Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to L525
Tied to L530


  • None.


  • Professional Studies II (SOCI2021), Social & Psychological Studies II (SOCI2031), Management & Fieldwork Studies II (SOCI2051), Fieldwork Practice II (SOCI2062).

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module builds on Practice Theories & Skills I, offering students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of community development and groupwork, with a particular focus on developing anti-oppressive practice and strategies for empowering groups and communities.


  • This module will cover the following areas:
  • Theories of groups and group work.
  • Roles in groups.
  • The role of the worker.
  • Dealing with conflict.
  • Strategies for empowering individuals in groups and challenging oppressive behaviour.
  • What is community work? Brief history of origins of community work.
  • Ideologies of community work.
  • Community development and local government.
  • Community economic development.
  • Strategies for empowerment and challenging oppression in communities.
  • The role of the community worker.
  • Monitoring and evaluating community work.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • knowledge and critical understanding of the role of group work in community and youth work practice;
  • awareness and understanding of group work as a form of intervention and the educative possibilities;
  • critical understanding of the factors which can affect and effect interaction between people, in group situations, including the group's membership, size, composition and history;
  • awareness of the dilemmas of working with groups and the need for a strong value base and practice ethics;
  • understanding of how to manage conflict and challenging prejudice and oppression within groups.
  • a general contextual knowledge of the history and development of community work;
  • a broad and detailed understanding of the basic principles and practice of community work;
  • a critical awareness of the values, knowledge and skills required to initiate and sustain developmental work in community settings;
  • an awareness of the values, knowledge and skills required to enable community groups to identify needs and determine appropriate responses;
  • an awareness and understanding of the centrality of equal opportunities and anti-oppressive practice in community work;
  • an appreciation of the national, local, area and community context in which community work takes place;
  • a detailed understanding of the roles played by community workers, and the potential for conflict between roles;
  • a detailed understanding of the political nature of community work, and the impact of central and local government policies and constraints;
  • a critical understanding of the purpose of planning and evaluating the work and of appropriate approaches and techniques.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the ability to make significant connections between groupwork, pragmatic aspects of community and youth work, and the role of collective working in challenging oppressions.
Key Skills:
  • a range of communication skills: the ability to: evaluate and synthesise information obtained from a variety of sources; communicate relevant information in different ways;
  • competence in the use of IT resources including the ability to: word-process; monitor and reflect on the use of IT skills;
  • a capacity to improve own learning and performance, including: ability to manage time effectively; work to prescribed deadlines; engage in different ways of learning including both independent and directed forms of learning; gather necessary information from a range of bibliographic and electronic sources.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching and learning will take place through practical exercises, small and large group discussions relating previous learning to future learning tasks. Most of the teaching and facilitation will be undertaken in two parallel groups which will come together, occasionally, to reflect on experiences and learning. It is hoped to that sufficient trust and rapport will be built so that open and honest sharing in a non-judgemental framework can provide the practice-based reflection in which theory can be explored. The module is comprised of eight sessions and the methods are designed to maximise the opportunities this presents.
  • Teaching and learning will take place through seminars, small group discussions, practical exercises, student presentations, short presentations from the tutor and a visit to projects. Additional material relevant to each session will be placed on the duo system (Durham University Online) in advance of and after the weekly sessions. Duo can be accessed via the duo link from the internal University Home Page, or at the following address: http://duo.durham.ac.uk/

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 16 1 or 2 per week 2 Hours 32
Preparation and Reading 168
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
3000 words written assignment 1 50%
3000 words written assignment 2 50%

Formative Assessment:

1 case study presentation

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University