Unit description

Introduces inter- and intrapersonal verbal and written communication skills for clinical and academic contexts and interdisciplinary collaboration. Communication theories are presented and basic counselling skills introduced. Cross cultural communication and the needs of clients with specific communication barriers will be examined. Collaboration with other professionals including interpreters, trans-cultural workers and community representatives will be highlighted.

Unit content

Topic 1: Introduction to communication theory
Topic 2: Verbal skills in client-centred communication
Topic 3: Nonverbal skills in client-centred communication
Topic 4: Written communication for the health professional
Topic 5: The Initial Interview
Topic 6: Ethics and communication - confidentiality, informed consent and professional boundaries
Topic 7: Barriers to communication - emotions
Topic 8: Barriers to communication - disability
Topic 9: Barriers to communication - culture
Topic 10: Assistive technology to enhance communication
Topic 11: Communication with children

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 2

  • Available online from the Library : O'Toole, G, 2012, Communication: Core interpersonal skills for health professionals, 2nd edn, Elsevier, Chatswood, NSW.
  • Further details regarding prescribed texts can be found on the MySCU Blackboard unit site: ., ..
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Gold Coast

Teaching method
Lecture on-site 1 hour (12 weeks)
Workshop on-site 3 hours (12 weeks)
Exam: practical30%
Group Assignment40%
Exam: viva30%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2016 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.