This unit of study introduces students to key dimensions of human service organisations. A range of theoretical models from different disciplinary perspectives are presented and critically examined from the viewpoints of key stakeholders including workers, service users, managers, funding bodies and policy makers. A focus on the organisational context of professional practice in the human services contributes to students' preparation for their future practice.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Review and discuss professional practice in human service organisations;  
  2. Identify and discuss the dilemmas and tensions facing workers in human service organisations;  
  3. Explain frameworks for understanding the structure, culture and context of organisations; and  
  4. Articulate the links between organisational theory and practice.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Project Video Interview Project (500 words) 20%
Report Write a reflective report drawing on seminar learnings (equivalent to 500 words) 20%
Essay Short Essay drawing on content from the group presentation (800 words) 30%
Presentation Group Presentation (equivalent to 1,000 words per individual) 30%

Required reading

Relevant articles will also be made available to students via VU Collaborate.

Working With Human Service Organisations 2nd ed.
Gardner, F., (2016)
South Melbourne, Victoria, Oxford University Press

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