HCS509 Social Work Theory and Practice 3 - Mezzo level Practice (8)

This subject uses a case-based approach to methods of intervention in human services. It develops students' intervention and evaluation skills in working with vulnerable groups in a group work context. It considers working with groups of diverse ages and generations. It provides foundational and advanced understanding of organisational context and of working within and between organisations and in particular in teams and meetings as a form of group process. The subject includes theory of conflict resolution and mediation with a focus on developing relevant skills in this area. The subject draws upon research into organizational and team analysis and applies the knowledge at an advanced stage to issues in groups and organizations including project teams.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: HCS509. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Student needs to have successfully completed HCS507 & HCS508 prior to enrollment into HCS509.


HCS507 and HCS508

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • independently research and demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge to reflect critcially on theory and professional practice in relation to group work theory
  • demonstrate and critically apply a range of group work skills, for meso-practice
  • demonstrate critical reflection on their own group work practice by identifying strengths, areas for further development that will contribute to professional practice
  • independently research and demonstrate an understanding of approaches to leadership, and an ability to critically reflect on their own leadership
  • identify the role of the worker as change agent within an organisation, including understanding change management processes, roles and how this can translate into professional practice through a synthesis of the scholarly literature about organisational practice
  • demonstrate an understanding of and critically analyse the role of organisational partnerships in the current welfare context
  • actively participate in face-to-face learning activities as per accreditation requirements


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Identification of the characteristic features of groups and understanding group work theories.
  • Application of groupwork principles and groupwork theory and practice that enables the critiquing of responses of groupwork clients’ needs and circumstances.
  • Developing, leading, implementing, managing and evaluating task focussed group-work including process issues
  • Researching, developing, leading, implementing, managing and evaluating values-changing group-work including process issues and safety issues for members
  • Leading, researching and evaluating groups and managing group processes including safety issues for members
  • Dealing with difficulties/challenges in groups
  • Identification and articulation of the characteristic features of organisational structures, internal and external relationships and how power impacts on organisational processes.
  • Challenging organisational practice: strategies for working and managing organisational change.
  • Working collaboratively or in conflict: understanding and improving inter-sectorial relationships with other services and disciplines.
  • Working across the mezzo level: understanding project and service management.

Residential School

This subject contains a 5 day Compulsory Residential School.

The residential school will involve the students in interactive experiential learning all basic skills and advanced skills in a safe environment. It will provide specific lectures and opportunities for discussion and clarification of key concepts and processes. There will be individual and group activities that will simulate a project team and require the identification of roles, responsibilities and utilise formal theories of groupwork. Activities will include the integration of research into practice and the development of skills and values in developing theory. 


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or ask@csu.edu.au or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.