Course Title: Social Work Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Social Work Practice

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
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,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020

Course Coordinator: Angelika Papadopoulos

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 39925 2328

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite course HWSS2090 History and Trends in Social Work before you commence this 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 is designed to introduce you to the basic skills of social work practice. You will have the opportunity to develop confidence and skills in many basic social work tasks. You will gain an understanding of the micro-skills used in interviewing, and develop skills for engaging with others and to critically reflect on your own social work practice. You will be given an opportunity to learn and practice the skills needed to actively listen to what is being said, while being aware of and appreciating difference.

You will also be introduced to a theoretical framework for gathering information and engaging in practice that recognises social disadvantage, oppression and its manifestation in attitudes such as ‘blaming the victim’.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Describe and practice essential elements of good communication.
  • Apply micro-skills associated with the social work interview, including: engagement, building rapport, developing empathy through active listening, sensitive and reflective questioning and use of various questioning techniques, assessment, goal setting and teamwork.
  • Identify, describe and demonstrate a greater understanding and application of critical self-reflection.
  • Conduct basic assessments and interventions that demonstrate awareness of structural and social contexts of clients situations.
  • Identify the social work skills relevant when working with a diversity of service users in different contexts including: advocacy, conflict management, engaging with involuntary service users and termination of intervention.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the AASW Code of Ethics and a commitment to ethical practice and how these are applied to the Practice Standards.

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 working in small groups, contributing to large group discussion and role plays. There will be extensive use of role plays and experiential learning designed to encourage you to actively engage with the skills, clarify personal values and viewpoints and un-pack the issues presented. This is a practice skills course and you are expected to attend both the lectures and workshops in order to develop your practice skills.


Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. There will be digitised readings and forms available for each week on the blackboard and you may be required to use a set text. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. The University Library has extensive resources for social work students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies.

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 reflective papers and a role play
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: