If you want to advance your career in the community services field, our community services course will equip you with the knowledge and real-world experience to succeed.
In our community services course, you will:
During our course, we encourage you to form a community of learners with your fellow students to share experiences, develop critical reflective skills and enrich your learning experience. You will also benefit from taking part in practical placement and applied learning subjects, and pick up real world experience working in and around the community services sector.
With our community services course, you will:
Your learning experience will be closely supported by our highly qualified and experienced teaching staff. The design of our degree will provide you with a qualification of high academic integrity that is directly applicable to community services work within your selected discipline area.
26 Feb 2020 at 12:00AM AEST
Semester 1 2020: Orientation Day 11 February 2020, 18 February - 4 June (1st year: Wednesday and Thursday, 2nd year: Tuesday, Thursday morning, Saturday morning 3rd year: Tuesday and Wednesday)
Semester 2 2020: Orientatation Day 21 July, 2020, 29 July - 4 November (1st year: Tuesday and Thursday, 2nd year: Tuesday and Thursday, 3rd year: Tuesday and Thursday with one elective delivered on Saturday)
Full time: 3 years or part time equivalent
For information regarding dates such as enrolment, orientation and study breaks please visit the Academic Calendars page.
This degree will provide you with a variety of employment opportunities across all fields of practice. Occupations include:
As well as providing excellent job prospects in major cities, rural and regional areas have a high demand for community services workers.
Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities - demonstrate practical, theoretical, sociological knowledge and skills that support community service fields delivery to achieve practical outcomes for employment within diverse disciplines of community services.
Communication - develop and demonstrate high-level professional communication skills within a range of community service situations.
Critical thinking - acquire skills in the critical evaluation of theories and philosophical approach to community services by reflecting of own skill development when engaging the principles of community services work.
Self-management - demonstrate initiative and autonomy in planning for implementation, monitoring and evaluation to maximise opportunities for community service clients.
Teamwork - work collaboratively with others from different disciplines and diverse backgrounds by applying inclusive principles and practices to create and maintain culturally safe workplaces.
Global Citizenship - analyse and address the philosophical basis of community development and services as a method of social change within a global context while taking into consideration cultural and socio-economic diversity, the impact of social, gender and racial inequality, and the application of professional ethical standards.
Applicants with higher education study
Applicants with higher education are those who have completed some or all of a higher education course as their highest level of study since leaving secondary education. This includes study undertaken by applicants at either non-university higher education providers or university some time ago, or recently, such as applicants seeking to transfer to Box Hill Institute from another education provider or applicants changing to a different course at Box Hill Institute.
Applicants with higher education study will be required to attend an interview. Applicants may receive subject credit on the basis of your higher education studies.
Interview: applicants will be asked a series of questions relating to their suitability for the course. Applicants are expected to demonstrate a clear understanding and aptitude for the course.
Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study
Applicants with VET study are those who have completed some or all of a VET course as their highest level of study since leaving secondary education. Applicants who have completed a Diploma of Community Services or similar qualification can apply for direct entry into the second year of the degree based on the provision of a successful Statement of Results.
Applicants with VET study will be required to attend an interview. Applicants may receive subject credit on the basis of your diploma studies.
Direct Entry is available
Interview: applicants will be asked a series of questions relating to their suitability for the course. Applicants are expected to demonstrate a clear understanding and aptitude for the course and provide a statement of results supporting their qualification
Applicants with work and life experience
Applicants with work and life experience are those who have left secondary education more than two years ago (i.e. applicants who are not classified as recent secondary education applicants) and have not undertaken VET or higher education study since then.
‘Experience’ could include a combination of factors sufficient to demonstrate readiness for higher education. This includes mature-age entry, professional experience and community work experience. Applicants may have undertaken non-formal programs that have helped them to prepare for tertiary education or are relevant to the proposed higher education field of study.
Applicants with work and life experience will be required to attend an interview.
Interview: applicants will be asked a series of questions relating to their suitability for the course. Applicants are expected to demonstrate a clear understanding and aptitude for the course.
All applicants will be required to provide evidence of
Once an application has been received, the course manager will contact you with the information (such as dates, times and instructions) needed to book a selection interview.
At your interview you will be required to complete an application form and answer a series of questions relating to your suitability for the course.
Application dates: applications for semester 1 are accepted up to the end of January, and for semester 2 until the end of June unless all available places are filled prior to those dates. Candidates can, however, lodge an application at any time for consideration at the next intake.
Recognition of Prior Learning is available.
After successful completion, you may be eligible to apply to study at honours or masters level at any Australian university
This course is accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the qualification is aligned with the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 7 and Box Hill Institute Graduate Attributes.
|Core Skills Support Fee||$80|
|Retain Course Items||$0|
|Total Course Estimate||$48,523|
|Payable Estimate (at commencement)||$15,600|
Completion of 24 subjects
Practicum - Box Hill Institute arranges all placements
2nd year - 200 hours Practicum 1
3rd year - 200 hours Practicum 2
This subject extends the learners knowledge of the Community Services field, and prepares the students to make informed elective choices. The similarities and differences between models of work used across the subsectors are discussed with respect to past development and future directions of these models. The relationship between theory and practice is explored, with an emphasis on engagement and practice models for delivery. A range of advanced theories, models and approaches are explored across their relevant fields and domains of practice. Contemporary paradigms are provided through a close study of literature.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject develops an understanding of working within a range of group settings. It establishes skills and knowledge for effectively planning and facilitating discussions, group activities, debriefing and support groups. Students will examine the common stages of group progression, and barriers to achieving effective outcomes. They will learn to adjust interpersonal styles to match group needs and dynamics. Practical skills for leading a group through these stages will focus on resource development, goal setting, managing individual problems within a group setting and facilitation styles. Group work in specific community services contexts, including drug and alcohol work, counselling, family conferences, training, and recreation will be explored. This subject develops an understanding of working within a range of group settings. It establishes skills and knowledge for effectively planning and facilitating discussions, group activities, debriefing and support groups. Students will examine the common stages of group progression, and barriers to achieving effective outcomes. They will learn to adjust interpersonal styles to match group needs and dynamics. Practical skills for leading a group through these stages will focus on resource development, goal setting, managing individual problems within a group setting and facilitation styles. Group work in specific community services contexts, including drug and alcohol work, counselling, family conferences, training, and recreation will be explored.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject is designed to provide an orientation to the Practicum placements which are integral to community services education. The student is provided the opportunity to practice techniques for applying theoretical and philosophical knowledge to practical placement experience through advice and support. As students develop knowledge at more complex levels during the course, the Practicum reflects this development and requires them to engage in increasingly more complex tasks and environments. The subject has a focus on increasing practical skill and leadership in the delivery of the community services programs. Reflective practice, legal and ethical obligations, and recognising professional and personal boundaries while undertaking practicum are addressed. Opportunities to practice and obtain verbal and written feedback on the student's developing skill in community service work are provided.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject assists students to gain an advanced theoretical knowledge of the role of government, community groups and aid organisations in building capacity and providing domestic community services, supports, and international aid. Students will examine the nature of social disadvantage and marginalisation of groups such as women, refugees, people with disabilities, the unemployed, the homeless, the elderly, and Indigenous Australians. Examples of innovative community development programs in public housing, disadvantaged areas and cultural communities will be studied. Students will explore practices such as collaboration, advocacy and strategic community planning in improving support provision, and building the capacity of marginalised groups.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject aims to introduce students to the theoretical foundations of historical and contemporary community services work. How community services work has evolved will be examined through key themes of self-identity, empowerment and of social justice and equity. An understanding of critical concepts that have shaped and continue to shape attitudes and service provision of community services will be expanded, including concepts of welfare, dependency, political action, power, empowerment and disempowerment, diversity and equity and community development. Their role in community services work will be developed through an understanding of building social capital within Australian and global contexts. To assist their studies students will be encouraged to form a community of learners to share experiences, develop critical reflective skills and form industry networks.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject prepares students to undertake a case management role within community services contexts. It examines the processes involved to establish sound case work management, including legal and ethical considerations, working with clients to set goals, effective communication and risk management. Students are provided with an introduction to appropriate information sharing, strategies for referral and the use of community resources. Students are introduced to mandatory and best practice protocols for documentation and reporting. The importance of identifying role boundaries, including conflict of interest is examined through case studies. Duty of care is discussed within the context of complex or high risk situations, such as working with protective and custodial agencies and cases with high public or political sensitivity.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
