Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


PSYC100 Foundations of Psychology and PSYC101 Applications of Psychology

Teaching organisation

3 contact hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent

Unit rationale, description and aim

A key aspect of working with individuals and understanding an individual's behaviour is understanding human behaviour in a group setting. This unit will explore the major concepts of small group processes experientially. In doing so, this unit will extend and apply basic concepts of psychology to develop students' knowledge of the underlying dynamics of small group behaviour, group participation and leadership. This unit explores how an individual's behaviour is influenced by small group interaction, which is a vital aspect of 'being' in the social context. The aim of this unit is to allow students to experience and reflect upon small group processes and develop skills in small group leadership.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - demonstrate an understanding of central concepts, processes and relationships pertaining to contemporary theories of small group processes (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9);

LO2 - demonstrate an understanding of various relationship structures within small groups (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9);

LO3 - apply theories of small group dynamics, group functions and group processes to their own and their group’s behaviour (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9);

LO4 - identify, develop and apply effective group participation and leadership skills, taking into account the diverse backgrounds of group members (GA1, GA5, GA7, GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:  

  • basic issues, key concepts and theories of group processes 
  • group development, leadership skills, roles, status, norms, goals, relationship structures, communication, power, and conflict management 
  • participating in, leading and co-leading groups.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit is delivered in attendance mode with 3 contact hours per week using a workshop-style face-to-face class. This mode of delivery is designed to enhance discussion and engagement in the content covered in the unit and offer opportunities for experiential learning i.e., students experience the dynamics of a small group.

Assessment strategy and rationale

To enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessment strategy for this unit allows you to demonstrate your acquisition of knowledge, as well as the application of that knowledge. The summary of reflections and group participation report allows you to demonstrate your ability to reflect on (a) your experience in a small group, (b) your own behaviour, and (c) the behaviour of your group, and consider these reflections in light of the theoretical knowledge acquired through this unit. The summary of reflections is a brief and low weighted assessment piece due early in the semester to provide you with an opportunity for formative feedback prior to submitting your main assessment piece. Recall of key knowledge concepts is assessed via multiple choice questions in the final exam. In order to successfully complete this unit, you are required to complete and submit all of the assessment tasks listed in the table below. In addition to this, you must obtain an aggregate mark of at least 50% to pass the unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Attendance at a minimum of 80% of the classes is mandated to create the opportunity for the group to develop from the initial stage of a group to the working stage of a group over the semester.


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9

Summary of reflections 

Allow students to demonstrate their ability to identify and describe their and their group’s behaviour


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Group participation report:  

Allow students to apply group theory to their experience of a small group


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Final exam:  

Allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of course content


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Corey, M.S., Corey, G., & Corey, C. (2017). Groups: Process and practice (10th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. 

Corey, G., Corey, M.S., & Haynes, R. (1999). Evolution of a group: Student video & workbook. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. 

Jacobs, E., Masson, R., & Harvill, R. (2008). Group counseling: Strategies and skills (6th ed.) Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. 

Johnson, D.W., & Johnson, F.P. (2014). Joining together: Group theory and group skills (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. 

Posthuma, B.W. (2002). Small groups in counseling and therapy (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

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