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CDS2000 Ethical Issues and Human Rights in the Human Services

Semester 1, 2013 On-campus Fraser Coast
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities and Communication
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: John Solas
Moderator: Nathan Beel


Pre-requisite/Co-requisite: CMS1000 or CMS1009

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.

Students who have previously completed HMT2000 cannot enrol in this course.


Respect for human rights, the promotion of social justice and ethical conduct are key requirements of professional practice, subject to evolving community expectations, legal requirements and service standards. This is particularly the case in human service work with people who are in unequal power relationships with others.


This course introduces students to the main legal, ethical, and social justice responsibilities that are integral to work in human service organisations located in the Social and Community Services Industry. While considering a range of approaches to ethical theory and moral philosophy, students will focus on rights-based, anti-oppressive approaches to the design, development and delivery of human services.

The Bachelor of Human Services (Counselling) is fully accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Association of Australia (PACFA).


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. define ethics, human rights and social justice;
  2. identify and describe the main currents of ethical theory and moral philosophy;
  3. discern the key factors that shape public perceptions and attitudes towards human rights and social justice in Australia
  4. critically analyse the effectiveness of domestic legislative provisions for protecting human rights and promoting social justice
  5. identify, analyse and resolve ethical dilemmas in professional practice
  6. define and defend a rights-based, anti-oppressive approach to the design, development and delivery of welfare programs and services


Description Weighting(%)
1. Ethical frameworks and issues 25.00
2. Human rights 25.00
3. Social Justice 25.00
4. Human services practice 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Baggini, J., and Fosl, P 2007, The ethics tool kit: A compendium of ethical concepts and methods, Oxford, Blackwell.
  • Charlesworth, R 2002, Writing in rights, UNSW Press, Sydney.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Bauman, Z 1993, Postmodern Ethics. Cambridge, Basil Blackwell, MA.
  • Congress, E 1999, Social work values and ethics: Identifying and resolving professional ethical dilemmas, Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.
  • Corey, G, Corey, MS & Callanan, P 2010, Issues and ethics in the helping professions, 8th edn, Brooks Cole, California.
  • Gerber, P., and Casten, M. (eds) 1998, Contemporary perspectives on human rights law in Australia, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, NSW.
  • Hugman, R 1998, Social Welfare and social value, 3rd edn, Basingstoke, Macmillan.
  • Ife, J 2008, Human rights and social work: towards rights-based practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Moyn, S 2010, The last utopia: Human rights in history, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
  • Mullay, B 2010, Challenging oppression and confronting privilege, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Singer, P 2011, Practical ethics, 3rd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Solas, J. (2008). Social work and social justice: What are we fighting for? Australian Social Work, 61, 2, 124-136.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Private Study 129.00
Workshops 36.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CASE STUDY 100 40 19 Mar 2013
ISSUE PAPER 100 40 23 Apr 2013
CMA 100 20 07 Jun 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for external and online students enrolled in this course. On campus students have a responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without the prior approval of the examiner a penalty of 5% per day will be applied for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course beyond the CMA.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Assessment Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances following a formal request. All requests must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.

  4. Unless otherwise specified or directed, all assignment must be submitted electronically via EASE. Assignment files must be submitted by 11.55 pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  6. Where paper-based submission is permitted, students must either (i) submit the assignment directly to the Faculty Office or (ii) mail to USQ. The assessment must be post marked no later than the due date.
    The submission of assessments will NOT normally be accept by facsimile or email.

  7. The submission of assessments will NOT normally be accept by facsimile or email.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the following temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of UConnect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.