SWSP2023 Professional Practice 2

Level: Bachelor
Credit Points: Six
Prerequisites: Successful completion of a minimum of four Level 100 units
Mode(s) of delivery: On-campus (Sydney)
Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

Critical refection is integral to critical theories and practices because it challenges dominant power relations and emphasises practitioners' own personal reflection and agency to respond to life’s challenges. Linked to SWSP1013 Social Work Theories and SWSP2003 Critical Social Work Theories this practice-based unit explores how internalised dialogue has been constructed and can therefore be deconstructed to improve practice judgements, strategies and outcomes. Students will use role plays and video work to practice skills and reflect on their usefulness.

Unit Workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week. This includes timetabled class time and private study time.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the relationship of critical reflection to critical theories and practices.
  2. Explore the differences between reflection and reflexivity to improve practice.
  3. Use critical reflection as a theory and tool to inform practice decisions and professional interventions.
  4. Use reflective practices to explore personal and structural context.
  5. Reflect on their own personal assumptions and role as practitioner.
  6. Use reflective and reflexive practice to integrate theory, values, and ethics in professional practice.

Learning and Teaching Approach

  1. Learning is an active process – which involves both questioning and challenging.
  2. Learning is a shared process – where others’ thoughts and ideas are presented, critically analysed, exchanged and respected.
  3. Learning is a collaborative and empowering process for self and others.
  4. Learning is thoughtful and reflective.
  5. Learning requires integration with prior knowledge and other arenas of knowledge development in the program.
  6. Preparation for lectures and seminars and reading the recommended texts and references is essential.

The content of this unit has been designed to maximise both online and face-to-face learning to integrate the subject matter.

Students are expected to:

  • Complete all activities
  • Complete readings
  • Complete all assessments
  • Attend all classes

It is also recommended that students:

  • Keep a record of new terminology that is introduced in this unit
  • Keep a copy of assessments and other correspondence
  • Make notes on unit content and readings

There will be learning activities linked to all lecture materials which are designed to encourage students to deliberate and reflect and to provide opportunities for further learning. The activities are designed to help students think through and practise the specific skills and general concepts presented in this unit as well as provide valuable learning opportunities.

Assessment Summary



Word Count

Week Assessed

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Critical Reflection Exercise and Summary


250 words


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Case Study Review and Analysis


2,000 words


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Reflective Journal


1,500 words


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Recommended Texts

  • Brown, K. (2006). Critical thinking for social work. Exeter, England: Learning Matters.
  • Fook, J., & Gardner, F. (2007). Practising critical reflection: A resource handbook. New York, NY: Open University Press.

Recommended Readings

  • Bolton, G. (2005). Reflective practice: Writing and professional development. London, England: SAGE Publications.
  • Chung, R., & Benak, F. (2012). Social justice counselling: The next step beyond multiculturalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Fejo-King, C. (2013). Let’s talk kinship: Innovating Australian social work education, theory, research and practice through Aboriginal knowledge. Torrens, Australia: Christine Fejo-King Consulting.
  • Gambrill, E. (2013). Social work practice: A critical thinker’s guide (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Giles, R., Irwin, J., Lynch, D., & Waugh, F. (2010). In the field: From learning to practice. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
  • Healy, K. (2012). Social work methods and skills: The essential foundations of practice. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Jandt, F. (2013). An introduction to intercultural communication: Identities in a global community. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Koprowska, J. (2010). Communication and interpersonal skills in social work. Exeter, England: Learning Matters.
  • Lindsay, T., & Orton, S. (2014). Group work practice in social work (3rd ed.). Exeter, England: Learning Matters.
  • Ling, H. K., Martin, J., & Ow, R. (Eds.) (2014). Cross-cultural social work: Local and global. South Yarra, Australia: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Maidment, J., & Egan, R. (Eds.) (2009). Practice skills in social work and welfare. Melbourne, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
  • Muller, L. (2014). A theory for Indigenous Australian health and human service work: Connecting Indigenous knowledge and practice. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
  • Nikku, B. R., & Hatta, Z. A. (Eds.) (2014). Social work education and practice: Scholarship and innovations in the Asia Pacific. Brisbane, Australia: The Primrose Hall Publishing Group.
  • O’Hara, A., & Pocket, R. (2011). Skills for human service work: Working with individuals,groups and communities. Sydney, Australia: Oxford University Press.
  • Shulman, L. (2009). The skills of helping individual, families, groups and communities (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
  • Smith, S. (Ed.) (2007). Applying theory to policy and practice: Issues for critical reflection. London, England: Ashgate Publishing.


  • Australian Social Work
  • ADVANCES: Journal of Social Work and Welfare Education
  • Australian Journal of Social Issues
  • Critical Social Work
  • Journal of Social Work Education (USA)
  • Journal of Social Work (UK)

Academic Misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to http://currentstudents.acap.edu.au/assets/Managing-My-Course/A-Z-Policies/Academic-Misconduct-Policy.pdf for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the trimester. For a list of required textbooks for the upcoming trimester, please click here.