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SOWK522 Advanced Studies Special Topic

Animals and social work.

Paper title Advanced Studies Special Topic
Paper code SOWK522
Subject Social Work
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,482.25
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Limited to
Admission subject to approval from Head of the Social and Community Work Programme.
Suitable for master's level students and professionals working in any human service setting who have an interest in how animals are perceived in the helping profession in general and social work in particular.

Teaching staff

To be advised when paper next offered

Paper Structure

This paper will cover four modules

  • An Introduction to the relevance to and use of animals within the social work profession both in Aotearoa/New Zealand and overseas.
  • Violence towards animals as a precursor and indicator of violence towards humans.
  • The inclusion of domestic animals in social work assessments and their role within the ecological model.
  • Animal-assisted interventions and their efficacy in the helping professions.

Also covered will be:

  • Discussion on animal ethics, animals within legislation and challenges the use of animals pose for the social work profession.
Teaching Arrangements
There will be a compulsory workshop for this paper at the end of the semester; information about this will be provided with the course books. Other teaching arrangements include audioconferencing, Blackboard and other distance technology.
Ryan, T. (2011) Animals and Social Work: A Moral Introduction. Palgrave MacMillan.
In addition, a course book and readings are provided via Blackboard.
Course outline
The course outline is made available in the course book provided to students prior to the beginning of the second semester.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing the paper students will be able to:

  • Identify and clearly articulate historical and contemporary trends affecting animals and social work.
  • Understand and apply contemporary theoretical explanations for animals within social work.
  • Critically appraise practice framework in relation to violence towards animals, the inclusion of animals in social work assessments and the use of animal assisted interventions in the helping professions.
  • Reflect upon, critique and improve professional practice in relation to animals and their use within social work practice.
  • Apply the theoretical and conceptual framework to a literature review and case study regarding one of: violence towards animals, the inclusion of animals in social work assessments, or the use of animal assisted interventions in the helping professions.

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system