Course Title: Group Work Theory and Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Group Work Theory and Practice

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Caroline Lambert

Course Coordinator Phone: +613 99258022

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 10

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite courses HWSS2090 History and trends in social work before you commence this course. Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course. For your information the RMIT Course Requisites policy can be found at:;ID=twx09y07zi1c

Course Description

Groups provide powerful means for creating personal and social change when the energy, power and resources of the group are effectively harnessed to achieve a group’s purpose. This course introduces you to knowledge, values and skills for participating in and facilitating groups. Utilising respectful, ethical and reflective practice frameworks, you will explore group work theories and their application to group work in its various forms and contexts. Concern for social justice provides a philosophical underpinning for the course, and critical perspectives provide the overarching theoretical framework, with attention given to how various dimensions of power impact group dynamics and processes. You will focus on the range and diversity of group work in practice; planning and evaluating group programs/sessions; understanding and managing group processes and dynamics; and self- reflective practice in groups. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • recognize the scope and diversity of group work practice and its purposes within contemporary social, political, ethical and organizational contexts
  • identify and analyse major theories and concepts informing group work practices
  • plan, facilitate and evaluate small group experiences
  • critically analyse in a self-reflexive way the role personal, social and structural factors play in the functioning of groups.

You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes in this course:

  • apply a body of interdisciplinary knowledge, values and skills in working with and for society’s most vulnerable and marginalized individuals, families, groups and communities
  • critically analyse, synthesize and reflect on issues of social disadvantage, marginalization and oppression in both local and international contexts, and proactively work to promote social justice and human rights
  • demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and practical reasoning when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts within the discipline of social work
  • work with others in a range of roles and contexts, demonstrating cultural, environmental and social awareness while promoting respectful, ethical and reflective practice.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as lecture / seminars, workshops, large and small group discussions, experiential exercises and independent reading and research. With fellow students you will co-facilitate a group session during one of the workshops and will participate in other facilitated group sessions.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources, and copies of PowerPoint presentations and recordings of lectures will normally be available online. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

Overview of Assessment


You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment tasks are mapped to the learning outcomes. Assessment tasks may include facilitation of a group session, including evaluation of the session, and an essay, and will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. There will be some scope for you to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

  • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: