Foundations in Family Studies

Course code HLSC6106
Available in 2016
2016 Course Timetables


This course will introduce students to the trans-disciplinary field of Family Studies from global perspectives. Students will explore the concept of family from macro and micro analyses of family processes and through stages across the lifespan. Students will gain an understanding of various theoretical and research approaches to the study of family. Importantly, students will gain an understanding of the relevance and application of various perspectives on family in varied cultural and national contexts. At the end of this course students will have an understanding of the way in which theoretical perspectives inform models of practice and intervention in work with families and will have begun to articulate their own perspective on working in the field in their professional discipline area.

ALL STUDENTS should enrol in the SEMESTER offering of this course, with the EXCEPTION of students enrolled in the specialisation 'International Family Studies'. The TRIMESTER offering of this course is available only to students enrolled in the specialisation 'International Family Studies'. It is delivered by the Global Consortium of International Family Studies (GCIFS), and IFS students will be enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Blackboard course site.

Please note GCIFS term dates are earlier than UON: Trimester 3 - Monday Sept 12, 2016


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  • Semester 1 - 2016
  • Trimester 3 - 2016
  • Trimester 1 - 2017

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Articulate personal perspectives on family and professional location in the field of Family Studies.

2. Investigate the development of the field of Family Studies across the globe.

3. Become familiar with a variety of theoretical approaches to Family Studies.

4. Develop reflexive thinking and an understanding of global and cultural perspectives on concepts and topics in Family Studies.

5. Contextualise relevant data and information to develop an understanding of changes in demographics of families globally.

6. Understand the structure and functions of diverse family forms.

7. Be oriented to the basic principles and intervention approaches for working with families in contemporary societies.


  • Introduction to Family Studies as a trans-disciplinary field of research and practice
  • Major changes in the structure and function of families in contemporary society
  • Demographics of families in different countries
  • Introduction to key issues in Family Studies
  • Introduction to major concepts in and theoretical approaches to Family Studies
  • Introduction to family-centred practice approaches across a range of disciplines and professions.

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate degree in relevant cognate area and/or equivalent professional experience in the field.

Assessment Items

Online Learning Activity: Online Learning Activity

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case Study / Problem Based Learning

Written Assignment: Written Assignment Final

Contact Hours

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Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 10 hour(s) per Week for Full Term