Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


SWTP236 Social Work and Community Practice AND SWTP237 Mental Health and Social Work AND SWTP333 Social Work Field Education 1 AND SWTP319 Group Work in Social Work Practice AND SWTP320 Research in Social Work AND SWTP339 Law and Social Work AND SWTP415 Social Policy and Social Work AND SWTP416 Fields of Social Work and Best Practice AND SWTP417 Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Social Work Practice in Organisations

Unit rationale, description and aim

Social work is a distinct discipline and social workers demonstrate their professional identity by applying and integrating social work values, ethics, knowledge and skills in diverse practice contexts. Students undertake a supervised field placement of 500 hours in a human service agency and attend 10 hours of integrative seminars. This final field education unit encourages students to build on knowledge and practice skills gained in Social Work Field Education 1, to strengthen critically reflective practice and to facilitate a strong social work professional identity as graduating social workers. Learning in this unit is informed by the AASW Practice Standards and the AASW Code of Ethics.   

The aim of this unit is that students develop a graduating level of competence in social work practice in an agency setting. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Acquire knowledge on social work practice and service delivery in an organisational setting (GA5, GA6) 

LO2 - Assimilate and demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour appropriate to the practice setting (GA1, GA2, GA5) 

LO3 - Apply knowledge and skills developed in campus-based units and in the placement setting to capably demonstrate AASW professional standards (GA1-10) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, students should have developed their ability to: 

GA1 - Identify as a professional social worker 

GA2 - Sound understanding of and commitment to social work values and ethics to guide social work Practice 

GA3 - Ability to apply social work knowledge and interventions to respond effectively in meeting the needs of individuals, groups and communities in diverse settings, client groups and geographic locations 

GA4 - Ability to apply knowledge of human behaviour and society, as well as the social, cultural, political, legal, economic and global contexts of practice to respond effectively within a human rights and social justice framework 

GA5 - Ability to review, critically analyse and synthesise knowledge and values and apply reflective thinking skills to inform professional judgement and practice 

GA6 - Ability to apply research knowledge and skills to understand, evaluate and use research to inform practice and to develop, execute and disseminate research informed by practice 

GA7 - Demonstration of effective communication and interpersonal skills 

GA8 - Ability to work with diversity and demonstrate respect for cultural difference 

GA9 - Understanding of the importance of and commitment to ongoing professional development. 

AASW Practice Standards

This unit has been mapped to the ACU Graduate Attributes, AASW Graduate Attributes and the AASW Practice Standards. The following table sets out the broad relationship between the Learning Outcomes, ACU Graduate Attributes, AASW Graduate Attributes and the AASW Practice Standards 

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes


1.1 Practice in accordance with the AASW Code of Ethics  

1.2 Manage ethical dilemmas and issues arising in practice 

2.1 Represent the social work profession with integrity and professionalism 

2.2 Behave in a professional manner and be accountable for all actions and decisions 


1.1 Practice in accordance with the Code of Ethics (2010) 

1.2 Manage ethical dilemmas and issues arising in practice 

2.1 Represent the social work profession with integrity and professionalism 

2.2 Behave in a professional manner and be accountable for all actions and decisions 

 3.1 work respectfully and inclusively with cultural differences and diversity 

3.2 respect, strive to understand and promote the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their cultures 

4.1 Understand higher level systemic influences on people with respect to area of practice 

4.2 Understand and articulate social work and other relevant theories and concepts 

4.3 Understand the role of research and evaluation in obtaining and generating new knowledge for practice 

4.4 Understand and articulate how and when theories, knowledge bases and knowledge sources inform practice. 

5.1 conduct an assessment and analysis of needs to inform the services being offered 

5.2 Work collaboratively with relevant people 

5.4 Apply critical and reflective thinking to practice 

6.1 Effectively communicate with a diverse range of people 

6.3 Effectively communicate with others in a team environment 

6.4 Use information technology to communicate and provide services as appropriate 

7.1 record and manage information appropriately 

7.2 Keep and maintain information in accordance with ethical principles and relevant legislation 

8.1 Actively participate in professional supervision 

8.2 Engage in continuing professional development as outlined in the AASW continuing professional development requirements 



Interactive discussions and experience-based learning activities are used to explore students’ placement experiences, with a focus on: 

  • Relating theory and knowledge to practice 
  • Exploring values and ethics in practice 
  • Critical reflection 
  • Building social work identity 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

For this final professional experience unit, learning happens in the 500-hour placement and in the classroom. The main teaching and learning strategies include experiential learning, reflective learning, practice - theory integration and skills development. These are used in the placement setting, and integration of this experience with social work knowledge, values and ethics is facilitated in 10 hours of campus-based integrative seminars. Planned learning goals and strategies for the specific placement are recorded in the Learning Agreement.  



