Groups and Communities
Health Care and Life Sciences
Critically discuss how community development (i.e. community work
and community action) and group work have been used to seek
improvements in the social situation of a specific social
For this you have to discuss both group and community work, and relate this to a
specific group/community of your choice. Students usually write about something
from their own practice experience (in placements) but that is not a requirement; if
you want to you can discuss examples that you know about or have read about.
The Learning Outcomes are:
Critically analyse the use of group work with service users, carers or multi-
Analyze the potential role of community led action to promote inclusion and wellbeing.
Demonstrate critical understanding of community and community work,
identifying the political and social factors that shape practice.
Demonstrate critical awareness of differences in identities and cultures and the
relevance of anti-oppressive practice in empowering communities and groups.
The points below are intended to help you ‘unpack’ the learning outcomes but they
are general guidance, to some extent how they relate to your essay will depend on
what specifically you are writing about: which community and group.
For Learning Outcome 1 you should identify a group of service users or
professionals and describe its aims and/or purpose and how it functions. You
also need to give some analysis of it, which could include how well it functions as
a group (‘group dynamics’) or if it is likely to achieve its aims and what the
reasons for that might be.
Learning Outcome 2 is asking you to discuss collective action or mutual aid; i.e.
what your community or group are doing themselves to improve their situation. It
might be that they are not doing much, in which case you could discuss (e.g.)
what they could do and how professionals might work with them to support that.
You also have to analyse this, so you might want to discuss issues like, how
effective is it; what obstacles and barriers they face and how they are addressed.
For Learning Outcome 3 you should discuss the problematic nature of community
(as a concept) and how that relates to the community you have chosen to
discuss; what community (social) work is and how it is influenced by its social and
Learning Outcome 4 asks you to discuss the social composition of your group
and community and (e.g.) how representative they are. You should also discuss
how social inequalities are or can be addressed and how effectively group and/or
community work can be used to empower disadvantaged people.
Two other points about the essay:
a) You can write more about one aspect (community or group) than the other; but
you do have to discuss both.