Gold CoastSession 1Session 1
OnlineSession 1,3Session 1

Unit description

Develops students’ skills in social work communication with a wide range of clients. Enables students to understand the principles of effective interpersonal communication in professional settings, and to reflect critically on the development of their own communication ability. Seeks to introduce students to common approaches to assessing and working with individuals in social work settings.

Unit content

Topic 1: The professional relationship in social work
Topic 2: Communication for social work
Topic 3: Interviewing and questioning
Topic 4: Active listening and empathy
Topic 5: Relationship development
Topic 6: Assessment
Topic 7: Biopsychosocial assessment
Topic 8: Casework and case management
Topic 9: Counselling
Topic 10:Cross-cultural communication

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 1

  • Harms, L, 2015, Working with people: Communication skills for reflective practice, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.

Session 3

  • Prescribed text information is not currently available.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Gold Coast

Teaching method
Workshop on-site 4 hours/week (6 weeks)
Structured online learning 1 hour/week (12 weeks)
Clinical skills40%
Reflective writing30%


Teaching method
Structured online learning 1 hour/week (12 weeks)
Residential session 7 hours/day  (4 days)
Clinical skills40%
Reflective writing30%

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 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

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.