Social Work

The course is designed to allow social work practitioners to reflect on and formulate their practice; read about and appraise alternative practices and theories; and assess their work problems and clients' needs in new ways.

The aim is to evaluate existing practice and provision critically, with a view to promoting change and improvement in services offered and outcomes effected in the lives and situations of clients. It offers opportunities for the analysis and investigation of theories and initiatives in social policy and their impact.

Outcomes

The coursework program has a strong focus on critical reflection on practice, research skills and theory development. At the conclusion of this designated degree students should be able to:

  • examine and develop their practice
  • critically evaluate existing practice and provision
  • study and appraise alternative practices and theories
  • investigate initiatives in social policy and their impact
  • apply new knowledge and create new knowledge for practice and social provision
  • become familiar with practice research, and
  • assess their workplace and citizen needs in new ways.

Master of Social Work

To qualify for the award of Master of Social Work, candidates must complete 8 units of study (48 credit points), including:

  • 2 units of study (12 credit points) of core units; and
  • a minimum of 1 unit (6 credit points) of capstone units; plus
  • a minimum of 4 units (24 credit points) of elective units to be chosen from the units of study table below.

Capstone Experience

A capstone unit is completed in the last semester of the award course. It provides an opportunity to integrate ideas and understandings drawn from units of study taken in the course. The capstone is a compulsory requirement and is undertaken by completing an Authorised Independent Study and Report or a dissertation with an upper limit of 12,000 words.

Students who intend on undertaking a higher degree by research (MPhil, PhD, or Doctor of Social Work) in future should enrol in the Dissertation option (please note that entry requirements apply for this unit of study – consult your course coodinator for further details).

Graduate Diploma in Social Work

To qualify for the award of Graduate Diploma in Social Work, candidates must complete 6 units of study (36 credit points), including

  • 2 units of study (12 credit points) of core units; and
  • 4 units (24 credit points) of elective units to be chosen from the units of study table below.

Course convenor

Dr Susan Heward-Belle
T 02 9351 6888
Room 736, Education Building, A35
E

Units of study table

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session

Social Work

Core Units

SCWK6902
Social Research
6      Semester 1
Semester 2
SCWK6943
Practice Theory Development
6      Semester 2

Elective Units

SCWK6910
Working with Communities
6      Semester 2
SCWK6917
Practice Development
6      Semester 1
Semester 2
SCWK6944
Dying, Death and Mourning
6      Semester 1
SCWK6948
Social Policy Frameworks
6      Semester 1
SCWK6949
Global Social Policy
6      Semester 2
EDPK5003
Developing a Research Project
6      Semester 1
Semester 2

Capstone units

SCWK6908
Authorised Independent Study and Report
6      Semester 1
Semester 2
EDPZ6724
Dissertation Part 1
6    C EDPZ6725

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 1
Semester 2
EDPZ6725
Dissertation Part 2
6    P EDPZ6724
Semester 1
Semester 2
EDPZ6720
Dissertation
12   
Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 1
Semester 2

Units of study listing

Social Work

Core Units

SCWK6902 Social Research

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Margot Rawsthorne Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x2000wd Ethics essay (30%); 1x1000wd blog posting (20%); and 1x3000wd research proposal (50% )
This unit of study introduces students to a range of research methods and focus on quantitative and qualitative methods. Many other research issues in developing a research proposal will be addressed through the semester. It is intended that, at the conclusion of this unit, students will have developed a research project able to implement through either further study or in workplaces.
SCWK6943 Practice Theory Development

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Susan Heward-Belle Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: presentation (30%); essay (55%) and participation statement (15%)
This unit aims to provide students with a sound understanding of a range of theorewill have the opportunity to examine current practices and practice theories in light of competing ideas espoused and employed in social work and community services. This unit will take an interdisciplinary approach to professional practice issues. It aims for the development of knowledge for reflective practice in contemporary sites of social work and community services endeavours.

Elective Units

SCWK6910 Working with Communities

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Margot Rawsthorne Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 2x250wd blog postings (35%); 1x4000wd practice essay (45%); and class participation (20%)
Working with communities is a key policy and practice priority for government and non-government agencies in Australia. This unit will critically examine the current policy frameworks informing work with communities as well as current practice models of community development and community engagement. The unit seeks to explore the why and how of work with communities. It will draw on an emerging Australian body of research about working with communities based in the community of Glebe. This unit is suitable for practitioners seeking to work more effectively with communities.
SCWK6917 Practice Development

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Joanne Clarke Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: independent study - meet with supervisor 3 times Assessment: 1x2000wd proposal (40%) and 1x4000wd research essay (60%)
This unit of study is designed to provide students with the opportunity to undertake in-depth, guided study with a supervisor. It provides students with the opportunity to explore a specific practice issue such as working with women experiencing violence or effective policy advocacy in-depth. Students must initially develop a short proposal and discuss this with the unit coordinator. A suitable supervisor will then be appointed to work intensively with students. This unit provides students with flexibility, enabling them to tailor study around practice issues of interest. Field based learning can be arranged for students enrolled in this unit.
SCWK6944 Dying, Death and Mourning

