The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


This is the initial research course in the BSW (Hons). It provides advanced level research skills required for practice and progression to the 4th year Honours Project (SWRK4009). Students will develop a sophisticated understanding of the role that research plays in social work practice and competence in planning a practice-based research study that would inform social work intervention. Students will attain advanced knowledge and skills in qualitative and quantitative methods that may be used in practice-based social research. Ethical issues and critical debates in social work research will also be examined.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2019

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): SWRK3005. Students who have successfully completed SWRK3005 are not eligible to enrol in SWRK4500.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Understand the role of research in social work practice

2. Be able to critically review the published research.

3. Develop knowledge in research methods and an understanding of when particular methods are most appropriate to answer different types of research questions encountered in social work practice.

4. Gain practical skills in gathering and analysing research data.

5. Develop competence in identifying and appropriately responding to ethical and cultural issues encountered in social work research.

6. Engaged in informed debate on social, political, ethical, technical and practical issues surrounding social work research, particularly in relation to diverse cultural groups.

7. Understand and critique the use of evidence based practice in social work.


  • The role of research in social work practice.
  • Conducting a research project.
  • Ethical and political issues in social work.
  • Critical appraisal of published research.
  • Gathering research data.
  • Analysing research data.
  • Writing a research report.

Review of Progress

This course is a compulsory program requirement for students in the following program(s):

In addition to meeting the University's overall requirements for academic progression, students enrolled in these program(s) must satisfactorily complete this course in order to progress in their program.


Students must have successfully completed SWRK3002 or be concurrently enrolled in SWRK3002 and be active in the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) program to enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

Completion of all 2nd year and semester 1 3rd year SWRK courses in the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) program.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Literature Review

Presentation: Journal Club Oral Presentation

Report: Research Report

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 13 Weeks

1hr large group lecture + 2hr medium workshop


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 13 Weeks