In this subject, students research the Principles and Practices in Child Protection as relevant to community service delivery. Students will examine a range of literature to provide a sound basis of understanding, and explore how information in this area can be disseminated to the wider community. Students will research and utilise methods to increase community awareness of the relevant child-centred and family-focused issues, such as understanding child neglect, child emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, the impact of trauma on children, and how these stuations can affect families, especially as relevant within indigenous communities. Emphasis is on postive representtion of this area of delivery leading to enhanced outcomes for clients. Creative use of marketing tools such as social media is used to disseminate the community message. Students will then reflect on indicators of success and community feedback.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
In this subject students will examine and analyse theories and issues of leadership and management in the dynamic community services sector. The subject requires students to engage with, and reflect on, the meaning of leadership in the context of their own professional practice, ethics and identity and relationships. The subject explores contemporary issues regarding leadership and change and the implications for management. It extends the theoretical informants related to a range of organisational demands and higher-level approaches to management in the Community Services sector. Particular emphasis will be on human resources and management challenges specific to community services. The subject aims to enhance managerial competence through applied management principles and practices that create sound and effective management of service organisations. Students will examine theories and their application to organisational policies and procedures, supported by the legal and industrial frameworks relevant to community services. This includes Occupational Health and Safety responsibilities, evaluating against industry standards, quality assurance, and remaining current and connected to the wider community.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject addresses modalities and theories behind conducting an individual assessment where multiple and complex issues are present. Students will examine several kinds of assessment, including intake, domain based, norm based and competency based assessment. Modalities including strength based assessment are used to identify the client’s range of diverse needs. Students analyse appropriate language and interpersonal skills related to the assessment process. Students will analyse the most effective and least restrictive strategies to enhance client’s learning and well-being. There will be a strong focus on identifying potential risk.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
The specific focus of this practicum is for the student to demonstrate the following:
This subject supports the development of academic skills in students who enter the Bachelor of Community Services with vocational qualifications but who have not previously studied at a higher education level. The aim of the subject is to help students to understand the expectations and develop academic skills required for studying at an undergraduate level. The focus will be upon developing and extending self -directed learning, research skills, academic writing and referencing.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject considers reflective practice within the context of a community services framework. It provides learners with an understanding of the relevance of reflective practice for professional activity by calling critical attention to applicable values and theories in the community services environment by examining professional practice reflectively and reflexively. It offers students strategies and tools for lifelong learning that contribute to continuous development of professional capability in the sector. Students are asked to consider the meaning and implication of reflective professional practice in the context of their own and others’ professional contribution to community services.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
The unit will examine the impact of the welfare state and the role and responsibilities of families and communities in supporting healthy development of groups and individuals. Students will explore the range of community sector organisations that operate in Australia, sources of funding provided by local, state and federal governments, and the challenges associated with increasing competition between organisations in the community sector for funding. The nature of social inequality including culture, gender, age, social mobility, unemployment, and the inequitable distribution of access to wealth, employment opportunities, health services and education across Australia will lead into an exploration of community welfare in practice, including how various government and non-government agencies respond to issues of difference and social disadvantage. Students will also research the political influences on the community sector including economic rationalism and the privatisation of health and education. The strategic direction of government policy will be explored.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This unit provides an introduction to developmental psychology and an understanding of what drives or motivates human behaviour. Students will explore the theories that underpin an understanding of human development across the lifespan, including theories of attachment, cognitive and social development. The socio-cultural aspects that impact on human behaviour are also examined. Close examination of developmental, psychological and cognitive disorders will provide a more complex understanding of human behaviour in the context of the social services field. Students will analyse a range of strategies for supporting client behaviour across a number of contexts. Students will also examine the effects of their own behaviour on client behaviour.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
