Course Title: Ethics and Reflexive Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Ethics and Reflexive Practice

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Sonia Martin

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3483

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.7.14

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite courses HWSS2090 History and Trends in Social Work before you commence this course. In addition, you should undertake Introduction to Social Work Practice HWSS2091 at the same time as this course as it contains areas of knowledge and skills which are implemented together in practice. These is a co-requisite course.

Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course. For your information the RMIT Course Requisites policy can be found at:;ID=twx09y07zi1c

Course Description

This course complements the material covered in History and Trends and Introduction to Social Work. Your understanding of social work practice and of the various roles of the profession will be extended. You will discuss and learn concepts around the human services mandate, professional relationships and the importance of self-care, duty of care and natural justice. You will examine concepts such as confidentiality, freedom of information, boundaries and professional ethics, alongside practical skills such as taking referrals, making assessments, case notes, report writing and record keeping.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and discuss the human services mandate
  • Describe and analyse the professional identity and role of social workers.
  • Describe and evaluate the concepts and practice implications of working within a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Demonstrate practice skills and knowledge needed in order to work responsibly and ethically with and for society’s most vulnerable and marginalized individuals, families, groups and communities, through use of various social work tools and procedures
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the AASW Code of Ethics and how this contributes and guides ethical practice.

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Apply the knowledge and practice skills to work with and for society’s most vulnerable and marginalised individuals, families, groups and communities
  • Analyse issues of social disadvantage, oppression and marginalisation from a socio-political and economic framework recognising the impact of capitalism on social relations
  • Promote social justice and human rights within a global and international perspective
  • Understand the strengths and limits of the state’s policy, legislative and institutional arrangements on the context and practices for addressing social disadvantage
  • Acquire relevant interdisciplinary knowledge required for practice
  • Apply their knowledge and practice skills in a manner that confronts structural disadvantage arising from cultural and religious difference, patriarchy, racism, disability, age and discrimination of the basis of sexual preference.
  • Promote ethical, respectful, accountable and transparent practice processes
  • Participate robustly in contemporary and changing ideological and political debates impacting on society, in an informed, flexible and grounded manner

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities in this course may involve you working in small groups, contributing to large group discussion and participating in role plays. Experiential learning activities are designed to encourage you to actively engage with the practice skills, clarify personal values and viewpoints and explore the issues presented.

Overview of Learning Resources


RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. There will be digitised readings and forms available for each week on the blackboard and you may be required to use a set text.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment tasks may include case study analyses of social work practice issues. Assessment tasks may include examples of professional correspondence and participating, analysing and/or responding to specific scenarios and case studies. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

  • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: