This unit (ASW3205) of study enables students to participate in a structured and supervised field education placement. The broad aim of this unit is to provide third-year students with the opportunity to extend their knowledge and experience in linking theory with the realities of practice and extend their skills for social work practice. Students are allocated placements where the focus is on direct practice with individuals, families or groups. A variety of social work and related agencies in and beyond Melbourne are utilised. The field education co-ordinator is responsible for the selection and arrangement of placements according to the Australian Association of Social Workers guidelines. The field education program is overseen by the Academic Leader, Field Education. The 12 hours of seminars provided at the university assist students with the integration of theory and practice.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


ASW2104 - Critical Social Work Theories

ASW2202 - Social Work Theories

ASW3101 - Skills for Social Work Direct Practice

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Exhibit the values and ethics of social work as an integral part of their practice;  
  2. Appraise the organisation's legal and political context within the human services field;  
  3. Analyse the legislation and social policies that influence the field of practice;  
  4. Articulate the theories and methods relevant to practice and reflect critically upon their use and application;  
  5. Exemplify the interpersonal and communication skills required to communicate and work effectively with others;  
  6. Plan and present a learning plan in accordance with the AASW Practice Standards for application within the particular field of placement;  
  7. Critically reflect on practice while engaged in field placement and in professional supervision;  
  8. Exhibit and apply a range of specific social work assessment, intervention and referral skills and knowledge appropriate to the particular field of placement;  
  9. Locate and critically analyse research knowledge, methods and application appropriate to social work practice and field placement setting; and  
  10. Interpret and adapt knowledge of cultural diversity in order to work in a culturally responsive and inclusive manner in a social work context.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Learning plan Pass/Fail
Practicum Mid placement assessment Pass/Fail
Practicum Final placement assessment Pass/Fail

Required reading

Making the most of field placement 3rd ed.
Cleak, H.M. & Wilson, J. (2013)
Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne (ebook)

Social Work Education Field Manual 2020
Victoria University

The following texts are Recommended Reading only: Gardner, F. (2014) Being Critically Reflective: Engaging in Holistic Practice Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke. Gardner, F., Theobald, J., Long, N. & Hickson, H. (2018) Field Education: Creating successful placements, Oxford University Press, Australia.

Where to next?

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.