University Handbook 2018

Bachelor of Human Services and Master of Social Work


Course details
Location Albury/Wodonga Bendigo Melbourne (Bundoora) Mildura Shepparton
Mid year intake available No
Course coordinator Maureen Long
Course advisors Darran Stonehouse Di Cox Maureen Long Szilvia Virag Corina Modderman
Available to international students Yes  
CRICOS 045898C/074028J
Course duration 4 years full-time as accelerated (equivalent to 4.5 years full-time study) or part-time equivalent - some students may take longer.
Credit points 540 credit points
Exchange opportunity Yes
Leave of absence available Yes
Study plan guide To assist with planning your enrolment, you can download the course structure PDF here
Course queries Current students: ASK La Trobe
Prospective students: Future Students

This structure is for students commencing from 2017 onwards. Continuing students should refer to the Handbook page relevant to the year of admission.

Upon successful completion of the prescribed requirements, this course provides an option to exit with a Bachelor of Human Services . Please refer to the course structure for details.

Course description

This degree qualifies graduates for entry into the social work profession with eligibility to join the Australian Association of Social Workers. The degree prepares students to be generic practitioners able to respond to the complexity of human need, applying social work knowledge and skills to challenging and changing organisational settings of contemporary social work practice. Graduates are able to work across multiple contexts with individuals, families, groups and communities in a diverse range of roles.

Subjects offered, enable students to integrate theory and practice and develop an in-depth appreciation of the organisational context of practice. They include ideas about how individuals, families, communities and societies function: understanding of ethical and legal frameworks, how to interpret and undertake research, how organisations operate and respond to the different areas of social need, as well as the skills needed for different areas of social work practice.

In first year, students undertake three subjects of an interdisciplinary, core first year which lays the foundation for students developing an understanding of the experience from the perspective of the consumer and the role of their discipline. The focus is on factors influencing health and developing an understanding of the roles of health and human services professionals.

The second year of study will see students begin to develop specific social work skills. Students will explore social work theories and develop an understanding of welfare agencies and the welfare needs of individuals, families and groups.

The third and fourth years of the course will prepare students to take a critical, analytical approach to social problems and to practice through case-based study. Students will learn how to address the changes in the social work practice environment and work within an environment characterised by complexity. Graduates will be reflective, responsive and flexible and able to excel in the constantly changing social care sector.

The curriculum is based on a philosophy of social justice, and is taught within an adult-learning model. Students are encouraged to relate their relevant experiences to the theories and practice presented in the program. The course includes 70 days of placement, in each of the third and fourth years, in a professional social work agency.

Student exchange & overseas short programs

Student exchange and overseas short programs offer a unique opportunity for a meaningful learning and educational experience abroad. La Trobe University encourages all students to make the world their campus by participating in an exchange or overseas short program that fits within your degree structure. Student exchange and overseas short programs may also be eligible for a mobility grant.

College of Science, Health and Engineering students with a third-year elective option in their course have a unique opportunity to enrol in SHE3ISP, with permission from their course coordinator and the subject coordinator.  Please note: enrolment into SHE3ISP requires students to be accepted into an LTU approved short term international program.

Essentials subjects

The three Essentials - Global Citizenship, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Thinking are specialist areas designed to give you an edge with employers. Essentials will enable you to adapt your knowledge and skills to new contexts in a rapidly changing world. Subjects addressing the Essentials are part of all undergraduate La Trobe degrees and can be identified in the subject search by distinct icons. The list of approved subjects can be found on the Essentials webpage.

Course intended learning outcomes

Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) are brief statements defining what students are expected to demonstrate they know and can do by the end of a course.

