Social Work Field Education Placements
The Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course stipulates two placements totalling 1,000 hours must be undertaken. These placements are split into Field Education 1 (500 hours) and Field Education 2 (500 hours).
In the standard sequence, placements will be completed in T3 (Year 1) and T6 (Year 2). Planning for Field Education begins in the trimester prior to your placement. A total of 28 hours of practice-theory integration seminars are included in the 1,000 hours across both placements, taught fortnightly. These seminars are designed to facilitate the integration of theory and practice during the students’ learning experience.
These placements introduce students to the real world of practice. Students will be placed in agencies where they get the opportunity to utilise the skills developed in studying social work theory and practice. Students are expected to develop practices that take account of the socio-economic structure of people’s lives as well as their psychosocial situations, 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 relevant fields of practice.
Field Education 1 (FE1)
The first placement introduces students to human services agencies and social work fields of practice. This is when the student immerses in the full integration of theory and practice applying the knowledge and skills learned in class. It is in this unit that the student commences experiencing themselves as emerging social work professionals. Students are mentored, supervised and supported to reflect critically upon their practice as well as their personal assumptions and beliefs.
Placement opportunities for the first placement include agencies and human service agencies, such as family and children’s services, local community centres, community health centres, crisis support and/or accommodation services, hospitals, housing services, mental health services, and large and small government and NGOs.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for Field Education 1 may be available on application. Please refer to the relevant section in the Field Education Manual.
Field Education 2 (FE2)
The second and 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, students 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 a professional identity based on an understanding of the ‘universals’ of practice.
Placement opportunities for the second placement include further options, such as local, state and federal governments, schools and universities, social enterprise and community development projects, and indirect practice opportunities such as research, advocacy and policy development.
For further information please contact [email protected].
Please remember that Field Education is a subject that is broader than your placements. The pre-placement tasks, assessments and your interactions with key people involved in the placements are all part of demonstrating your professional readiness for practice. Your patience, courtesy and respectful interactions are noticed and appreciated.