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

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

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 600 words) 30%
Essay Short Essay drawing on content from the group presentation (1000 words) 30%
Presentation Group Presentation (equivalent to 700 words per individual) 20%
To gain a pass in this unit students must attain a minimum overall grade of 50% and attempt and submit all assessment tasks. Each assessment task covers discrete areas of knowledge and skill required for the successful completion of the unit.

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

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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