SOWK615-21W (D) Whole Year 2021 (Distance)

Social Work Principles and Skills

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 21 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 27 August 2021


The Principles and Skills course integrates the principles of social work with the study of practice and technique. A framework for social work practice is introduced, comprising values, ethics, perspectives, and practices. This framework is used as the context for the development of skills in relation to practice in individual, family, group, and community development contexts. Skill development and analysis will take place in a series of labs, where practice is considered in relation to context and diversity. The concept of supervision is introduced and applied in these labs.

The skills course is designed to identify and build the interviewing skills that are generic to any social work field of practice. Throughout the year students will have the opportunity to read about, observe, discuss and demonstrate practice skills within the framework of the social work process.

The practice skills paper prepares students for the two fieldwork placements in the final year of the MSW Applied and is an opportunity for students to develop their interpersonal communication in relation to work with individuals, families and work in the community.

The skills course employs a range of teaching techniques including lecture, role plays, video work, and practice exercises. There will be homework exercises, LEARN postings and readings to complete between block courses.

Please note:  students must achieve a pass in Assessment 3 to pass the course.

Learning Outcomes

  • To demonstrate and evaluate the micro- skills required for work with individuals, families and in the community.  
  • To appraise the role and tasks of social work through case scenarios and observation.
  • To critically analyse and understand ethical dimensions of practice
  • To articulate the integration of social work theory and practice.
  • To critical analyse and demonstrate the cultural dimensions of practice with Māori and Pasifika
  • To identify the knowledge, skills and values for placements in the final year.
    • 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.

      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.


SOWK308; SOWK515

Course Coordinator

Jane Maidment


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Multichoice 06 Aug 2021 20% The quiz will be posted on LEARN
Practice Demonstration 30 Sep 2021 40% This assessment will take the form of a role-play demonstration
Video Role Play and Self Assessment 28 May 2021 40% Video Role Play (15 mins) & Self Assessment (1500 words)

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Maidment, Jane , Egan, Ronnie; Practice skills in social work & welfare : more than just common sense ; Third edition; Allen & Unwin, 2016.

It is a requirement that you bring the text to all skills sessions.

Course Readings
Additional readings for skills sessions will be posted progressively on LEARN throughout the year.

Useful Information
LEARN - the Learning Management System for the University of Canterbury
This course will be using LEARN as a means to share online course information and resources (lecture, role-plays, web links, and readings), and provide a space for group discussion/forums. There will be ‘homework’ role-plays, recording and readings to complete.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,905.00

* 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.

Limited Entry Course

Maximum enrolment is 40

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All SOWK615 Occurrences

  • SOWK615-21W (D) Whole Year 2021 (Distance)