Bachelor of Human Services and Master of Social Work
Reflect critically on theory and social work practice demonstrating mastery of theoretical knowledge.
Undertake effective and reflective practice, both independently and as a member or leader of a team in a multidisciplinary work environment.
Practise autonomously and with accountability, demonstrating capacity to make, and justify, ethical and socially responsible decisions.
Investigate, analyse, consolidate and synthesize complex social work information, problems, concepts and theories and apply established theories and concepts to practice.
Research and apply established theories to develop sound professional social work practice.
Respond creatively to new situations in social work practice and pursue further professional learning in social work
Bachelor of Human Services (HBHSV) - Option to Exit Only
Practise ethically and accountably in a range of human service contexts to deliver high quality services.
Apply a broad range of human services’ knowledge and theory to develop effective strategies in diverse settings.
Demonstrate clear and coherent communication skills with a well-developed level of interpersonal literacy.
Apply judgment and autonomy in new practice situations.
Demonstrate autonomy and accountability in maintaining professional development.
Critically analyse social problems as they impact individuals and communities and propose appropriate service responses.

Course structure

The course requires the completion of 540 credit points over four years of full-time or equivalent part-time study.

First year

First year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject code Subject title Credit points
TE-SEM-1 ABS0WOM * Wominjeka La Trobe: Indigenous Cultural Literacy for Higher Education 0
TE-SEM-1 LTU0AIM** Academic Integrity Module 0
TE-SEM-1 PSY1EFP Experimental Foundations of Psychological Science 15
TE-SEM-1 HLT1IPP Introduction to Professional Practice 15
TE-SEM-1 SOC1SAC Introduction to Sociology 15
TE-SEM-1 PHE1IDH Individual Determinants of Health 15
TE-SEM-2 SWP1REF Reflective Communication and Social Work 15
TE-SEM-2 SWP1CHS Contemporary Human Services 15
TE-SEM-2 PHE1SDH Social Determinants of Health 15
TE-SEM-2 PSY1CFP Clinical Foundations of Psychological Science 15

Key: *ABS0WOM is a not-for-credit subject that you are required to complete at the commencement of your first semester. The subject is designed to introduce students to Indigenous Australian perspectives, experiences, history, culture and customs.
** LTU0AIM is a zero-credit-point subject that you are required to complete at the commencement of your first semester. The subject is designed to  enhance your knowledge and awareness of issues concerning academic integrity.

Second year

Second year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject code Subject title Credit points
TE-SEM-1 SWP2LCD Life Course Development 15
TE-SEM-1 SWP2IPP Introduction to the Profession 15
TE-SEM-1 SWP2SWB Social Work in an Unequal World 15
TE-SEM-1 ABS1IAA Introduction to Aboriginal Australia 15
TE-SEM-2 SWP3IDV Introduction to Diversity 15
TE-SEM-2 SWP3REA Social Work Research A 15
TE-SEM-2 SWP3UIO Understanding the Impact of Organisational Context 15
TE-SEM-2 SOC2MIN Mind, "Madness" and Society: An Introduction to the Sociology of Mental Health and Illness 15

Third year

Third year (150 credit points)
Teaching period Subject code Subject title Credit points
TE-SEM-1 SWP4APA Social Work with Individuals, Families & Groups: Applications A 15
TE-SEM-1 SWP4APB Social Work with Individuals, Families & Groups: Applications B 15
TE-SEM-1 SWP4FPA Fields of Social Work Practice A 15
TE-SEM-1 SWP4LHE Human Rights, Law & Ethics in Social Work Practice 15
TE-W31-34 and various SWP5FPB Fields of Social Work Practice B 15
TE-W35-50 SWP5PPA Professional Practice A 45
TE-W31-51 SWP5RIA Reflection, Integration & Application A 15
TE-W30-34 SWP5RSB Research for Social Work Practice B 15
Upon completion of 360 credit points, students have the option to exit with a Bachelor of Human Services (HBHSV)

Fourth year

Fourth year (150 credit points)
Teaching period Subject code Subject title Credit points
TE-SEM-1 SWP5APC Social Work Applications C 15
TE-SEM-1 SWP5FPC Fields of Social Work Practice C 15
TE-SEM-1 SWP5IIC Inclusion in Communities 15
TE-SEM-1 SWP5SPA Social Policy Analysis and Advocacy 15
TE-various SWP5LSW Leadership in Social Work 15
TE-W30-34 SWP5PDE Program Design and Evaluation 15
TE-W35-50 SWP5PPC Professional Practice C 45
TE-W35-50 SWP5RIB Reflection, Integration & Application B 15



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