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Unit outline_

SCWK5007: Social Perspectives on Ageing

Semester 2b, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study aims to collapse the boundaries between 'them' (old people) and 'us' (everyone else) by examining how age is historically and socially constructed and experienced. The unit will examine social policies and social work practices and skills in relation to old people, their families and communities, with particular emphasis on diversity and inequality.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Social Work
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Ruth Phillips,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation hurdle task group assignment Group presentation
Group Oral presentation and handout
40% Week 10
Due date: 06 Nov 2020 at 10:00

Closing date: 06 Nov 2020
2000 words, 20 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment hurdle task Social work and ageing
60% Week 12
Due date: 16 Nov 2020 at 23:59
4000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Group presentation: Form a group of 4 (minimum) or 5 in class in the first week of the unit of study. Choose a project that you want to pursue in the field of age and ageing.
  • Essay: social work and ageing: Drawing on contemporary research on ageing and theories covered in this unit of study, this essay will be a discussion of or response to one of the given statements/questions.
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 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 05 1. Introduction to the unit of study; 2. Why study age and ageing?; 3. Emancipatory social work with older people; 4. Ageing & ageism Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Seminar 1 Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 06 1. Theories of ageing; 2. Hospital social work with older people; 3. Work productivity and retirement; 4. Aged care reform Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Seminar 2 Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 07 1. The rights of older persons; 2. Dementia; 3. Engaging and supporting older people in the community; 4. Hoarding and squalor Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Seminar 3 Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 08 1. The place and role of elders in Aboriginal communities; 2. Older people of CALD background; 3. End of life; 4. Palliative care social work Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Seminar 4 Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 09 1. LGBTQI older persons; 2. Ageing in correctional & forensic contexts; 3. Social work and navigating risk; 4. Decision making in older age Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Seminar 5 Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 1. Older and and Living with a Disability. 2. Mental Health and Ageing, 3. End of Ageing Seminar (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Group Presentations Seminar (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

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

There will be more 'live lectures' although as the entire unit will be online this year there are not the same issues raised for last year.

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.