Master of Social Work

As part of the Social Work program, you will undertake professional experience placement in a field education setting. The following information outlines examples of the fundamental tasks you will be expected to carry out during on-campus learning activities and professional experience placement.

These examples are provided for your information only and are not entry requirements.

There are a range of adjustments to your study conditions available to enable and support you to undertake these tasks. Please contact the Equitable Learning Services to discuss any adjustments you may require.

Verbal expression and comprehension (understanding)

What do I need to be able to do?

Understand and respond to verbal communication.
In a field education setting, this will assist you with listening, understanding and responding when advocating, mediating and negotiating with and for clients

Verbally communicate clear instructions and explanations in a time responsive way.
In a field education setting, verbal communication is the primary source of communication between you, your clients, supervisors and health professionals and assists with assessing clients and proceeding with intervention

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Additional time allowances for comprehension and expression may be available to you for on-campus learning activities. 

Professional experience placement tasks in a field education setting may require time responsive communication. This should be discussed with your placement coordinator prior to commencement.

Social communication

Social Communication refers to the capacity to understand and use appropriate non-verbal communication such as: eye contact, gestures, facial expression, speaking volume, tone of voice, proximity and verbal turn-taking. 

What do I need to be able to do?

Recognise, interpret, use and respond to non-verbal communication appropriately in both on-campus and field education settings to demonstrate understanding,  build relationships, establish trust and assess client support needs.

In a field education setting, tasks which require your use of social communication abilities include:

  • recognising the social communication used by clients and identifying client’s emotional states through their non-verbal cues
  • responding to clients by using your own social communication skills, such as open body language, eye contact and facial expressions to display understanding and empathy

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.  

Consideration will be given to the use of non-verbal communication appropriate to your disability or condition for example, if you have a vision or hearing impairment, you may rely more on using either auditory or visual means of social communication. 

Reading

What do I need to be able to do?

Read and understand a range of written material in differing forms from a variety of sources such as: on screen material, screen-based and image-based texts.

In the field education setting, essential information is communicated in written form.  Tasks which require your use of reading include:  

  • reading and comprehending essential client information which may include client notes and reports from other health professionals
  • reading and comprehending referral documents from service providers, resource material and host organisation policy documentation

The ability to read, understand and interpret written information is fundamental for the delivery of client support and services.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use specialised software to support your literacy for on-campus learning activities. The appropriateness and practicality of using such software during professional experience placements may vary between placements and should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencing your placement.

Writing (Written Language)

N.B. This refers not to the physical act of writing but rather to the written content.

What do I need to be able to do?

Produce coherent written communication appropriate to both on-campus learning activities and professional experience placement tasks

In the on-campus learning and fieldwork education settings, tasks which require writing include: 

  • completing written assessment tasks, such as essays and reports to demonstrate your understanding of course content
  • contributing to client notes and writing client reports in a clear, concise and accurate way

The accuracy of written notes in a fieldwork education context has both professional and legal ramifications.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use specialised software to support your literacy for on-campus learning activities. The appropriateness and practicality of using such software during professional experience placements may vary between placements and should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencing your placement.

What do I need to be able to do?

Correctly use and apply knowledge of theory and research gained from on-campus learning to practice in the field education setting. 

In a field education setting, client assessment and intervention tasks include:

  • undertaking assessment, counselling, advocacy, co-planning and referrals with clients
  • organising and implementing  research, reports, projects and community development initiatives
  • remaining focussed during client assessment and intervention

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use assistive technology and strategies such as rest breaks to support your memory, planning and organisation in the on-campus learning environment. The use of these strategies during professional experience placements should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencing your professional experience placement.

Mental wellness is a state of well-being in which an individual can realise their own abilities or potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life and can work productively and fruitfully.

Behavioural stability refers to an individual’s ability to moderate their own behaviour.

Stable mental health promotes optimal and safe engagement in on-campus learning and fieldwork education settings during professional experience placement. Many people who live with mental health conditions complete their studies successfully. The following services are available to support students living with mental health conditions at RMIT: 

Equitable Learning Services

Counselling Services

What do I need to be able to do?

The on-campus learning environment can be challenging and will require you to engage with peers and teaching staff, reflect on your work and respond appropriately to constructive feedback.

Professional experience placement in education settings can present complex and unpredictable human situations which require the following: 

  • putting in place supports that assist behavioural stability, such as self-care, supportive relationships, and structuring your time, balancing family, employment, self, social & educational activities
  • remaining alert, focussed and engaged during client assessment and intervention
  • managing personal emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with clients, peers and staff
  • reflecting and critically evaluating the effect that your own mental health plays in social work practice.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments such can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you. 

Flexible arrangements for your professional experience placement will be considered. The appropriateness and practicality of these arrangements may vary between placements and agencies and should be discussed with your placement coordinator prior to commencement of the placement. 

You may be supported to take time off from your studies if you become unwell or have difficulties with behavioural stability.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.