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Lindsey Napier Session: Semester 1 Classes: on-line Assessment: 6x500wd postings (30%) and participation (10%) and 1x3000wd essay (60%)
The purpose of this unit of study is to introduce students to the various, often competing discourses both constituting and challenging notions of self around death, dying and mourning. An important focus is sociological approaches to these issues as they reflect broader cultural understanding of such issues as community relations and continuity, sex and sexuality, disease, stigma and social control. This unit is also available as a single unit of study to professionals who wish to undertake this as a stand-alone unit.
SCWK6948 Social Policy Frameworks

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Sue Goodwin Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2hr seminar/week - evening Assessment: 1x2000wd essay proposal and presentation (40%); 1x4000wd major essay (60%)
This unit aims to provide students with a sound understanding of the key institutional components of the Australian welfare system and the key issues and debates associated with the theory and practice of contemporary social policy. The target audience for this unit includes participants from a diverse range of organisations involved in human service provision. All human service work takes place in the context of social policy: social policy provides the mandate and the resources for human service work, and the activities of workers are extensively defined and shaped by social policy. In turn, human service workers are increasingly involved in the shaping of policy, or policy action. The rationale for this unit is to provide an opportunity for students to develop an advanced understanding of social policy frameworks in order to inform policy action.
SCWK6949 Global Social Policy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Ruth Phillips Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2hr seminar/week - evening Assessment: tutorial presentation and paper (40%); global social policy research exercise (60%)
There is a well-established scholarship and governmental interest in both the impact of globalisation on social policy and the emergence of what is increasingly termed 'global social policy' which is a direct response to global social problems. It is a field that is growing in the areas of social policy and social work research and practice and can be clearly linked to increased employment opportunities for social workers and social policy graduates in the international/global arena. A key perspective of this unit of study is from non-government organisations' participation in the development of a global civil society and their contribution to global social policy. It also examines the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and how NGOs have contributed to both the ambitions of the goals as well as the outcomes for different countries. This unit provides opportunities for students to deepen their understanding and knowledge of core global concerns such as poverty, health, education, environment, NGO corporate engagement and gender equality and make links to the vital role of NGOs in these areas.
EDPK5003 Developing a Research Project

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Rachel Wilson Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 3x4.5 hr Saturday workshops, plus online lectures and activities Assessment: online exercises (40%) and class presentation (20%) and research proposal (40%)
This core unit is seen as the foundation unit in research methods and it provides an overview of the research process, with a focus on critical evaluation of research reports and the design of research projects. It covers a wide range of basic research techniques and introduces other research methods that are the focus of more in-depth study in other search methods units. Research design issues and various methods of data collection examined. Students explore the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches; various research strategies; observation, documents, questionnaires and assessments. The assessment in this unit is developed around students' own research interests and by the end of the unit students will have developed their own research proposal document.

Capstone units

SCWK6908 Authorised Independent Study and Report

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Margaret Spencer Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: independent study - meet with supervisor 3 times Assessment: 1x1000wd proposal (20%) and 1x5000wd research essay (80%)
This unit of study is designed to provide students with the opportunity to integrate their learning over their degree working with a supervisor. This unit forms the capstone for social work masters level students. Students must initially develop a short proposal and discuss this with the unit coordinator, who will organise a suitable supervisor. It must be taken in the final semester of study.
EDPZ6724 Dissertation Part 1

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr David Hirsh Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: several meetings/discussions with supervisor Corequisites: EDPZ6725 Assessment: satisfactory progress during semester; students then must enrol in EDPZ6725 Dissertation Part 2 the following semester.
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
The Dissertation is a piece of academic writing of approximately 12,000 words and represents a substantial original work. The Dissertation serves two different purposes in a student's progress through a Masters degree program, being a way for a student to study an area of interest in depth, or as a path to further research. Students seeking progress into a research higher degree, such as a doctoral program, are required to complete an empirical study, drawing on primary data. Note that for direct entry into a doctoral degree, an average of at least 80% across the Masters degree is needed. Students not intending to progress to a higher research degree may choose from a range of types of study. The Dissertation must incorporate an appropriate form of critical analysis and have as its basis a clearly structured conceptual framework. It is recommended that students complete a Research Methods unit of study prior to undertaking the Dissertation, which will support the proposal development. This unit is part one of the Dissertation which runs over two semesters; therefore, students must also enroll in EDPZ6725 Dissertation Part 2 in the following semester.
EDPZ6725 Dissertation Part 2

