WELF 7030 Research for Social Work Practice

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102745

Coordinator Teddy Nagaddya Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to the different approaches to knowledge generation for social work practice and policy. The subject highlights how social workers can design and implement ethical research activities including the theories and methods that support different research approaches. The subject explores and analyses contemporary research design issues and the dominant qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches in knowledge generation. This is in the context of incorporating Indigenous knowledges and methodologies, and those specifically relevant to gender and cultural diversity. The subject highlights practice-based uses of research including program evaluation, meta-analysis, systematic reviews and community needs assessment.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Social Work

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in programs 1792 Master of Social Work (Qualifying) or 8083 Bachelor of Research Studies/Master of Research. Students in program 1792 Master of Social Work (Qualifying) must have successfully completed 10 credit points.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse research relevant to social work.
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the ways in which research is used in a variety of social work settings.
  3. Critically reflect on the ways in which social workers can undertake research as part of their day-to-day practice.
  4. Demonstrate a capacity to design and undertake a community needs analysis.
  5. Demonstrate a capacity to design and undertake an agency/program evaluation.

Subject Content

The context, roles and purposes of research for social work practice.
Understanding and critically analysing social research, evidence and policy in the context of diverse political agendas.
Theoretical perspectives for knowledge generation in social work, including Indigenous knowledges and methodologies, and those specifically relevant to gender and cultural diversity.
Critical self-reflection on the 'practitioner as researcher'/'researcher as practitioner' model.
Ethics and social work research.
Understanding social need and population census data for community needs assessments.
Program evaluation, meta-analysis and systematic reviews.
Appraising practice effectiveness research.
Knowledge translation: communicating research for practice and policy.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Annotated Bibliography 800 words 20 N Individual
Report 1,500 words 40 N Individual
Case Study 1,500 words 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Alston, M. (2018). Research for Social Workers. An Introduction to methods, 4th ed, London: Routledge.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2024)

Parramatta City - Macquarie St


Subject Contact Teddy Nagaddya Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window