The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


This course challenges students to apply theory to a critique of contemporary social policy and interventions targeting individuals, families, groups, communities and organisations. Through examining case studies and policy debates students engage with assessing policy and practice issues, devise strategies and practical tools to enter into policy debates, and participate in policy development. Emphasis is placed on influencing policy and programs.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2017.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theoretical frameworks and dominant discourses underpinning the contemporary human services.

2. Demonstrate comprehension of the differing levels of social intervention and targets of change.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection of structural inequalities as well as the interconnection between levels of practice.

4. Demonstrate an ability to evaluate the efficacy of differing social policies and programs.

5. Demonstrate a commitment to ethical practice and the promotion of social justice.

6. Demonstrate an ability to engage in social change both at community and organisational level.


  • Issues and trends in contemporary policy and practice approaches.
  • Debates about social goals.
  • Professional challenges and ethical. Considerations relating to policy and practice dilemmas.
  • Micro level intervention or programs targeting individuals.
  • Mezzo level intervention or programs targeting families and groups.
  • Macro level or community-based interventions.
  • Organisations as the medium of service delivery and the effects of organisational policy on broader policy implementation.
  • Understanding and participating in social policy making processes.
  • Approaches to policy and program development including an understanding of power issues, transformative strategies to deal with resistance to and promote social change, and anti-discriminatory practice and emancipatory political action.

Assumed knowledge

SPSW 1001, SPSW 1002 or equivalent

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written Assignment

Presentation: Individual Presentation including discussion paper