× You are viewing an archive version of this unit.

Cradle Coast

This unit is being phased out and may not be offered next year, please consider your study plan accordingly. You will be able to enrol in the unit where there is an availability noted below.


Working with Communities is offered as an intensive unit over six weeks in Winter School. Students should be prepared to spend approximately twice the usual amount of time per week to successfully complete the entire unit over the six-week period.

Face to face tutorials are available.


This second-year unit Working with Communities will give students in a range of professional disciplines the skills to work effectively with diverse communities in their professional practice. The focus is on understanding the concept of 'community', cultural differences among, and within, communities, and the challenges and opportunities of engaging communities in participatory planning and change processes. Regardless of your chosen profession, this unit will help you develop the skills required to work effectively with diverse communities in a range of contexts in Australia and overseas. You will have the opportunity to hear and interact with speakers from a range of professional backgrounds and to apply what you learn to a simulated professional practice scenario.

The theory and practice of working with communities have been developed to a significant level of sophistication in the fields of community development, agricultural extension and rural health. The design of the unit thus draws heavily on these three interrelated groups of theoretical insights through a partnership among the Institute for Regional Development, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and the Centre for Rural Health, with a team of interdisciplinary project leaders and advisors. The unit combines a practical feel with theoretical rigour; it gives students the opportunity to test and apply theory in practice. The unit will be enriched by practice insights from professionals working with communities in Australia and overseas, and will encourage students to reflect on and analyse their own community experiences.

The unit comprises three interlinked modules:

  • In search of community: The first module focuses on the concept of 'community'.  It explores the question, What is community?  This module asks students to reflect on the different communities they identify with and why.  The module introduces different types of communities, common myths about communities, and poses key questions that students can use to reflect upon how different communities are defined, organised, and understood.
  • Communities and change: The second module focuses on drivers of social change and how communities grapple with change processes, locally and globally.  A particular focus of this module is how professionals in different sectors seek to work with communities to facilitate 'triple bottom line' outcomes. Students will be exposed to theories of change and related approaches that are often used in working with communities and their practical applications in a range of community and professional settings.
  • Engaging with communities: The third module focuses on approaches, tools and communication strategies for engaging communities, including participatory and 'bottom-up' approaches and methods that recognise community assets, organisations, dynamics and knowledges. Drawing on real-world scenarios, this module asks students to reflect critically on the agendas of the multiple actors in participatory processes, and to understand the role that engagement may play in manipulating or empowering communities

Summary 2020

Unit name Working with Communities
Unit code XBR202
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Discipline UTAS Centre for Rural Health|Agriculture and Food Systems|Office of the PVC Regional Development
Teaching staff

A/Prof Robyn Eversole, Dr Katherine Evans, Dr Peter Orpin, Dr Peat Leith, Ms Sharon Dennis, Mr Stuart Auckland, Ms Karen Eyles

Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? Yes



Please check that your computer meets the minimum System Requirements if you are attending via Distance/Off-Campus.

Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Special approval is required for enrolment into TNE Program units.

TNE Program units special approval requirements.

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

About Census Dates




Identifying and analysing communities 750-1,000 words (20%); Discussion board postings 6 x 150-200 words (20%); Response to professional practice scenario 750-1,000 words (20%); Final project 1,500-2,000 words (40%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.