Housing education for the next generation of social workers

Our dedicated Homelessness and Housing course has been delivered for the fourth year in a row.

The Unison Housing Research Lab (The Lab), a Unison and RMIT partnership, develops and offers the course as an undergraduate elective subject. The course is offered to students who study social work, youth work and psychology in RMIT’s Social Work and Human Services Cluster and to students in the RMIT School of Global, Urban and Social Studies. 

The course aims to fill a gap in social work education by offering students the opportunity to experience a broad range of perspectives in the housing and homelessness area including from consumers, advocates, managers, workers and researchers.

As housing instability and homelessness can affect many areas of a person’s life – employment, personal and family relationships, health and income for example – anyone working in the social work field greatly benefits from an understanding from both an academic, industry and personal experience perspective.  We are proud to be able to offer the next generation of social workers this unique insight and professional learning experience.

“The dedicated homelessness subject, run through The Unison Housing Research Lab, is founded on an evidence base that recognises the Australian institutional and service contexts and encompasses research that looks to the current and emerging needs of the sector and people experiencing homelessness.”

“The model presented here offers an example of how a homelessness subject can be built, drawing on expertise from scholars, industry, consumers, and activists. In doing so, this subject contributes to future social workers operating as activists and change agents across practice, policy, and research.”

Social Work Education and Homelessness: Mobilising Academia–Industry Partnerships to Create a Homelessness Subject, Juliet Watson, Sharlene Nipperess and Guy Johnson


About the Unison Housing Research Lab

The Unison Housing Research Lab is a unique education and research collaboration between RMIT University and Unison Housing. The Lab was established to develop and implement a collaborative teaching program and undertake innovative policy and practice relevant housing research informed by the experiences of services users and providers.

>> Click here for the peer-reviewed journal reflecting the current thinking and trends in social work education link

>> Click here to find out more about the Unison Housing Research Lab and to access other research reports and Think Pieces.

Share this article