SOCWORK 734A/B : Professional Social Work Research in Practice

Education and Social Work

2023 Semester One (1233) / Semester Two (1235) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An independent, applied research-based project relating to an aspect of social work practice and undertaken in a practice context. Students will gather and critically analyse authentic data using appropriate research strategies and ethical practice principles, and produce a substantial research report.

Course Overview

This course is intended to give you practical experience in undertaking research into social work-related topic. You will be engaged in 'desk research' - that is, an independent research project that does not involve collecting data from participants. This will take the form of a critical literature review, or knowledge review, of a topic that you choose and refine under supervision.

To satisfy the course requirements, you will (under supervision) produce a research report of up to 10,000 words to be submitted for formal examination.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: SOCWORK 721-725 Restriction: SOCWORK 414, 714 To complete this course students must enrol in SOCWORK 734 A and B

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. Build on existing knowledge and understanding of research approaches and processes, and apply these to the social work practice environment. (Capability 1.2, 2.2, 5.1 and 6.1)
  2. Undertake , under independent supervision, an original research project that addresses an area of social work interest. (Capability 1.2, 2.3, 4.2 and 5.1)
  3. Demonstrate practical mastery of the research process, including design, ethics, engagement with theory, data collection, analysis, and reporting. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.3, 3.1, 4.2, 5.1, 6.1 and 6.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Research Report 100% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3
Research Report

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

Workload Expectations

This course is a project-based 30 point course, stretched over 2 semesters. On average, students are expected to spend 10 hours per week (across the whole of the year) in each 30 point course that they are enrolled in.

A typical semester including the study/exam period totals approximately 15 weeks. This means that for this course you should expect to commit 24 hours to direct contact via on-campus lectures/workshops/tutorials, and supervision. You can also reasonably expect to commit approximately 240-260 hours to independent learning. This may include reading (and more reading), note-taking, writing, engaging in collaborative group work, problem solving, undertaking practical tasks involved in the research process, reflecting on learning, accessing learning and study resources, and preparation and completion of the full research report.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience & Campus Experience

Attendance at lecture / group supervision sessions is expected. 
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will not be available as recordings.
The course may, with consensus, include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.
As the project is largely self-directed the formal sessions for the course are scheduled periodically across the year, roughly every 4-5 weeks.

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.

Fouche, C.B. (2015). Practice research partnerships in social work: Making a difference. Bristol, UK; Chicago, IL: Policy Press.

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 small-group supervision sessions, which will be continued in 2023.

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 23/10/2022 04:49 p.m.