Punctual and full attendance on the placement is an essential requirement for the unit. The attendance requirements are specified in ACU Assessment Policy and are in accordance with the AASW requirements. Attendance at all integrative seminars is expected and an attendance record of all seminars will be kept. For this unit you are required to attend 500 hours of field placement, including at least 80% of all integrative seminars scheduled.  


Reasons why attendance is required 

In integrative seminars, students will be interacting with each other and developing skills used in professional/clinical experience. Students who do not attend are at risk of not developing these essential skills. Attendance is required as part of meeting the AASW requirement to integrate campus learning with field placement learning and skill development. 


Mode: Field education practice in community-based agencies as well as campus-based integrative seminars. 


Duration: Students will participate in the equivalent of 500 hours of supervised field education experience including 10 hours of participation in class seminars.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

Students are assessed on a range of activities that accumulate over the beginning, middle and end of the placement and which reflect developmental and experiential learning principles. These assessments of learning at the beginning, middle and end are designed to identify areas of competence and deficit, as well as strategies for students to address areas of deficit prior to the next assessment point. The tasks that contribute to these assessments comprise a Learning Agreement, Mid Placement Report and Final Placement Report. The mid and end of placement report are structured in line with Australian Association of Social Workers Practice Standards which are reflected in the learning outcomes for the unit. Students are required to submit a signed timesheet at the end of their placement. Students are also required to give a brief presentation on their practice learning as part of a student conference. 


The Learning Agreement is developed in collaboration with the social work supervisor. It sets out the specific goals and activities associated with the placement and the nature of evidence required to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes.   


The Mid Placement report requires students to demonstrate their progress against their learning goals at the mid-point of their placement. The report also includes feedback from the student’s Field Educators. This task provides students with the opportunity to review progress against learning goals and plan for tasks and strategies to meet goals for the remainder of the placement. The Mid Placement tasks enable students to articulate the connections between relevant social work theory and ethics to their placement experience in order to develop informed practice decision making. 


In the Final Placement Report, students demonstrate their progress toward and achievement of the learning goals at the conclusion of their placement. The report also includes feedback from the student’s Field Educators. Students use the Final Placement Report to evidence beginning practice capability. 


Students must submit and pass all assessment items to pass this unit to demonstrate competence in relation to all practice standards set by the Australian Association of Social Workers at the level of a graduating social worker. In negotiation with the ACU Liaison Visitor and Social Work Supervisor, students will be able to revise the Learning Agreement and Mid Placement Report in response to feedback on the requirements to achieve a satisfactory standard. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Learning Agreement 

Enables students to identify their learning goals, tasks and timeframes for completion in alignment with AASW Practice Standards 



LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA 1-10  

Mid Placement report, including Theory to Practice/Ethics Presentation  

Students need to demonstrate their progress against their learning goals at the mid-point of their placement. The report also needs to include feedback from the student’s Field Educators.  

Enables students to articulate the connections between relevant social work theory and ethics to their placement experience in the form of a 20 minute presentation at the mid-placement liaison contact. 



LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA 1-10  

Brief Oral Conference Presentation of Theory to Practice / Ethics in Practice Presentation School of Allied Health Final Year Student Conference 

Enables students to present on an aspect of their practice learning and development as a social worker at the School of Allied Health Final Year Student Conference. Enables students to showcase and celebrate their placement learning to a broader audience in the context of a professional presentation and to demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional development. 


GA 1-10  

Final Placement Report   

Students need to demonstrate their progress and completion against their learning goals at the conclusion of their placement. The report also needs to include feedback from the student’s Field Educators. 



LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA 1-10  

Signed Time Sheet 

Students demonstrate professional accountability for the completion of at least 500 hours of placement, in accordance with AASW requirements, by providing a time sheet signed by the placement supervisor. 




GA2, GA5

Representative texts and references

Australian Association of Social Workers (2010) Code of ethics. AASW: Canberra. 


Australian Association of Social Workers (2013) Practice standards. AASW: Canberra. 


Cleak, H., & J. Wilson. (2019). Making the most of field placement (4th ed.)Victoria. Thomson: Learning Australia.  

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