Social Work Theory, Models and Processes

Course code 77220

  Course is not currently open for enrolment

This course will introduce an integrated framework for analysing social work practice and the relationship between theories, practice models and skills. Learners will evaluate several key practice theories and approaches including: ecological, Māori and feminist perspectives and strengths-based practice. Learners will discuss and apply processes associated with different phases of the helping relationship: engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation. The course will include social work perspectives on approaches to the assessment and management of risk.

How to enrol

Before enrolling in this course you need to:

  • Choose the qualification you will study the course under. See the Work towards tab below for qualification options.
  • Check the order that courses in the qualification should be studied in the Qualification Structure table. This is in the Choose courses tab on the qualification page.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to

  • Assess and evaluate the application of particular social work practice theories and methods to particular practice situations including individual, group and community contexts.
  • Select and apply the skills and processes associated with different phases of the helping relationship: engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation. 
  • Assess risk and propose approaches to managing risk in social work practice situations.

Course content includes

  • theorising social work – defining theories, models and processes
  • an integrated framework for social work practice – integrating theories, practice models, processes, and skills
  • modern social work practice theories for working with individuals, group and families – including ecological perspectives, feminist perspectives, and strengths-based practice
  • the phases of the helping relationship; engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation and the skills and processes used at each phase
  • working in individual, group and community contexts
  • social work perspectives on assessing and managing risk – including risks associated with key practice areas: family violence; mental health; and working with offenders
  • Skills to analyse, organise and apply research findings


This course is 100% internally assessed


There is a textbook required for this course. Visit our textbook page for more information.