This unit of study enables students to participate in the second structured and supervised field experience. The broad aim of this unit is to provide 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 a placement where the focus is on direct casework skills, community development, research or project work. A variety of social work and related rural and urban agencies are utilised. The field education co-ordinator is responsible for the selection and arrangement of placements according to Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) guidelines. The 14 hours of seminars provided at the university assist students with the integration of theory and practice.

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:


ASW3205 - Field Education 1

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse the values and ethics of social work practice as they apply to a particular field and ensure their appropriate application when faced with ethical problems, issues and dilemmas;  
  2. Critique the organisation's legal and political context within the human services field and apply this critique in line with anti-discriminatory practice approaches;  
  3. Contextualise the legislation and social policies that influence work within a particular field of practice and their impact on disadvantaged individuals, families and groups;  
  4. Critically reflect upon the theories and methods of social work practice and evaluate their relevance and application within the particular placement context;  
  5. Critically assess and modify their interpersonal and communication skills to work effectively with others;  
  6. Take initiative to contextualise, critique and justify their own personal and professional development in relation to their own practice;  
  7. Adapt skills and knowledge for direct practice, community development, social research or policy work in the particular field of practice and context of the field placement;  
  8. Consult with others to identify, propose and /or plan relevant research and research methods in the context of the placement; and  
  9. Exemplify cultural responsiveness, sensitivity and inclusive practice.  


Students' performance on field placement is assessed in relation to the student's individual placement learning plan based on the AASW Practice Standards, as detailed in the Social Work Field Education Manual. The final Field Education placement is a capstone task and incorporates all course learning areas.
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. & Wilson, J. (2013)
Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne (ebook)

Social Work Education Field Manual 2020
Victoria University
See note below

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?

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