Course Outline

SWK301 Social Work Field Education 1

Course Coordinator:Dimitra Lattas ( School:School of Law and Society

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Fraser Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Social Work Field Education 1 provides the first opportunity for you to apply classroom based learning to a social work practice context. It allows for the social work values, theories, knowledge and skills to be integrated into practice in a safe, supported and supervised environment. It emphasises social work practice in an agency, demanding that you engage in what it means to work in an organisational context. It enables experience in social work methods, knowledge applied, and skills developed. Critical reflection on your practice and impact of organisational contexts will be emphasised.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Placement – On campus Pre-Placement Seminar - 14 Hours in the week before O Week 14hrs Pre-semester/trimester/session Once Only
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus Workshop - 3 Hours in Semester Break Week 3hrs Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) Once Only
Fieldwork – Fieldwork - 500 Hours 500hrs Week 1 Once Only

Course Topics


Agency placement fostering developmental and applied learning linking theory to practice.

Critical reflection in practice context.

Ethical and professionism in practice context. 


What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

48 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Australian Association of Social Workers
1 Articulate and apply social work theory, skills and values in a practice situation. Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 4, 4.1, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7, 7.1, 7.2, 8, 8.1
2 Begin to identify inappropriate or inequitable social policy goals and outcomes, and to consider policy alternatives for achieving equity and effective distribution of social resources. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 3.2, 4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
3 Begin to analyse organisational systems and processes and societal systems, to identify inequalities Knowledgeable
1, 1.1, 1.2, 4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 5.4, 8, 8.1
4 Critically reflect on your own practice and values. Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.2, 5.4, 8, 8.1
5 Where appropriate apply research knowledge and skills to undertake ethical research and to disseminate findings Knowledgeable
4, 4.3, 5.4, 8, 8.1
6 Utilise research in practice to address the needs of individuals, groups and communities, and to further organisational goals and social policy Engaged
4.3, 5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 7, 7.2, 8, 8.1
7 Engage with individuals, groups and communities in society and apply social work knowledge and skills to enable them to develop their potential and to gain greater control over their lives. Creative and critical thinker
3, 3.1, 3.2, 4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 8, 8.1
8 Show respect for and value others with an understanding of and sensitivity towards issues of cultural diversity, gender and disability. Empowered
1, 1.1, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 4, 4.1, 4.2, 5, 5.2, 5.4, 8, 8.1
9 Communicate respectfully with clients, colleagues and community members. Knowledgeable
1, 1.1, 2, 2.2, 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 8, 8.1
10 Use written communication and appropriate technology for completing reports and other documentation as required. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
7, 7.1, 7.2
11 Use initiative in learning and practice during the fieldwork placement. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2, 2.2, 5, 5.2, 6, 6.3, 8, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3
12 Use all opportunities offered on placement to gain experience working in a human service organisation and develop knowledge of the sector. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 8, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3
13 Apply the values and ethical principles of social work according to the AASW Code of Ethics (2010). Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.2, 8, 8.1
14 Act in a professional manner and show self-respect Knowledgeable
2, 2.1, 2.2, 8, 8.1

* Competencies by Professional Body

Australian Association of Social Workers
1 Values and ethics
1.1 Practise in accordance with the AASW Code of Ethics
1.2 Manage ethical dilemmas and issues arising in practice
2 Professionalism
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 Culturally responsive and inclusive practice
3.1 Work inclusively and respectfully with cultural difference and diversity
3.2 Respect and strive to understand and promote the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their cultures
4 Knowledge for practice
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 Applying knowledge to practice
5.1 Assess and analyse needs to inform practice
5.2 Work collaboratively
5.3 Use a range of social work methods and techniques appropriate to the area of practice
5.4 Apply critical and reflective thinking to practice
6 Communication and interpersonal skills
6.1 Communicate with a diverse range of people
6.2 Communicate the details and nature of the service offered to people
6.3 Work with others in a team environment
6.4 Use information technology to communicate and provide services
7 Information recording and sharing
7.1 Record and manage information appropriately
7.2 Keep and maintain information in accordance with ethical principles and relevant legislation
8 Professional development and supervision
8.1 Actively participate in professional supervision
8.2 Engage in continuing professional development
8.3 Where appropriate, to contribute to the professional development of others

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


16 courses including (SCS172 or SWK172 or SCS272) and (SCS277 or SWK277) and (SCS278 or SWK278) and enrolled in Program AR362 or AR363


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

You will have an understanding of your critical social work practice framework

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Limited Grading (PNP)

Pass (PU), Fail (UF). All assessment tasks are required to be passed for successful completion of the course.

