SOWK611-21S2 (D) Semester Two 2021 (Distance)

Human Behaviour and Mental Health

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


This course builds on students’ foundation knowledge of human behaviour and social work theory and methods. Mental health is studied by examining notions of mental health and mental illness, and then introducing the major classifications. The topic is explored within the context of a developmental ecological, evolutionary and Maori perspectives. Implications for working in multi-disciplinary teams, within mental health services or associated services, as a social work practitioner, are foundational features of this course. Teaching methods include reflective/reflexive group process and an independent learning project.

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • articulate knowledge about human development across a range of socio-cultural contexts.
  • consider the relevance of theories of trauma to particular human situations.
  • understand the concept of reflexivity (or critical reflection) in relation to theory and practice.
  • undertake literature searches, and assess the relevance of literature to topics under consideration.
  • engage in discussions and debates wherein they convey a beginning capacity to hypothesise or develop theoretical questions from data and literature.
  • demonstrate knowledge of bi-cultural approaches to mental health
  • articulate knowledge about major areas of mental disorder, including knowledge of diagnostic criteria and evidence based treatments.
  • demonstrate advanced awareness of the impacts of inequality, oppression and stigma on developmental issues and mental health and illness.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      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.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.



Gretchen Perry


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Topic and Outline 09 Aug 2021 15%
Literature review & references 13 Sep 2021 20%
Complete Essay 18 Oct 2021 35%
Participation 25 Oct 2021 30% Weekly discussion posts and replies

Textbooks / Resources

There is no hardcopy course reader/handbook.

Course readings, recommended readings and materials used in each lecture will be available to be downloaded from LEARN.

It is important to regularly check your SOWK611 LEARN page for updates.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $952.00

* 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.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All SOWK611 Occurrences

  • SOWK611-21S2 (D) Semester Two 2021 (Distance)