Course Outline

SWK700 Master of Social Work Field Education 1

Course Coordinator:Rachel McCarthy ( School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 2

USC Sunshine 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 the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


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

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus Pre-Placement Seminar - 7 Hours (1 day) in the week before O Week 7hrs Pre-semester/trimester/session Once Only
Tutorial/Workshop 2 – On campus Workshop - 3 Hours in Semester Break Week. Please check timetable. 3hrs Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) Once Only
Placement – Placement - 500 Hours 500hrs Orientation week Once Only

Course Topics

This course is a field placement and course topics are linked to the AASW Practice Standards.

What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

What is the unit value of this course?

36 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, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 4, 4.2, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 5.3, 6, 7
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, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 5.1, 5.4
3 Begin to analyse organisational systems and processes and societal systems, to identify inequalities. Knowledgeable
1, 1.1, 1.2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.1, 5.4
4 Critically reflect on your own practice and values. Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.2, 4, 4.1, 4.3, 5.1, 5.4
5 Where appropriate apply research knowledge and skills to undertake ethical research and to disseminate findings. Knowledgeable
1, 1.1, 4.3, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2
6 Utilise research in practice to address the needs of individuals, groups and communities, and to further organisational goals and social policy. Engaged
4, 4.3, 5, 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 6, 6.1, 6.2
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
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 4, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6, 6.1, 6.2
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, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 4, 5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6, 6.1
9 Communicate respectfully with clients, colleagues and community members. Knowledgeable
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7, 7.1, 7.2
10 Use written communication and appropriate technology for completing reports and other documentation as required. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 7, 7.1, 7.2
11 Use initiative in learning and practice during the fieldwork placement. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 5.4, 8.1, 8.2
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
2, 2.1, 2.2, 5.2, 6.3, 8.2
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, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7, 7.1, 7.2
14 Act in a professional manner and show self-respect. Knowledgeable
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 5.2, 6.3

* 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
8.1 Actively participate in professional supervision
8.2 Engage in continuing professional development

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

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


36 units from Program AR707 (excluding SWK701) and including SWK704


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 4-5 weeks of placement. Mid placement review, by supervisor and student will provide early feedback on student performance at the midway point of placement or 250 hours.

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 Code of Conduct Individual
1 online quiz.

1 Code of Conduct statement.


Professional conduct is assessed over duration of placement.
Refer to Format Online Submission
All 2 Activity Participation Individual
10 hours, comprising of:  

7 hours of pre-placement modules and/or learning tasks, completed prior to commencing field placement.   This is a combination of pre-placement workshop attendance during the week prior to Orientation Week as well as completion of compulsory modules on CANVAS.  


3 hours of Narrative Integration completed during mid-semester break week.
Refer to Format In Class
All 3 Written Piece Individual
Completed over duration of placement: 

Learning Plan due week 3 

Mid-placement Learning Plan due at 250hours 

Final Learning Plan at end of placement
Refer to Format SONIA
All 4 Case Study Individual
1000 words
Refer to Format SONIA
All 5 Placement performance Individual
500 hours undertaken in a field placement setting.
Refer to Format SONIA
All - Assessment Task 1:Code of Conduct
To undertake professional practice while on placement in accordance with the professional body’s Code of Ethics, together with agency's code of conduct and the student code of conduct at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Product: Code of Conduct
Pre-placement code of conduct: 

Online quiz must be completed prior to pre-placement workshop (taught during the week proceeding Orientation week.) Students must complete mandatory Code of Conduct module before attempting the quiz. Quiz and module will be available on CANVAS.  


Code of Conduct statement accessed via SONIA, read and then signed-off by student before uploading back to SONIA Checks. This must be completed prior to the student commencing placement in the host organisation.  



Professional Conduct: 

Professional conduct is assessed by all stakeholders: the student, external supervisor (where applicable), agency supervisor(s) and USC liaison officer. Professional conduct is formally reviewed at three junctures: Liaison Visit, Mid-placement and Final Placement meeting. However, it is assessable throughout the placement and consultations can be called to review incidences/performance at any time.  


USC placement breakdown procedure will be implemented where appropriate. Please refer to field education manual for placement breakdown process.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Behaviour that is in accordance with the professional association's code of ethics.
4 13 14
Behaviour that is in accordance with the placement agency code of conduct.
4 9 14
Behaviour that is in accordance with the USC Student Code of Conduct.
1 4 14
All - Assessment Task 2:Engagement in University-Based Structured Learning
To adequately prepare students to undertake learning and professional development activities in a field placement organisation. To provide structured learning activities focused on integrating theory and practice in accordance with the AASW practice standards and accreditation requirements.
Product: Activity Participation
Pre-Placement Workshop: 

Compulsory attendance at and participation in the pre-placement workshop. This is scheduled in the week prior to Orientation Week. The workshop includes structured learning activities that prepare students for undertaking field placement learning in a social work / human services professional context. Students cannot commence their field placements until the pre-placement workshop requirements are completed. This includes the completion of compulsory modules in CANVAS to be completed prior to the pre-placement workshop. 


Integration Workshop: 

Compulsory attendance at and active participation in the mid-semester integration workshop. The workshop includes structured learning activities designed to integrate theory and knowledge with practice whilst developing students’ reflective practice skills. The integration workshop is taught and assessed during the mid-semester break week.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Critical reflection on placement experience.
1 4 13
Transfer, adapt and apply knowledge and skills in diverse contexts.
8 9
Demonstrate an understanding of the organisational context of practice and the application and reflection of theory and frameworks within the placement context.
1 2 4 13
All - Assessment Task 3:Learning Plan
To assess student’s performance on placement. The learning goals in the plan need to focus on the domains specified in assessment template.
Product: Written Piece
Draft Learning Plan: 

The Learning Plan formalises the placement process and the goals and aims to be achieved. This document is uploaded in SONIA, and discussed in a meeting with student, supervisor(s) and liaison officer. This is due at the end of week 3 of the student's placement. Templates and resources to assist students with drafting the Learning Plan are available on SONIA. 

Mid-placement Learning Plan: 

The student and their supervisor(s) jointly review the placement thus far, and determine progress, strengths, and areas for development. Areas of concern can be identified and plans to address them can be implemented during the remainder of the placement. This document is uploaded in SONIA. It is due once the student has completed 250 hours of placement. 

Final Learning Plan: 

The student and their supervisor(s) evaluate the student’s overall performance on placement. This document is uploaded in SONIA and then assessed by the liaison officer. The final learning plan and evaluation is due within 5 days of the student completing placement.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrate beginning competency in applying and articulating the knowledge and skills required for ethical practice.
1 3 4 13
Demonstrate beginning competency in the application and commitment to professionalism, professional development and supervision.
4 9 11 12 13 14
Demonstrate beginning competency in the understanding and application of knowledge and skills to ensure cultural responsive and inclusive practice.
1 4 8 13
Demonstrate beginning competency in knowledge of social theory and the application of theory and methods in practice.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Demonstrate beginning competency in understanding and application of professional communication and interpersonal skills, values and knowledge in practice.
1 9 10 13 14
Demonstrate beginning competency in the skills and commitment to Information recording and sharing that align to professional and organisational standards and produces.
4 10 13
All - Assessment Task 4:Process Recording
To position yourself as a social worker (potentially within the agency or utilising a life experience) within a scenario. Integrate your theoretical understandings, practice skills and knowledge to inform your professional practice, intervention and/or response to the scenario.
Product: Case Study
Reflecting on your practice scenario, critic your knowledge, skills and theoretical understanding on the presenting and impacting factors. The areas that should be covered include: your observations on the interaction and understanding of the power dynamics; critical reflection on your significant learning experiences in relation to your knowledge, skills and values; how social work theory informed your understanding of practice; and 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.  


There is a template for the process recording available on Sonia. 


This is to be uploaded to SONIA no later than week 12 of semester.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrate an understanding of the organisational context of practice and the application and reflection of social work theory and frameworks within the context of your work in the agency.
1 2 3 4 13
Provide evidence of critical reflection and skills and knowledge developed during the fieldwork placement.
4 11
Clearly presented process recording which will be organised and logically ordered.
Use of correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and clear quality of expression.
10 14
All - Assessment Task 5:Placement-Based Evaluation and Record of Attendance
To undertake 500 hours of professional field practice in a social work context and in accordance with the practice standards of the AASW.
Product: Placement performance
Record of Attendance:  

Students must keep a record of their attendance at field placement, using an Hours Verification Sheet available on SONIA. This is to be regularly signed off by the nominated placement supervisor or a suitable delegate. A minimum 500 hours of field placement must be completed. Students must submit their record of attendance to Sonia, at the conclusion of placement (within 5 days of completing placement.) 


Placement-Based Evaluation:  

A mid-placement report is completed by both the student and the agency supervisor, as well as the external social work supervisor (if one is appointed) at the half-way point of placement. The mid-placement report is contained within the Student Learning Plan document. This evaluation is formative, as it provides feedback and clarifies how the student is progressing at the halfway point of placement, in relation to the relevant professional practice standards, individual learning goals and agency specific work and tasks. The Learning Plan with completed mid-evaluation document is submitted to SONIA after 250 hours of placement.   


A final-placement report is completed by both the student and the agency supervisor, as well as the external social work supervisor (if one is appointed) at the conclusion of placement. The final-placement report is contained within the Student Learning Plan document along with the mid-placement report. Students self-reflect on their strengths and achievements during placement as well as areas for future learning. The placement supervisor/s also provide specific feedback on the student’s practice and learning across the entire placement. Students are evaluated against specific areas of professional practice and are required to reach a competent standard for each of these 8 practice areas (to a first placement standard), which include:  


• Value and Ethics   


• Professionalism   


• Cultural responsive and inclusive practice   


• Knowledge of practice   


• Applying knowledge to practice   


• Communication and interpersonal skills   


• Information recording and sharing   


• Professional development and supervision 


The final placement evaluation and learning plan are uploaded to SONIA within 5 days of the student completing placement.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Completion of the required 500 hours.
10 14
Demonstration of a collaborative approach with your supervisor(s) regarding the development of the learning agreement.
9 14
Demonstrated linkage between appropriate social work theory and knowledge with your learning
tasks while on placement
1 5
Articulation of evidence required to demonstrate achievements
8 9 14

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. Directed study hours may vary by location. 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.


USC 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

Visit the USC website:

Student Charter

USC 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:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • USC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • USC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • USC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • USC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890