SOCWORK 722 : Developing Social Work Professional Identity

Education and Social Work

2023 Semester One (1233) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Examines contemporary and historical social work cultural identity, language and discourse as a global profession. Socialisation to the profession and its values is explored through a defined range of practice fields, premised on a human rights and social justice framework. Systemic models of practice are reviewed. Inter-professional practice, professional ethics, anti-oppressive and bicultural practice and registration are analysed in the New Zealand setting.

Course Overview

This is a compulsory course in the MSWP. It will introduce you to many facets of what social work is, both in Aotearoa New Zealand, and also from an international perspective. You will learn about practice, ethics, values, the importance of our social justice and bicultural commitments. 

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 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Articulate a conceptual framework for social work as an international profession underpinned by principles of human rights, ethics and social justice (Capability 1.1, 2.2, 3.1 and 6.1)
  2. Analyse how social work is situated within Aotearoa New Zealand from both bicultural and multicultural perspectives. (Capability 1.1, 4.2, 6.1 and 6.2)
  3. Critically explore fields of practice from an anti-oppressive social work practice perspective. (Capability 1.1 and 2.1)
  4. Identify and describe issues of human rights and social justice within national and international contexts and explore the role of social work within these. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 6.1 and 6.2)
  5. Critically reflect on competencies derived from professional codes within New Zealand social work. (Capability 1.1, 5.1 and 6.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Reflection 10% Individual Coursework
Essay 30% Individual Coursework
Case Studies 40% Individual Coursework
Presentation 20% Group Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Case Studies

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 20 hours per week involved in each 30 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 36 hours of lectures/workshops,  120 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 120 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at all lectures.
The activities for the course are scheduled as pre lecture video recordings and in-class workshop activities.

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.

Connolly, M., Harms, L., & Maidment, J. (2017). Social work : Contexts and practice.(4th ed). Oxford University Press. (Available as E book from the library)

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.

Students appreciated more active in class activities after having had the first part of the semester delivered online. This year, the lectures will be available for viewing prior to the class, leaving class time for discussions, group exercises and other activities.

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

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 08/11/2022 08:30 a.m.