tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Group work preparation 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 9 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 180-225 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library eReserve link available on Canvas.

The following key reading is available online in the library:

  • Hitchcock, Karen (2015) ‘Dear life, On Caring for the Elderly’ Quarterly Essay Issue 57, March 2015. 

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. analyse and reflect critically on age, ageing and old age and their expression in social theories, social policies and social work
  • LO2. form and defend views about desirable directions for social policy and social work with respect to ageing and old age
  • LO3. produce and present orally and in writing the results of collaborative research within a short timeframe
  • LO4. identify and review learning achieved throughout the unit of study.

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.

USS student feedback informs this unit of study.

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.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.