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This courses provides the theoretical and methodological foundation to the programme. A major component is a review and analysis of major theories and models that influence social work practice. Social work process is explored in relation to these theoretical underpinnings. Finally, practice modalities relevant to family, group and community work are considered. These studies will be integrated with methods and analysis from policy, cross-cultural and contextual perspectives.
This course provides an introduction to social work principles, alongside the critical analysis of theories, methods, and processes. It is designed to help prepare for the fieldwork practicum courses. The course includes cross-cultural learning and analysis, as well as a broad range of approaches that inform social work practice in inter-professional environments. Other issues of relevance to social work, such as social policy considerations, will be incorporated in order to maintain awareness of their integration into practice. The course will partner the Social Work Principles and Skills course (SOWK 308), which addresses the practical application of this conceptual material.
Understanding of how social work contributes to a range of welfare, health, justice, and educational services.Understanding of the contributions that social work can make to welfare, wellbeing and social change.Understanding of a range of perspectives that inform social work practice.Understanding of the integrative nature of purpose, values, skills and knowledge in informing social work practice.Appreciation of how professional values interact with social systems to result in ethical outcomes.Appreciation of the role of culture in social work provision.Appreciation of the role of culture in social work provision.Appreciation of the influence of the Treaty of Waitangi in social work provisionCritically-based understanding of a range of theories and models that inform practice.Awareness of dynamics and transformation in families, groups, and communities.Knowledge and skills that enable students to:Establish effective relationships with help-seekers and those who are referred for assistanceAssess factors contributing to presenting problemsPlan appropriate ways both to work with persons and to address identified issuesImplement an intervention plan in conjunction with clients and other significant persons and services Bring professional involvement to an appropriate and effective end.GoalsCritically examine the purpose of social workIdentify and analyse principles, perspectives, and models and appropriateness to social work practice in New ZealandCritically consider the impact of context on social work policy and practice Identify and explore skill sets for social work practiceInvestigate social work processesCompare and contrast key knowledge bases for social work Explore the integration of purpose, values, skills and knowledge in social workExamine domains of difference and diversity and explore how these factors impact on social work practice
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Engaged with the community
Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Any 240 points at 100 and 200 level from the Schedule C and E of the BSW(Hons). Head of Department approval mandatory.
SOWK308. For students undertaking part-time study, SOWK301, together with SOWK308, must be completed in the last two years of study.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
and Yvonne Crichton-Hill
Harms, Louise , Connolly, Marie, Andrews, Shawana;
Social work : from theory to practice;
Cambridge University Press, 2019.
Modern social work theory;
Macmillan Education, 2020.
Payne, Malcolm , Reith-Hall, Emma;
The Routledge handbook of social work theory;
There are copies of Connolly & Harms and older versions of Payne, Modern Social Work Theory, in the Central 3 day Loan area of the library. Throughout the course extra readings and resources will be uploaded to the University of Canterbury SOWK301 LEARN site.
Domestic fee $1,570.00
International fee $7,000.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
Maximum enrolment is 40
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences.