SWSP3023 Professional Practice 3

Level: Bachelor
Credit Points: Six
Prerequisites: SWSP1023; Successful completion of a minimum of four Level 200 units
Mode(s) of delivery: On-campus (Sydney)
Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

This experiential unit explores in more depth practice skills that focus on change at the socio-politico-cultural level as well as individually, especially communication skills that require a sensitivity and dialogue underpinned by concerns for social justice and non-discriminatory outcomes. Attention is also given to anti-discriminatory and non-oppressive practices, skills, and language and to working effectively with difference and towards emancipatory outcomes for all client groups.

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. Demonstrate critical reflection, strength-based and solution-focused practices for use with client groups.
  2. Demonstrate advanced skills in mediation, conflict resolution, advocacy and effective decision-making for use in practice.
  3. Demonstrate ethical maturity in all interventions with client groups and colleagues.
  4. Explore more innovative socio-political and cultural interventions with clients, staff, supervisors and managers.
  5. Reflect and respond on current ideological shifts about notions of care, professional helping and use and abuse of the role of the professional.
  6. Reflect on and respond to public and policy interventions and power discourses that impact on the role of workers and their clients.

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 Text

  • Baines, D. (Ed.) (2011). Doing anti-oppressive practice: Social justice social work (2nd ed.). Halifax, Canada: Fernwood.

Recommended Readings

  • Beddoe, L., & Maidment, J. (2009). Mapping knowledge for social work practice: Critical intersections. Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning.
  • 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.
  • Gray, M., & Webb, S. (Eds.) (2013). The new politics of social work. London, England: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Healy, K. (2012). Social work methods and skills: The essential foundations of practice. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Ife, J. (2012). Human rights and social work: Towards rights-based practice (3rd ed.). Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.
  • Jandt, F. (2013). An introduction to intercultural communication: Identities in a global community. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Knapp, M., & Daly, J. (Eds.). (2012). The SAGE book of interpersonal communication. London, England: 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. (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.
  • 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. (2006). Social work skills: A practice handbook (2nd ed.). Berkshire, England: Open University Press. 


  • 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.