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SWSP2023 Professional Practice 2

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

Unit Description

Critical refection is integral to social work practice because it allows you to identify and ultimately challenge dominant power relations. It facilitates practitioners’ own personal reflection and agency to respond to life’s challenges. Linked to critical theories this practice-based unit explores how internalised dialogue has been constructed and can therefore be deconstructed to improve practice judgements, strategies and outcomes. Student will use role plays, video work to practice skills and reflect on their usefulness from a strength-based, ‘person in context’ approach.

Unit Workload

The workload for this unit is nine hours per week. This includes twelve weeks of three hours of class time on Zoom. One hour will be didactive material delivered in lecture format. Two hours will be interactive class time, for discussion of the lecture, readings, assessments and class activities. Material will be available in the online class space. In addition to the 3 hours of class time, students are expected to engage in 6 hours of private study per week.


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.


Recommended Texts

  • Fook, J., & Gardner, F. (2007). Practising critical reflection: A resource handbook. New York, NY: Open University Press.
  • Pease, B., Goldingay, S., Hoskin, N., Niperess, S. (Eds.) (2016). Doing Critical Social Work: Transformative Practices for Social Justice. Crows Nest, Australia: Alen & Unwin. 

Recommended Readings

  • Healy, K. (2012). Policy Practice. In Social work methods and skills: The essential foundations of practice (pp 202-229). NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Rutter, L., & Brown, K. (2015). Critical thinking & professional judgement in social work (4th ed.). London, England: Learning Matters.
  • Noble, C., Gray, M., & Johnston, L., (2016). Critical Supervision for the Human Services: A model to Promote Learning and Value-Based Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • O’Hara, A., & Pocket, R. (2011). Skills for human service work: Working with individuals, groups and communities. Sydney, Australia: Oxford University Press.
  • Ottmann, G. (2009). Democracy in the Making: Municipal Reforms, Civil Society, and the Brazilian Workers’ Party. Haupaugge, N.Y.: Nova Science 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 the Academic Misconduct Policy for full details.


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.