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Unit of study_

SCWK4008: Social Work Research Dissertation

In this unit students participate in a social work research project under the supervision of an academic staff member. Students will become familiar with the process of developing a research proposal and obtaining ethical approval for a study. Students will apply data collection processes as appropriate to the project and undertake analysis of this data. They develop the skills required to present the findings of their research project both orally and through a research dissertation. Ethical issues and critical debates in social work research will also be examined.


Academic unit Social Work
Unit code SCWK4008
Unit name Social Work Research Dissertation
Session, year
Semester 2, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

SCWK3009 and SCWK3010 and SCWK4003 and SCWK4005
SCWK4004 and SCWK4002
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Ruth Phillips,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Honours thesis Research report
70% Formal exam period 5000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5 LO6
Presentation Research outcomes
Oral presentation
Due date: 03 Dec 2020 at 09:00

Closing date: 03 Dec 2020
20 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
  • Oral presentation of research outcomes: Each student will give an oral presentation on the research learning outcomes and findings of the research they have conducted as part of a research project under the supervison of their research supervisor.
  • Research report: This assessment will be a detailed report on the research project that you have been engaged in and a written analysis of the findings of the research you conducted under the supervison of your research supervisor. The paper will have a major focus on the findings derived from your research but will also include a summary of the aims and inquiry of the research, an explanation of the theoretical basis of the research, and a discussion of how the literature review contributed to the development and analysis of the project.

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 04 Assessment preparation seminar Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 08 Presentation and report workshop Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 13 Individual student presentations Seminar (3 hr)  

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

Check Canvas Modules for required readings for each seminar.

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. select, justify and apply quantitative and/or qualitative research methods most appropriate to answering a specific research question in social work practice
  • LO2. demonstrate project management and time management skills
  • LO3. further develop competence in identifying and appropriately responding to ethical issues encountered in social work research
  • LO4. develop writing, editing and drafting skills for the purpose of producing a research report
  • LO5. present and defend the findings of a research project
  • LO6. contribute to debates on social, political, ethical, technical and practical issues surrounding social work research.

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
As this unit is now online and is not being held in conjunction with other on campus units the students will not face the same issues raised in the student survey. The other issue raise will be addressed through spending more time on developing a good dissertation.

Thes submission date for the dissertation will be extended, as yet that date has not bee finalised.

Work, health and safety

The unit will be delivered online except for the studetn presetnation if it is allowable for students to be back on campus in week 14.


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