BESC5901 Groupwork Theory and Practice

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

BESC5901 Groupwork, Theory and Practice

Level: Higher

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: none

Unit description

This unit is core and provides students with an introduction to the theory of groupwork and develops the student’s capacity to apply groupwork theory and practice in a variety of contexts and settings. Students learn about the theoretical underpinning that informs the dynamics and processes which affect the stages of group development and group process. Students learn to apply their knowledge and skills to real and simulated situations. Emphasis throughout the unit is placed on developing a practical framework to manage, lead and participate in groups in a range of contexts and circumstances.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • describe the rationale for groupwork and an overview of historical perspectives on the development and application of groupwork
  • develop a systematic approach to groupwork planning, program development and associated administrative functions
  • identify and describe the key elements of group dynamics and group process
  • implement appropriate adult learning principles, communication skills and group techniques for conducting and/or facilitating a group and group process
  • demonstrate group observation and analysis skills and implement and explain a range of intervention strategies to deal with a variety of groupwork situations
  • compare a range of counselling and personal growth groups, the roles and functions of the leader within these groups, and special issues related to these groups
  • describe and discuss the ethical and legal dimensions of groupwork

Unit content

  • Historical Development and Rationale of Groupwork
  • Group Planning and Development
  • Group Dynamics
  • Group Stage Development
  • Leadership in Groups
  • Group Process
  • Assessing Group Effectiveness
  • Managing Issues in the Group
  • Techniques for Conducting Groups
  • Special Considerations for Different Types of Groups
  • Counselling and Therapy Groups
  • Developing as a Group Leader

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9.75 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Regular Term



Word count


Case Study




Reflective Essay




Summer School (2014)



Word count


Case Study/ Short Answer Questions



End of on campus week

Professional Report



10 Days after Assignment 1

Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquisition techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended text

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, F. P. (2013). Joining together: Group theory and group skills (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Relevant journals

Groupwork: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Working with Groups
Group and Organizational Management
Group and Organizational Studies
Human Relations
Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama and Soiometry
Journal of Management
Journal of Managerial Psychology
Journal of Occupational and Organization Psychology
Journal of Organizational Psychology
Journal of Social Psychology
Journal of Specialist in Groupwork

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 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 semester.