SWSP6043 Social Work Theory and Practice (Group, Teamwork and Organisational Learning)

Level: Master
Credit Points: Six
Prerequisites: SWSP6003 and SWSP6013
Mode(s) of delivery: On-campus (Sydney)
Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

The unit will enable 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 has a group project designed to link 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. Evaluate institutional structures, policies, programs, practices, and routines in order to work effectively in the workplace culture.
  2. Apply critical reflective skills and the ongoing use of workplace supervision.
  3. Demonstrate a working knowledge of theoretical and practical issues of working with groups.
  4. Demonstrate team building skills in order to build a supportive learning environment in an organisational setting. 
  5. Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. 

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

  • Hughes, M., & Wearing, M. (2017). Organisations and management in social work (3rd ed.). London, England: SAGE Publications.
  • Lindsay, T., & Orton, S. (2014). Group work practice in social work (3rd ed.). Exeter, England: Learning Matters.
  • McDonald, C., Craik, C., Hawkins, L., & Williams, J. (2011). Professional practice in human service organisations. Sydney, Australia: Allen and Unwin.

Recommended Readings

  • Docherty, P., Kira, M., Shani, A., (2009) Creating sustainable work systems, Chippenham, Wiltshire, Routledge Press
  • Glassman, U., (2009) Group work a humanistic and skills building approach, London, Sage Publishing
  • McShane, S., Olekalns, M., Travaglione, T., (2013) Organisational behaviour; emerging knowledge, global insights, North Ryde, Australia, McGraw-Hill Australia
  • MacNeish, J., Riichardson, T., (1994), The choice, either change the system or polish the fruit. Warrandyte, Victoria, Don’t Press
  • Roseland, R., Rivas, R., (2009) An introduction to group work practice, Boston, USA, Peason/ Allyn and Bacon
  • Waddell, D., Cummings, T., Worley, C., (2011) Organisational change development and transformation, Sydney, Australia, Cengage Learning Australia


  • 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.