Course Title: Contemporary Themes in Professional Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Contemporary Themes in Professional Practice

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Christina David

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3137

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 7, Room 14

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces contemporary critical debates in professional social work practice. You will explore debates about the changing relationship between the state and citizens, the ways in which global and international events inform and constrain local possibilities in practice, service system reform and changing funding mechanisms, the potential role(s) of social workers in future service delivery formations, and the future of critical approaches in contemporary practice. Through analysing a series of case studies that reflect these contemporary debates you will consider and critique different perspectives on social change, and evaluate service system reforms in light of fundamental social work values of social justice, human rights and empowerment.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes:

  • Critically analyse theories informing social work practice and the contemporary policy context to develop an evidence base for ethical professional practice
  • Apply sophisticated oral and written communication skills to present complex information to individuals, organisations and professional and non-professional communities in accessible and culturally appropriate ways
  • Theorise and develop interventions that address the social structural and political levels through which poverty and inequality are generated and critically assess policies and programs developed to address disadvantage
  • Apply critical analytic problem solving skills to develop innovative and creative policy and practice responses to contemporary social problems and to promote the fundamental social, economic and cultural rights of individuals, families, groups and communities

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):

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

  1. Analyse and communicate changes occurring in service provision, identifying the factors and forces driving change
  2. Critically assess the impact of the changes in service delivery on service users to develop an evidence base for ethical professional practice
  3. Appraise and situate service provision reform agendas in the context of social work values and theories
  4. Compare and contrast current social work practices with those emerging in the context of service system reform

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning involving a range of activities that are face to face and online such as lectures, tutorials, group and class discussion, group activities and individual research.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through online systems.
A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of our own learning.

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 may include reports, projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice.
  • 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:

There are three assessments as follows:

Assessment 1: Case study analysis (50%) CLOs 1,2,3,4

Assessment 2: Presentation (10%) CLOs 1,2,3,4

Assessment 3: Essay (40%) CLOs 1,2,3,4