Details of early feedback on progress

Feedback on process will be delivered at key points in the placement experience. Early feedback on the design of the student learning agreement assessment will be provided in the liaison meeting in the first 3- 4 weeks of placement. Mid placement review, by supervisor and student will provide early feedback on student performance at the mid-way point of placement or 250hours.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Placement performance Individual
500 Hours of Verification

Learning Plan - Set template involving 5-10 pages

Mid / Final Placement Assessment Report. Set template involving 5-10 pages
Refer to Format Online Submission
All 2 Code of Conduct Individual
Pre-placement to be completed before commencing placement.

Professional conduct for the duration of placement.
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) In Class
All 3 Oral and Written Piece Individual
5 minute Narrative reflection task

Process recording - There is a template for the process recording template available on Sonia
Refer to Format Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Social Work Field Education Performance
To undertake 500 hours of professional practice in the Social Work field
Product: Placement performance
Submit: Signed Verification of hours to be submitted at the end of placement. Draft Learning agreement due by the end of week 3 of your placement. Mid/Final Placement Assessment report due at 250 hours and at the end of placement. 

Individual to complete 500 hours of Verification guided by your learning plan. Your attendance will be recorded on the Hours Verification Sheet and approved by the Social Work Supervisor / Agency Supervisor. Your professional performance will be assessed against the AASW practice standards in your mid/final placement assessment report.

Your learning plan will be developed in consultation with your Supervisor(s) and Liaison Officer. The purpose of the learning agreement is to plan and guide students’ learning mapped against the AASW standards for practice. The learning agreement, which is a set template involving 5-10 pages, clearly outlines the students’ goals, tasks, and methods for achieving outcomes across assessment areas and therefore provides a platform for negotiating if problems arise in relation to the students’ progress or achievement. 

The Learning Agreement is an important document in that it formalises the relationship and understanding between the student, the Social Work Supervisor / Agency Supervisor and the university. It is a tool used extensively in supervision to monitor student progress.

The learning agreement is developed in three stages. 
Stage one:  the initial draft to be forwarded to your USC Liaison Officer at end of week 3 for formative feedback. 
Stage two: the agreement is finalised after the liaison visit with the Social Work Supervisor / Agency Supervisor and the student in approximately week six. 
Stage three: the completed learning agreement that includes the learning outcomes is uploaded to Sonia for the Liaison Officer with the Field Education Assessment Report and the Hours Verification in the last week of placement.

Details of the learning agreement, including the required format is provided to you separately in your Field Education Manual and as a template via Sonia.  You are expected to consult with your Social Work Supervisor /Agency Supervisor in the agency in the development of this plan and also with the University Field Education staff should you need further assistance.

Your professional performance will be assessed in the mid/final placement report with your supervisor(s) and liaison officer.

Individual to demonstrate a number of competencies based on the *AASW Practice Standards (2013) and the *AASW Code of Ethics (2010) and include learning objectives that relate to the following areas of professional practice:
•	Value and Ethics
•	Professionalism
•	Cultural responsive and inclusive practice
•	Knowledge for practice
•	Applying knowledge to practice
•	Communication and interpersonal skills
•	Information recording and sharing
•	Professional development and supervision

Details relating to the learning objectives are further articulated in the assessment criteria below and additional details are provided in the Field Education Assessment Report.

* Australian Association of Social Workers (2013) Practice Standards, ACT, AASW
* Australian Association of Social Workers (2010), Code of Ethics, ACT, AASW

Mid/Final Placement Assessment Report format
The Social Work Supervisor / Agency Supervisor will provide a report detailing your performance throughout the placement. The format of the report is in your Field Education Manual and a copy of the template will be available via Sonia.  Your Social Work Supervisor / Agency Supervisor will also receive a copy of this manual. You are required to discuss this report as part of a mid-placement review with your Social Work Supervisor / Agency Supervisor. This report is to be submitted to the University Liaison Officer after the mid-placement review and end of placement review. The report will provide a recommendation regarding your performance, with the final result being the responsibility of the Course Coordinator.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrate a beginning understanding and application of social work values and ethics in practice.
1 3 4 13
Demonstrate a beginning understanding and application of professionalism in a practice context
9 13 14
Demonstrate a beginning understanding and application of cultural responsive and inclusive practice.
1 4 8 13
Demonstrate a beginning understanding and application of social work theory to inform practice.
1 2 3 4 5 6
Demonstrate a beginning understanding of how knowledges are applied in the  practice context.
1 2 4 6 7
Demonstrate a beginning understanding and application of social work communication and interpersonal skills, values and knowledge in practice.
1 9 10 13 14
Demonstrate a beginning understanding and application of the organizational procedure and ethical practice in information recording and sharing.
4 10 13
Demonstrate a beginning understanding of  professional development and engagement with supervision in practice
4 11 12
All - Assessment Task 2:Code of Conduct
To undertake your professional practice while on placement in accordance with AASW the Code of Ethics (2010), together with your agency's code of conduct and the student code of conduct at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Product: Code of Conduct
You will be assigned a University Liaison Officer from the University who will provide you with specific support throughout your placement, including undertaking one liaison visit.  The field education manual outlines the process for dealing with difficulties on placement and these must be adhered to in order to avoid failure in this course. Remember, this course is designed to assess your ability to work as a professional in your chosen field, and your conduct as outlined in these procedures is an integral part of this assessment.  If you have any problems with the teaching or assessment of this course, raise these problems with the Course Coordinator.