In this subject students critically examine the legislative, ethical and best practice requirements of working in child protection. Students will apply the Best Interests Case model to a range of practices including assessment and planning. Theories of child development and trauma will be studied in relation to the impact on the child of planning interventions. Using a case study and the underpinning theories and standards, students will prepare a case for Children’s Court.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This unit provides an opportunity to further students’ core skills for counselling and change work, with opportunities for feedback and practical application of skills. Current counselling theories and models are explored and trialled in a workshop setting. Students will develop a greater understanding of the theories and interventions of counselling theory and practice, as well as the influence of the counsellor on the counselling process and outcomes. Extension of counselling practice for groups and individuals with more complex counselling needs, such as children, adolescents and families will be identified and practiced.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject advances on theoretical and practical perspectives to enable effective and high level communication in a range of settings. It addresses the complex nature of communication and the physical, emotional, cultural and social barriers that can complicate communication processes. Skills for developing interpersonal relationships and rapport, including the importance of non-verbal communication, are demonstrated and workshopped. The subject addresses the specific communication needs of several relevant client groups, including people with intellectual or physical disabilities, children and families under stress, clients affected by drugs and/or alcohol, and people from diverse cultural backgrounds including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Leadership, conflict resolution and negotiation skills are also developed. Practical skills for delivering information in written form and managing meetings are developed.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This unit will develop an advanced understanding of human rights and Community Service workers’ responsibilities to ensure that the rights of people are upheld. Students will develop an understanding of the links between human rights and health and well-being, concepts of power and empowerment and the need for protection of the rights of vulnerable groups, including women and children, people living with disabilities and mental health consumers. The theories of advocacy and how practitioners can advocate for social change will also be explored. Students will consider how partnerships with family, social networks and bodies such as government departments, commissioners, ombudsman, guardianship boards and mental health tribunals can strengthen professional capacity to protect rights.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject will take an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens in its exploration of gender studies, examining the paradigms that hold sway in the current socio-political climate. Restrictive discourses are explored which contribute to the marginalization and disenfranchisement of non-normative persons and communities as well as the ones that offer more liberating notions of gender, body, sexuality and identity.
This subject will explore trauma theory and the application of this knowledge in the field of community services. It will consider various models and ideas which culminate to form an integrated and context sensitive approach to trauma informed practice. The models and practices examined will be found to be transferable across the wide range of community services and client groups.
This subject builds on the students developing understanding of the legislative and regulatory requirements that underpin the field of community services with a strong focus on family violence and the justice system. The intent of relevant acts of legislation will be explored as a framework for understanding. The subject considers the philosophy of ethics from a variety of perspectives as well as principles of ethical actions including autonomy, non-maleficence and beneficence. It develops in students advanced skills in managing ethical dilemmas in professional and organisational practice, including factors associated with confidentiality, risk of harm, corruption and malpractice.
This subject considers the parameters of difference within the human context and what it means to be in a minority group within a society. Students will examine the impact of culture on effective delivery of community services, in areas such as communication, social relationships, attitudes towards community service intervention, and other culturally specific issues. Students establish strategies for working with cultural groups in the provision of services, such as working with remote Indigenous communities. Concepts surrounding cultural safety include understanding of affirmative action, and the need for establishing culturally specific services in addition to mainstream services. Challenging cross-cultural constructs are studied through case studies that include working with refugees, and Indigenous Australian culture and history. There will be a specific focus on delivery of services for Indigenous Australians and their communities, with attention to the development of culturally sensitive practices. The place of Australian Indigenous-specific services will be examined along with other cultures.
This subject orientates students to the Alcohol and Other Drugs, and Mental Health Sector. You will gain high level skills in assessing the needs of clients with AOD and Metal Health issues using a variety of assessment tools and evidence-based practice. Students will gain an understanding of the interrelated nature of dual diagnosis, and will develop tools to address challenges related to clients with complex needs. Practices such as assessment, referral, models of rehabilitation, and networking with other services to improve outcomes will be examined and practiced. There will be a focus on providing integrated services that address multiple needs.
Additional areas such as working with clients who are homeless may also be made available if there are sufficient numbers of students interested in undertaking a particular area of study. Experience working in the particular area of interest would be preferred.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
This subject extends the student's knowledge of the theoretical concepts and perspectives that underpin the disability field both in Australia and in a global context. Students are encouraged to adopt an undrstanding of the current approaches and models used in contemporary practice. This knowledge enables them to apply exemplary practice models to work in the disability field. Concepts that are studied include the social model of disability, advocacy and empowerment, social justice, human rights and anti-discrimination, the dignity of ris,k and community integration using strengths-based and family-centred practice.Contact hours are 1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial each week for 13 weeks.
We expect to enrol between 15 and 20 students.
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