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,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Dr Juliet Watson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 39925 3477

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Floor 10, Room 15

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

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 more information go to RMIT Course Requisites webpage.

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

Program Learning Outcomes  

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:   

  • 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  
  • Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and practical reasoning when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts within the discipline of social work 
  • Communicate using diverse formats and strategies to stakeholders within and external to your discipline 
  • Work with others in a range of roles and contexts, demonstrating cultural, environmental and social awareness while promoting respectful, ethical and reflective practice.  
  • Apply initiative and ethical judgment in planning, problem solving and decision making in your current and continuing professional practice 

Course Learning Outcomes 

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

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

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as lectures, 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. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

Overview of Assessment

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

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

Assessment Tasks

Assessment task 1: Short Answer Assignment, 15% CLO1 and CLO2

Assessment task 2: Facilitated group session and evaluation, 45%, CLO1, CLO3, CLO4 (written summary maximum 500 words)

Assessment task 3: Critically reflective analysis, 40%, CLO1, CLO2, CLO4 (Part A 1000 words, Part B 800 words)

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 Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.