The university will be assessing and awarding the grade with the Social Work Supervisor and Agency Supervisors advice considered as part of the process. 

As part of your placement you are required to complete 500 hours of verification. 
To be eligible to pass, you are required to complete the placement satisfactorily according to the criteria below. 
See Sonia/Field education manual for your student Code of Conduct.

This is a three way process and requires input from the student, Social Work Supervisor / Agency Supervisor (agency supervisor) and liaison officer (USC field education). 
-	Student to be familiar with code of conduct (AASW, USC and agency)
-	Agency to provide induction to agency code of conduct and inform student of breaches
-	USC to inform student of AASW and USC code of conduct and discuss examples during Integration sessions.

USC Placement breakdown procedure to be implemented where appropriate. Please refer to field education manual for placement breakdown process. 

Prior to commencing placement you will need to successfully complete of Pre-place introduction. This is located on Sonia.
The student Code of Conduct and the AASW Code of Ethics will be covered during the Integration session before you commence placement. You will also be required to sign a Student Placement Agreement before commencing placement. 

Alternative arrangements will be made for students with extenuating circumstances who cannot complete the integration seminars to enable them the opportunity to complete this components of the course. Appropriate supporting documentation must be provided as evidence of extenuating circumstances to the field education coordinator.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Behaviour that is in accordance with the AASW Code of Ethics (2010)
13 14
Adherence to the placement agency code of conduct
Adherence to the USC Student Code of Conduct
Completion of the required 500 hours of verification
1 14
All - Assessment Task 3:Critical Reflective Assessment task
To critically reflect on your professional and ethical social work practice
Product: Oral and Written Piece
Submit: Narrative Reflection Task - during Integration in mid-semester integration. Process recording - 2 weeks prior to the end of placement.

You are encouraged to keep a diary throughout your placement. In your diary you will record and reflect upon your experiences in the field, including your interactions with staff and clients, the issues and situations you encounter and how your theoretical frameworks informs your practice. This diary will inform your final piece of assessment, which is commences with a 5 minute informal presentation during the Integration session throughout the semester. This presentation is in the form of a Narrative Group Reflection. Your learning from this presentation can then be used to form part of your process recording that positions yourself as a social worker within the agency and provides a discussion on how you have integrated your theoretical understandings into your practice framework. There is a template for the process recording available on Sonia.

The areas that should be covered include: 
•	your observations on the nature of the organisation’s work including aims of the agency; 
•	the client or consumer services provided by the agency; 
•	staffing profile and the work area you were placed in; 
•	your tasks; 
•	Critical reflection on your significant learning experiences in relation to your knowledge, skills and values; 
•	how social work theory informed your understanding of practice;
•	identify your future learning goals.  

To develop your process recording, you will need to refer to previous courses in which such reflection has been expected, and also to read relevant material provided.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrate an understanding of the organisational context of practice and the application and reflection of social work theory and frameworks to a ethical issue arising within the context of your work in the agency.
1 4 13
Provide evidence of how you have critically reflected upon your skills and knowledge developed during placement to consider a ethical tension arising out of the practice.
4 8 11 13
Identify and present to peers a relevant, detailed and critical incident for peer critique and discussion.
10 11 13
Submit a process recording detailing the events, reflections, relevant theory and analysis. The content of which informed by the feedback from the supervisor and peer discussion.
8 10 13

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

Please note that some placements require criminal history checks and Hep B vaccinations. It is important to discuss this with the field education coordinator at the pre-placement interviews.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all field activities and low to moderate levels of health and safety risk exists. Moderate risks may include working in an Australian bush setting, working with people, working outside normal office hours for example. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

This course will be graded as Pass in a Limited Grade Course (PU) or Fail in a Limited Grade Course (UF) as per clause 4.1.3 and 4.1.4 of the Grades and Grade Point Average (GPA) - Institutional Operating Policy of the USC.

In a course eligible to use Limited Grades, all assessment items in that course are marked on a Pass/Fail basis and all assessment tasks are required to be passed for a student to successfully complete the course. Supplementary assessment is not available in courses using Limited Grades.

Assessment: Submission penalties

You must contact your Course Coordinator and provide the required documentation if you require an extension or alternate assessment.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
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    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
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    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
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  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890