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SWSP4013 Field Education 2

Level: Bachelor
Credit Points: 18
Prerequisites: SWSP2013
Mode(s) of delivery: Online
Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

All Field Education units include 500 hours of supervised practice in a social service agency. Opportunities to integrate theory with practice will inform these practice-based units. These units introduce students to the real world of practice. Students will be placed in agencies where they have the opportunity to utilise the skills developed in the practice units, such as engagement, assessment, and intervention with individuals, families, and small groups. Students are expected to develop practices that take account of the socio-economic structure of people’s lives as well as their psychosocial situation, to gain an understanding of the policy and organisational context of direct practice, and to explore the application of relevant theory and knowledge in the field of practice where they are placed. 

Field Education 2

The final placement serves three purposes: firstly, it provides students with an opportunity to build on and extend the professional knowledge and skills acquired on the first placement and to apply and 'test out' subsequent theoretical and critical skills learned; Secondly, student are challenged further to allow for greater depth of learning. Finally, the second placement offers students a contrasting practice setting, allowing them to transfer their learning across client populations, problem circumstances and organisational environments. This process facilitates the development of professional identity based on an understanding of the 'universals' of practice.

Placement opportunities for the second placement in addition to direct practice placements, students can undertake a research, community development or policy placement, where they will have the opportunity to undertake a project of some kind. 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 seminars designed to facilitate the integration of theory and practice during students’ placement support their learning experience. 

Unit Workload

Integrative Seminar: The unit includes five weeks of 2 hours of class time. 

Integrative seminars are designed to facilitate the integration of theory and practice during students’ placement and to support their learning experience.

This time will be used for interactions with students to facilitate discussion of field education unit materials and assessments, readings, presentations and group activities.

Course material will be available in the online class space.

In addition to the seminars, students are expected to engage in 4-5 hours of private study per week including completing the required reading tasks, completing a Field Education Journal and developing a reference list of relevant literature and research.

vant literature and research.

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 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.


Recommended Texts

Cleak, H., & Wilson, J. (2019). Making the most of field placements. (4th ed.).  Cengage Learning.

Noble, C., Gray, M. & Johnston, L. (2016), Critical supervision for the human services: A social model to promote learning and value-based practice.  Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

ACAP, School of Social Work, (2016). Field Education Manual.

Recommended Readings

Giles, R., Irwin, J., Lynch, D., & Waugh, F. (2010). In the field: From learning to practice. Oxford University Press.

Beddoe, L., & Maidment, J. (2009). Mapping knowledge for social work practice: Critical intersections. Cengage.

  • Note: These books are excellent reference texts for preparing for your placement and supporting you and your learning throughout the process. They are also excellent resources for your supervisor and for use and reference in your supervision sessions and importantly, for when you become a supervisor.  

Other readings to be provided by the educator.


  • 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.