Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


All Year 2 units, HMSV301 Professional Communication in Human Service Practice ; PSYC200 Life Span Development ; HMSV305 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Social Work and Human Services ; UNCC300 Justice and Change in a Global World

Teaching organisation

150 Hours of focussed learning

Unit rationale, description and aim

The Bachelor of Human Services introduces students to a range of theories and knowledge bases. It requires students to engage with the ethical challenges of work in the human services, as well as the policy and political dimensions of practice. It is personally challenging in that it deals with human suffering and disadvantage. The purpose of the Capstone Workplace Project is to draw together student learning from across the various Units in the Course. Using a specific problem drawn from the student's workplace, the challenge is to identify the theoretical, practical and personal dimensions of work and show how these interact - to make connections across the dimensions of practice and provide a model for approaching work in the human services area in any context. As such, this unit seeks to consolidate learning across the whole Course as a preparation for professional practice.

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 - Understand the complexity and dimensions of real-life work problems. This includes the theoretical, policy, service delivery, and personal aspects of understanding a problem, and the range of responses appropriate to address the problem. (GA1, GA2, GA5, GA8)

LO2 - Find, evaluate and synthesize information from a range of data bases and resources to inform understanding and action in the human services context (GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Demonstrate critical, logical and reflective thinking skills appropriate to understanding and working with people with specific problems (GA3, GA8)

LO4 - Articulate and deal with the ethical dilemmas that emerge in working with people with complex needs (GA3, GA4, GA6)

LO5 - Demonstrate a capacity for critical professional communication, both in oral presentation and writing (GA4, GA7)

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 


Topics will include:

  • Basic research skills in searching out, evaluating, and synthesizing information from data bases.
  • Formal writing for the workplace
  • Connecting theory and practice – the art of reflection and models of reflective practice
  • Workplace projects

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of learning with 36 hours of face-to-face lectures, and tutorials. Teaching and learning strategies for this unit will include lectures, small group discussions, and skill development workshops. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in class discussions. Lectures will provide detailed content about connecting theory and practice and different models of reflective practice. Tutorials and skill development workshops will develop basic research skills in searching out, evaluating, and synthesizing information from data bases as well as formal writing for the workplace. Students will also spend some time conceptualizing and developing the rationale and methodology for their workplace projects.

This unit may also be offered on or off campus in intensive mode or multi-mode for sponsored / special cohorts, with the learning and teaching strategies being equitable with on campus mode offerings as endorsed by the School Curriculum Implementation Committee.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is based on working on a specific aspect of the student’s work - chosen as the problem for study. Students will undertake this workplace project and submit 3 pieces of assessment relating to this project – a literature review, oral presentation and a final project report. Students will apply basic research skills, and reflection, to develop an understanding of the specific work problem. Student will examine the problem from multiple perspectives, to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature and extent of the problem. The second part of the assessment involves an oral presentation and a written report around the problem, designed to draw the work to some conclusion, and to provide a model for future work-based learning.

Intensive and multi-mode assessment of this unit will be transparently equitable with on campus mode offerings as endorsed by the relevant Course Implementation Committee.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Writing the literature review: exploring the knowledge bases for a defined area of practice.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA7, GA8

Oral Presentation: Students are required to deliver a 15 minute presentation to the class to focus on their developing understanding of the problem and possible responses.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Final Report: Translating information and reflections from theory to practice. The student is required to use identified knowledge and theory, together with the reflections of learning, to suggest possible ways forward. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Chenoweth, L., & McAuliffe, D. (2014). The Road to Social Work and Human Service Practice with Student Resource Access 12 Months. (4th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.

Coleman, S., & May-Chahal, C. (2013). Safeguarding Children and Young People. (The Social Work Skills Series). Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Davies, M. (2012). Social work with children & families. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ellem, K., Chui, W., & Wilson, J. (2017). Social work and human services best practice. (2nd ed.). Annandale, NSW: Federation Press

Kemshall, H., Wilkinson, B., & Baker, K. (2013). Working with Risk Skills for Contemporary Social Work (SCSW - Skills for contemporary Social Work). Hoboken: Wiley.

Martin, M. (2011). Introduction to human services: Through the eyes of practice settings (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Pardeck, J., & Murphy, J. (2012). Disability Issues for Social Workers and Human Services Professionals in the Twenty-First Century. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

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