Critical Reflective Practice in Social Work

Qualification: Postgraduate unit
Study mode: Online
Payment options: HECS-HELP may be available
Duration: 13 weeks
Start date: Enquire now for upcoming start dates
Awarded by: Griffith University
Course Unit A course unit is a single subject offered as part of a program of study, but can be completed individually. You may receive Recognition of Prior Learning for studying this unit.

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About this unit

In partnership with Griffith University, Open Universities Australia delivers this postgraduate unit in Critical Reflective Practice in Social Work. The 13-week program will cover critical theory, critical thinking and critical reflection as the focus of course content, with the aim of enhancing your skills as a critically reflective practitioner of social work. In addition to this, you will study the challenges of maintaining a critical and analytical view of your own practices.

Key areas of development include how to develop a self-analytical approach to social work, and how to maintain a critical agenda before, during and after your own practices. Participating students will produce their beginning practice framework.

This is a new unit based on content from Griffith University’s Critical Reflective Practice unit, upgraded to meet postgraduate AQF requirements.


To be eligible to enrol, applicants must have successfully completed the following unit:
  • Foundations of Social Work Practice
You must also have already been accepted into the following course:
  • Master of Social Work, Griffith University

Areas of study

In this Critical Reflective Practice in Social Work Unit, the topics you will study include:
  • The components of critical reflective practice in relation to theory and the challenges of being a critical social worker
  • Tools and techniques used for critical reflection in the field by social work practitioners
  • Familiarity with the challenges of being a social worker: managing workload, complexity, 'not knowing', supervision and recognising professional development needs
  • Understanding of critical action e.g. identifying structural disadvantage, inequality, power imbalance and social injustice
  • The components of an evolving practice framework including recognising and critiquing knowledge, theory, skill and personalised understandings influencing practice

Course pathways

This course is a core requirement in the following course:
  • Master of Social Work, Griffith University
Content may also be relevant to other courses, and could qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for a course offered by another institution.

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Want more information about this unit? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

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How will this unit advance my career?

Graduates of this unit will be able to recognise, articulate and unpack a number of transferrable skills and valued workplace attributes. These include: being innovative and informed in critical judgement and decision making; an ability to critically analyse situations that may arise, with a basis in research and evidence and a deep knowledge of the particular challenges facing a social worker in relation to engaging with service-users, team members and organisations. The practical application of the studied theory will be examined in order to give you a thorough basis for successful critical analysis in social work.

Completing this unit, you will also be given the tools for: a practice framework; effective communication with team members in a working environment; knowledgeable and informed practice in your specific discipline; creative and forward-thinking critical judgement; socially responsible practice; engaging thoroughly with your communities; and the ability to self-analyse and maintain a critical agenda at every stage before, during and across social work practice.

Competency in culturally diverse and international environments is also a graduate outcome, including an awareness for the values and knowledges of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as a global and international perspective.

How else will I benefit from this unit?

  • Upon successful completion of this unit you will receive credit for competencies in Critical Reflective Practices in Social Work from Griffith University.
  • Studying online means you can study where you want, at our own pace.
  • Gain industry-relevant skills and transferrable knowledge.
  • Government financial support through HECS-HELP may be available.
  • Studying single units allows you the flexibility to work towards a qualification at your own pace.
  • Receive Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for this unit across a number of OUA's full degree programs.

Financial assistance

If you are an Australian citizen, you may be able to receive a government HECS-HELP loan, meaning you can defer payment of your fees.


Get more information

Want more information about financial and student support? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

You may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP government loan scheme. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.
For two decades, Open Universities Australia (OUA) has partnered with leading Australian educators to make tertiary-level courses easier to access for people, no matter their background, their work status or their other life commitments. OUA has built up their reputation by making education more flexible, easier to tailor and available almost entirely online.

OUA's devotion to online education remains to this day, but where they once focused on higher education, today they offer the broadest set of post-secondary education and training programs in Australia.
Open Universities Australia offers a range of administrative and student support options. As a student of OUA you will have access to four hours of free expert tutoring support for each unit undertaken through the tutoring service SMARTHINKING. This on-demand service allows you to get fast, detailed feedback on your assignment drafts and gives you access to your tutor in real time.

The My OUA portal is an online student medium that allows you access to all your course and enrolment information as well as access to student forums and assessment tips.

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Get more information

Want more information about the career benefits of this course?
Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

FREE CALL 1800 063 523

Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

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