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,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Dr Sharlene Nipperess

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2944

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.10.30

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no pre-requisite or co-requisite courses for this course.

Course Description

Ethics and Reflexive Practice is a core course for the social work and youth work programs and a program elective for students in the social science (psychology) program. The overall goal of the course is to ensure that students have a sound knowledge of ethical issues in human service practice, within a human rights and social justice framework. The content of the course includes an introduction to professional ethics and reflexive practice in the context of settler societies. It includes an examination of the regulation of the professions, codes of ethics, ethical decision-making models and ethical principles in practice. It also includes an exploration of issues of professional integrity, eProfessionalism and self-care. This is an interdisciplinary course so you will study alongside students from a range of human service professions and explore the main tenets of interprofessional and collaborative practice. You will be challenged to explore and reflect on your own personal value positions on a range of sometimes controversial topics in the context of social work, youth work or other human service practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • apply a body of interdisciplinary knowledge, values and skills in working with and for society’s most vulnerable and marginalised individuals, families, groups and communities
  • critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on issues of social disadvantage, marginalisation and oppression in both local and international contexts, and proactively work to promote social justice and human rights
  • demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and practical reasoning when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts
  • communicate using diverse formats and strategies to stakeholders within and external to your discipline
  • work with others in a range of roles and contexts, demonstrating cultural, environmental and social awareness while promoting respectful, ethical and reflective practice
  • apply initiative and ethical judgement in planning, problem solving and decision making in your current and continuing professional practice

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

  • Identify, clarify and articulate your own personal values and social location in the context of professional practice.
  • Describe, demonstrate and critically analyse reflective practice theory and skills in relation to your own future practice.
  • Identify the foundations of ethical thought and the key principles underpinning social work, youth work and other human service practice, including relevant human rights conventions and declarations.
  • Identify the key principles and ethical responsibilities outlined in the relevant code of ethics and apply this understanding to social work, youth work and other human service practice.
  • Identify ethical issues, problems and dilemmas in practice and use an ethical decision-making model to justify practice.
  • Describe the ethical responsibility for self-care and develop your own plan for sustainable self-care.

Overview of Learning Activities

There are a range of learning activities for this course including online lectures, on-campus tutorials and weekly readings.

Overview of Learning Resources

There is a required text for this course that is available for purchase or loan from the library. Details of this text and other key resources are available in the Part B Course Guide attached to this course. 


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:

Task 1: Short essay, 1000 words, 25%, CLO 1, 2

Task 2: Case study analysis, 2000 words, 50%, CLO 3, 4, 5

Task 3: Reflective essay, 1000 Words, 25%, CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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 Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: