Introduction to Social Policy

    Unit code: ASW2013 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    Footscray Park
    Online Real Time
    192 Credit Points (Core ABSW Year 1 and Year 2)
    (Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


    Social policy influences individuals and communities in all aspects of everyday life and is indicative of how the state addresses social problems and social need. This unit of study introduces students to the identification and construction of social problems; contemporary Australian social policy, and theoretical frameworks that inform policymaking, implementation and review. Social policy is a key intervention used in social work for facilitating social change with regard to income security, employment, housing, education, health and community services, and the social effects of climate change.

    Students use skills in research and critical thinking to identify and analyse contemporary public debates about social issues/problems, and present these debates in ways that promote social inclusion, equality and empowerment in social work practice.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Articulate and analyse the role of social policy in addressing social problems and social change;
    2. Synthesise and apply knowledge about the Australian social policy cycle with reference to contemporary social issues;
    3. Critically analyse contemporary Australian social policies using theoretical frameworks; and
    4. Articulate the links between social issues, social policy and social change from a social work perspective.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Test
    Grade: 20%
    Structured questions on theory of a policy (1 hour - open book)
    Assessment type: Report
    Grade: 50%
    Writing a policy brief (Part A) (1,500 words)
    Assessment type: Report
    Grade: 30%
    Writing a policy brief (Part B) (1,000 words)

    Required reading

    Required readings will be made available on VU Collaborate.

    As part of a course

    This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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