SWSP3033 Social Work Theory and Practice (Group, Teamwork and Organisational Learning)

Level: Bachelor
Credit Points: Six
Prerequisites: Successful completion of a minimum of four Level 200 units
Mode(s) of delivery: On-campus (Sydney)
Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

The unit enables students to analyse approaches to group work, multi-disciplinary teamwork and organisational learning and to demonstrate skills required for professional practice within a diverse range of groups and settings. This unit will have a project designed to link the unit content with a particular issue or organisational context.

Unit Workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week. This includes timetabled class time and private study time.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of theoretical and practical issues in working with groups and teams.
  2. Explain institutional structures, policies, programs, practices and routines in order to work effectively in the workplace culture and interprofessional context.
  3. Demonstrate team building skills in order to build a supportive learning environment in an organisational setting and interprofessional context. 
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.
  5. Apply critical reflective skills and the ongoing use of workplace supervision.

Learning and Teaching Approach

  1. Learning is an active process – which involves both questioning and challenging.
  2. Learning is a shared process – where others’ thoughts and ideas are presented, critically analysed, exchanged and respected.
  3. Learning is a collaborative and empowering process for self and others.
  4. Learning is thoughtful and reflective.
  5. Learning requires integration with prior knowledge and other arenas of knowledge development in the program.
  6. Preparation for lectures and seminars and reading the recommended texts and references is essential.

The content of this unit has been designed to maximise both online and face-to-face learning to integrate the subject matter.

Students are expected to:

  • Complete all activities
  • Complete readings
  • Complete all assessments
  • Attend all classes

It is also recommended that students:

  • Keep a record of new terminology that is introduced in this unit
  • Keep a copy of assessments and other correspondence
  • Make notes on unit content and readings

There will be learning activities linked to all lecture materials which are designed to encourage students to deliberate and reflect and to provide opportunities for further learning. The activities are designed to help students think through and practise the specific skills and general concepts presented in this unit as well as provide valuable learning opportunities.


Recommended Texts

  • Lindsay, T., & Orton, S. (2008). Group work practice in social work. Exeter, England: Learning Matters.
  • Malloch, M. (2011). The SAGE handbook of workplace learning. London, England: SAGE Publications.

Recommended Readings

  • Boud, D., Cressy, P., & Docherty, P. (Eds.) (2006). Productive reflection at work: Learning for changing organisations. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Chung, R., & Benak, F. (2012). Social justice counselling: The next step beyond multiculturalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Fejo-King, C. (2013). Let’s talk kinship: Innovating Australian social work education, theory, research and practice through Aboriginal knowledge. Torrens, Australia: Christine Fejo-King Consulting.
  • Gould, N., & Baldwin, M. (Eds.) (2004). Social work, critical reflection and the learning organisation. Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing.
  • Jandt, F. (2013). An introduction to intercultural communication: Identities in a global community. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, F. P. (2013). Joining together: Group theory and group skills (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
  • Koprowska, J. (2010). Communication and interpersonal skills in social work. Exeter, England: Learning Matters.
  • Levi, D. (2007). Group dynamics for teams. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Lindsay, T., & Orton, S. (2014). Group work practice in social work (3rd ed.). Exeter, England. Learning Matters.
  • Maidment, J., & Egan, R. (2009). Practice skills in social work and welfare: More than just common sense. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
  • Muller, L. (2014). A theory for Indigenous Australian health and human service work: Connecting Indigenous knowledge and practice. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
  • O’Hara, A., & Pocket, R. (2011). Skills for human service work: Working with individuals, groups and communities. Sydney, Australia: Oxford University Press.
  • Rowden, R. (2007). Workplace learning: Principles and practice. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing.
  • Shulman, L. (2009). The skills of helping individuals, families, groups and communities (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.


  • Australian Social Work
  • ADVANCES: Journal of Social Work and Welfare Education
  • Australian Journal of Social Issues
  • Critical Social Work
  • Journal of Social Work Education (USA)
  • Journal of Social Work (UK)

Academic Misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to http://currentstudents.acap.edu.au/assets/Managing-My-Course/A-Z-Policies/Academic-Misconduct-Policy.pdf for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the trimester. For a list of required textbooks for the upcoming trimester, please click here.