HCS506 Social Work Field Education 2 (16)


This is the second of two field education subjects. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate and / or develop professional practice skills, knowledge, values and their social work identity in a different practice setting and field of practice from their first placement, under the supervision of a qualified social worker. In this subject students are required to demonstrate entry level standards of professional practice for masters graduates according to social work practice standards and Code of Ethics as well as requirements for field education in Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
DistanceWagga Wagga Campus
Session 2
DistanceWagga Wagga Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: HCS506
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
Two sessionsSY/USSchool of Humanities and Social Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Students must be enrolled in the MSW (Professional Qualifying)
(HCS501 and HCS505) or (HCS507 and HCS505)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • engage with and enact the minimum standards of professional practice expected of an entry level social worker at masters level, as specified by the professional social work association, the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), with a focus on the intervention and evaluation stages of an intervention. This includes being able to:
  • take responsibility for formulating individual learning objectives drawn from the AASW practice standards; define, in consultation, appropriate learning strategies and performance measures; and evaluate, in consultation, their performance against these measures;
  • design learning objectives, strategies and performance indicators which demonstrate investigation, analysis and synthesis of complex information, problems, concepts and theories applied innovatively to the placement context;
  • critique their learning styles based on Kolbs' learning inventory and develop and apply flexibility in their approach to social work practice, incorporating new approaches to professional practice as appropriate
  • design and implement evidence-informed methods of professional intervention and evaluation drawn from an advanced body of knowledge, demonstrating practice skills at entry level professional standard
  • critically reflect on their own practice, values and knowledge of social work and identify strengths and areas to improve their practice;
  • engage in praxis by integrating theory and professional practice and identifying areas for future contribution to professional practice and/or scholarship
  • apply research principles and methods to direct practice and/or planning or be able to execute a substantial research-based project;
  • clarify ethical issues in the placement context and apply ethical professional practice standards according to the AASW Code of Ethics to their own and others' practice, generating innovative solutions as appropriate;
  • evaluate how social work values of respect for persons, social justice and professional integrity are expressed in the practice and organisational context of the placement and share insights appropriately;
  • analyse the policy and practice environment of the placement, identifying findings from recent developments in research and scholarship that apply;
  • demonstrate and monitor sensitive communication practices (written, oral) that are appropriate to the professional context;
  • identify and apply culturally sensitive practices to their professional placement;
  • construct and demonstrate an appropriate professional identity as an entry level masters social worker;
  • demonstrate a constructive supervision relationship with their field educator and identify their preferred approach to professional supervision;
  • demonstrate innovation in employing entry level standards of professional judgement including appropriate levels of autonomy and accountability for a new masters graduate across a range of contexts
  • consider and evaluate constructive feedback and modify professional practice appropriately
  • generate a feasible professional development plan, identifying areas of specialised knowledge, scholarship and / or practice.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Students undertake a structured, individualised syllabus of experiential learning in an approved real world work site, under the supervision of a qualified and experienced social worker, completing the balance of hours required to meet the 1,000 hours of total supervised field education time in an accredited social work degree. The individualised syllabus is based on social work practice standards and Code of Ethics as well as requirements for field education in Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards. In addition students are required to apply insights from adult learning theories and theories of professional supervision. Design, implementation and assessment of the learning experience and student performance are undertaken collaboratively by the student, field educator and university staff.
  • Students who completed the Placement Strand of the first field education subject choose either a direct focus in the syllabus for this subject (interpersonal skills, clinical casework or group work) or an indirect focus (community development, educational group work, policy or research) so that one field education subject in their degree has a direct focus, and the other has an indirect focus.
  • Students who completed the Professional Practice Assessment Strand of the first field education subject are required to undertake a placement with a direct focus.

Work Place Learning

This subject contains a Compulsory Workplace Learning component of 40 to 92 days duration. In this subject WPL is undertaken across 2 sessions for 16 credit points. Students complete around 500 hours of experiential learning/professional practice under the supervision of an experienced qualified social worker in a real workplace. Learning and assessment is undertaken through a collaborative partnership articulated in an individualised learning plan


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.