Course Title: Social Work with Groups ( Social Work Theory and Practice III)

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Social Work with Groups ( Social Work Theory and Practice III)

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 1 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015

Course Coordinator: Dr Chris Maylea

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 3951

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 10

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Critical Social Work (Social Work Theory and Practice 1)

Course Description

Groups are powerful instruments of personal and social change. Group members can effectively harness the energy and power and resources to achieve a group’s purpose. This course introduces frameworks, concepts, strategies and skills for maximizing the benefits of group work for service-users or organizational work teams. Group work theories will be explored in their application to social work practice with groups in a range of settings. Concern for social justice will provide a philosophical underpinning in the course; critical social work perspectives will provide the overarching theoretical framework with attention to race, gender, culture and other power dimensions in group processes and dynamics. Focus will be on the diversity of groups and group work in practice; planning and evaluating groups; understanding and managing group processes and dynamics; and self-reflective practice in groups.

The course will build on Critical Social Work (Social Work Theory and Practice 1). The subject matter will be considered in the context of current policy, program and service delivery environments.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the conclusion of this course you will have a greater understanding of the practice of group work as a social work method. You will have an understanding of relevant group work theories and have knowledge for understanding group processes, leadership and skills for working in groups. Your capacity to write analytically, to reflect on your group particiipation, and to relate theories to group experiences will be enhanced.

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the purposes and diversity of social group work models and activities;
  2. Understand key group work theories and concepts and apply these to practice;
  3. Identify and demonstrate knowledge and skills for planning and evaluating small group experiences;
  4. Prepare a submission to obtain endorsement for establishing a group;
  5. Identify and describe group processes and dynamics;
  6. Identify and demonstrate theoretical knowledge and practice skills for facilitating, participating in, and providing group leadership in small work groups\teams;
  7. Describe and analyze your participation in a group;
  8. Understand social, political, organizational and ethical dimensions of group work.

Overview of Learning Activities

There will be a variety of learning experiences organised in the form of weekly seminars. Learning strategies will include input from speakers, large and small group discussions, and individual and small group activities including group facilitation. The last activity will take place during the latter part of the course.

Overview of Learning Resources

There is a Course Reader. You are also expected to access other literature referred to in the Detailed Weekly Schedule, and some key readings available through RMIT Library’s electronic service are indicated in the weekly schedule. Notes from seminars will also be made available, where possible, on the DLS.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is based on a series of activities across the semester that will help you develop core conceptual and practice skills related to activities you will need to undertake as a group worker. Your understanding of different purposes, theories, concepts and processes of group work will be assessed by written tasks, and there will be opportunities for drafts of this written work to be reviewed. Your understanding and use of group work skills will also be assessed through participation in a group faciitation with your peers. You will receive both verbal and written feedback on your group facilitation.