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr David Hirsh Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: several meetings/discussions with supervisor Prerequisites: EDPZ6724 Assessment: 1x12000wd report (100%)
The Dissertation is a piece of academic writing of approximately 12,000 words and represents a substantial original work. The Dissertation serves two different purposes in a student's progress through a Masters degree program, being a way for a student to study an area of interest in depth, or as a path to further research. Students seeking progress into a research higher degree, such as a doctoral program, are required to complete an empirical study, drawing on primary data. Note that for direct entry into a doctoral degree, an average of at least 80% across the Masters degree is needed. Students not intending to progress to a higher research degree may choose from a range of types of study. The Dissertation must incorporate an appropriate form of critical analysis and have as its basis a clearly structured conceptual framework. It is recommended that students complete a Research Methods unit of study prior to undertaking the Dissertation, which will support the proposal development. This unit is part two of the Dissertation which runs over two semester; therefore, students must have also enrolled in EDPZ6724 Dissertation Part 1 in the previous semester.
EDPZ6720 Dissertation

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr David Hirsh Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: several meetings/discussions with supervisor. Assessment: 1x12000wd report (100%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
The Dissertation is a piece of academic writing of approximately 12,000 words and represents a substantial original work. The Dissertation serves two different purposes in a student's progress through a Masters degree program, being a way for a student to study an area of interest in depth, or as a path to further research. Students seeking progress into a research higher degree, such as a doctoral program, are required to complete an empirical study, drawing on primary data. Note that for direct entry into a doctoral degree, an average of at least 80% across the Masters degree is needed. Students not intending to progress to a higher research degree may choose from a range of types of study. The Dissertation must incorporate an appropriate form of critical analysis and have as its basis a clearly structured conceptual framework. It is recommended that students complete a Research Method unit of study prior to undertaking the Dissertation, which will support the proposal development.

 

Master of Social Work

Graduate Diploma in Social Work


These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2000 (the 'Coursework Rule'), the Resolutions of the Faculty, the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended) and the Academic Board policies on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.

Course resolutions

1 Course codes

Code

Course title

MASOCWRK-04

Master of Social Work

GNSOCWRK-01

Graduate Diploma in Social Work

 

2 Attendance pattern

The attendance pattern for these courses is full time or part time according to candidate choice.

3 Master's type

The master's degree in these resolutions is a professional master's course, as defined by the Coursework Rule.

4 Embedded courses in this sequence

(1)
The embedded courses in this sequence are:
(a)
the Graduate Diploma in Social Work
(b)
the Master of Social Work
(2)
Providing candidates satisfy the admission requirements for each stage, a candidate may progress to the award of any of the courses in this sequence. Only the longest award completed will be conferred.

5 Admission to candidature

(1)
Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit, according to the following admissions criteria. In exceptional circumstances the Dean may admit applicants without these qualifications who, in the opinion of the faculty, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.
(2)
Admission to candidature for the Graduate Diploma in Social Work requires:
(a)
the Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Sydney, or equivalent qualification recognised by the Australian Association of Social Workers; and
(b)
evidence of at least one year's full-time employment in Social Work.
(3)
Admission to candidature for the Master of Social Work requires:
(a)
completion of the embedded Graduate Diploma in Social Work, or equivalent qualification; or
(b)
both the four year Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Sydney, or equivalent qualification recognised by the Australian Association of Social Workers; and
(c)
evidence of at least one year's full-time employment in Social Work.

6 Requirements for award

(1)
The units of study that may be taken for the courses are set out in the Graduate Diploma in Social Work and Master of Social Work Table of Units of Study.
(2)
To qualify for the award of the Graduate Diploma in Social Work a candidate must complete 36 credit points, comprising:
(a)
12 credit points of core units of study listed in the Social Work Units of Study Table; and
(b)
24 credit points of elective units of study to be chosen from the Social Work Units of Study Table.
(3)
To qualify for the award of the Master of Social Work a candidate must complete 48 credit points, comprising:
(a)
12 credit points of core units of study listed in the Social Work Units of Study Table;
(b)
a maximum of 12 credit points of capstone units of study from the Social Work Units of Study Table; and
(c)
a minimum of 24 credit points of elective units of study to be chosen from the Social Work Units of Study Table.

7 Course transfer

A candidate for the master's degree may elect to discontinue study and graduate with a shorter award from this embedded sequence, with the approval of the Dean, and provided the requirements of the shorter award have been met.

8 Transitional provisions

(1)
These resolutions apply to students who commenced their candidature after 1 January, 2015 and students who commenced their candidature prior to 1 January, 2015 who elect to proceed under these resolutions.
(2)
Candidates who commenced prior to 1 January, 2015 may complete the requirements in accordance with the resolutions in force at the time of their commencement, provided that the requirements are completed by 1 January, 2020 and provided that there is no suspension of candidature, in which case the candidature for any period shall proceed under the by-laws and resolutions in force at the time of re-enrolment. The Faculty may specify a later date for completion or specify alternative requirements for completion of candidatures that extend beyond this time.