The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Explores the influence of the concept of human rights on public policy and community welfare advocacy. The course explores the theoretical arguments for and against the concept of human rights. The course traces the content and impact of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, examining the contemporary human rights agenda of identifying and seeking to rectify violations of human rights in government policies and social practices. The course also explores the interrelationship between human rights, community advocacy and social change in Australia. It analyses the effectiveness of community advocacy strategies and how these influence structures, including the legal system. Emphasis is placed on the practicalities and skills of being an activist and advocate for social change, allowing students to deal more effectively with agents of social control addressing broad contexts of social injustice impacting individuals, families, and communities within Australia including incidents involving Australian Aboriginal peoples.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2016.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the different theoretical perspectives used in the study and critique of Human Rights Policy and Practice.

2. Apply knowledge of the dominant ideologies and discourses which underpin liberal, Marxist and Radical accounts of Human Rights Policy and Practice.

3. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate and analyse Human Rights. Needs, rights, policies, intervention responses and outcomes studies.

4. Demonstrate skills in writing academic essays, reports, tutorial presentations, research, theoretical and methodological skills.


  1. Philosophic Foundations of Human Rights.
  2. Normative and Institutional Evolution of Human Rights.
  3. Policy Development, Debates and Dilemmas.
  4. Human Rights, Power and Power Relations.
  5. Critique of Social Approaches to Human Rights.
  6. Community Development Models.
  7. Practising Human Rights: Feminist, Structural and Radical Approaches.
  8. Anti-Discriminatory and Anti-Oppressive Perspectives.
  9. Empowerment, Advocacy and Social Change.
  10. Australia's Constitutional 'implied' rights vs the 'NEED' for Specific Human Rights Legislation
  11. Independent research skills.

Assumed knowledge

SPSW1001 or equivalent, and at least a semester of proven success in undergraduate study. This course is not recommended for first term enrolement.

Assessment items

Essay: Presentation essay *

Presentation: Peer-reviewed Tutorial Presentation *

Project: Research Project *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.