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HSW221 - Social Work Research in Ethical and Political Contexts

Unit details

Year2018 unit information
Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Waterfront (Geelong), Cloud (online), CBD*

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit chair:

Russell Shuttleworth





Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Campus: 1 x 2 hour class per week. Campus students are expected to attend 9 out of the 11 classes.

Cloud (online): Online independent and collaborative learning activities, including 1 x 2 hour weekly class (recording provided) and 5 x 1 hour online seminars

IKE (CBD): Online independent and collaborative learning activities including fortnightly online workshops, as per Cloud (online) students' scheduled learning commitments. Students must also attend and participate in 2 x 5 day (10 days) intensives at the Institute of Koorie Education, Waurn Ponds (Geelong) Campus.


*CBD refers to Institute of Koorie Education – Community Based Delivery


This unit aims to demystify social research by showing how it is a formal process of social inquiry which builds on the ways in which we daily inquire into social events and construct everyday knowledge about what we need to know. The approach taken is that there are different ways of knowing, which influence how we understand social problems and formulate research questions. Students will be introduced to the basics of research design for social work practice. This includes an overview of a range of research methods and approaches. The unit also shows how ‘research’ is an important part of the relationship between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’, in all its forms: as direct service, policy and program development and evaluation. The unit provides a basis for HSW322.


Assessment task 1: Discussion of key issues in social research methodology and design (2000 words) 45%


Assessment task 2: A review of the research literature on a social work topic, discussion of its ethical and political contexts (2000 words) and compilation of an index of the literature review process 45%


Assessment task 3: Class participation 10%

Unit Fee Information

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