SOCWORK 702 : Social Work with Older People

Education and Social Work

2023 Semester One (1233) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Critically explores advanced research, theories and practice of social work with older people from an ecological systems perspective. Content will examine opportunities and challenges presented as people live longer and develop the contributions of social work and social policy to positive aging strategies. Consideration will be given to the bicultural and diverse contexts of practice in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Course Overview

The rights of older people are no different to the rights of any other person. There is, however, an increased risk to the realisation of these rights to the extent that health and or disability challenges create barriers for some older people.  Support and appropriate services can counteract the effects of barriers. Discrimination on the basis of age and lack of culturally appropriate services can also pose a further threat to the achievement of the rights of older people. Health inequalities and disparities follow people into older adulthood. 
Discrimination, stigma,  abuse and neglect threaten the rights of older people. along with inadequate housing, income and health care.   This course will address ageism, the impact of racism, sexism and homophobia/transphobia, social inclusion/exclusion, positive ageing, ageing in place, and consider the role of social work in supporting older adults’ material, emotional, cultural and social wellbeing.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Social Work

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify, explain and evaluate knowledge of theories of human ageing and apply to social work practice (Capability 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 6.1 and 6.2)
  2. Critically examine social and health policies that pertain to ageing in Aotearoa New Zealand (Capability 2.1, 2.3, 6.1 and 6.2)
  3. Identify and critically evaluate the social determinants of health as they pertain to older people in Aotearoa New Zealand (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 6.1 and 6.2)
  4. Explain and critically evaluate the impact of stigma and discrimination on older adults' quality of life and health outcomes (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 6.1 and 6.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 25% Individual Coursework
Literature Review 45% Individual Coursework
Policy submission 30% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Literature Review
Policy submission

To pass this course students must submit all assessments and achieve at least 50% for the overall course.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 30-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 24  hours of online lectures, optional one-hour tutorials, 2-3  hours of reading and thinking about the content per week, and 10-12 hours of work on assignments. 

Delivery Mode


This course is delivered online. Online attendance is expected at scheduled Zoom sessions. Course materials and activities are provided online. It is expected that students will complete each module, activities, discussions, and readings according to the teaching week in which they are scheduled to create a learning community. Online optional tutorials will be scheduled to assist with assignment preparation. Full participation in, and completion of all the online activities is strongly recommended for success in this course. 

For those returning to study the first assignment will include support to use the library catalogue in optional tutorials. One to one meetings and real time assistance can be provided to locate materials. 

This course runs to the University semester 2 timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Course online workshop dates

all 9.30 to 12.30:

13,14 March

3,4 April

1,2 May

29,30 May 

 Attendance is expected at scheduled online activities to complete components of the course.
The course will include live online events including group discussions/tutorials/lectures and some elements of these will be recorded.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement and will be released progressively throughout the course.

This course runs to the University semester/quarter timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool, Canvas, which also includes reading lists, videos, a range of resources, and links to external resources to support you with this course. The reading list on Talis, includes a range of texts which will support you in your learning and completing the assignments. There is no textbook for the course.
Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor. Some lecture content will be recorded.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

This course has not been offered recently and has been updated with different topics and assessments. 

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Please contact the course director Liz Beddoe for more information about this course.  

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 22/11/2022 11:27 a.m.