SWSP6103 Field Education 2

Level: Master
Credit Points: Eighteen
Prerequisites: SWSP6053
Mode(s) of delivery: On-campus (Sydney)
Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

This unit includes 500 hours of supervised practice in a social service agency. Opportunities to integrate theory with practice will inform this practice-based unit. In addition to (different) direct service placements, students can now undertake a research, community development or policy placement, where they will have opportunity to undertake a project of some kind. This placement will be supported by the integration seminar designed to facilitate the integration of theory and practice during their learning experience. Further placement options include: local government, local councils and federal electorates, university, trade unions, community health centres, neighbourhood houses, neighbourhood renewal programs, and with special research projects.

Integrative Seminar: This unit of study is designed to help students integrate theory and practice while on placement. This unit will provide a supportive environment for students to discuss personal and professional issues about their developing roles as social workers and encourage students to bring to the classroom, learning opportunities from their placement to share with others.

Peer Support: Two peer support groups will be organised for students on placement either face-to-face or on campus.

A Field Education Manual with detailed information on the School of Social Work’s processes, procedures, polices and requirements is made available to current students via the Student Lounge.

Unit Workload

The workload for this unit is 500 hours, which includes 12 hours of practice-theory integration class.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate knowledge relevant to the placement context, organisational structure and function, and the role of social work within this context.
  2. Apply conceptual skills in relating theory to practice.
  3. Work independently and demonstrate initiative.
  4. Recognise the ways in which their values influence responses to particular practice situations.
  5. Identify the ways in which the interests and values of dominant groups determine the definition of, and responses to, service user needs.
  6. Demonstrate specific skills in relation to the particular emphasis of specific placements, i.e. communication skills, writing skills, recording and evaluation skills and organisational and planning skills.
  7. Know how and when to use consultation and supervision.
  8. Demonstrate an emerging capacity for critical reflective practice.
  9. Demonstrate a practice-based awareness of the issues of consumers' service and resource networks associated with their placement agency's functions.
  10. Continually assess the process of intervention in the light of personal and agency ideology and social work values.

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

Placement Portfolio


4,500 words

2 weeks after placement



Recommended Texts

  • Giles, R., Irwin, J., Lynch, D., & Waugh, F. (2010). In the field: From learning to practice. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
  • Social Work Field Education Manual (available from the Student Lounge)

Recommended Readings

  • Beddoe, L., & Maidment, J. (2009). Mapping knowledge for social work practice: Critical intersections. South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia.
  • Chung, R., & Benak, F. (2012). Social justice counselling: The next step beyond multiculturalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Cleak, H., & Wilson, J. (2013). Making the most of field placements (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia.
  • Doel, M., Shardlow, S., & Johnson, P. (2011). Contemporary field social work: Integrating field and classroom. 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.
  • 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.
  • Lister, P. (2012). Integrating social work theory and skills: A practical skills guide. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Maidment, J., & Egan, R. (2009). Practice skills in social work and welfare: More than just common sense. Crows Nest, 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.
  • Noble, C., & Henrickson, M. (Eds.) (2011). Social work field education and supervision across Asia Pacific. Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • 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.
  • Trevithick, P. (2005). Social work skills: A practice handbook (2nd ed.).  Buckingham, England: Open University Press.
  • Wonnacott, J. (2012). Mastering social work supervision. London, England: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.


  • 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.