COMM20110 - Crisis Communication

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Not everything happens to plan. Sometimes crises occur with little or no warning, while other times issues build over time. How you manage the crisis as a leader can make or break an organisation. This unit will examine crisis management from a communications perspective. Communicating during and after a crisis is a complex strategy of message development and targeted delivery. You will examine the crisis lifecycle and the role of leadership during a crisis. You will develop messages for stakeholders as well as tools for managing intense media scrutiny. This unit is ideal for decision makers in organisations, or those who may be at the front line when a crisis occurs.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 8
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Admission to CC27, CL44, CL45, CM39 or CM52 or completion of 48 credit points.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2024

Term 2 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Case Study 10%
2. Report 30%
3. Online Test 30%
4. Self assessment 30%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

To view Past Exams,
please login
Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 84.21% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 16.96% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student Unit and Teaching Evaluation
The structure of the unit was practical and useful, enabling students to choose an assessment topic within their area of interest.
Maintain the scaffolded nature of the assessments and allow students to select a crisis type to fit within their area of interest or career aspirations.
Action Taken
The scaffolded nature of assessments, and option for students to select topics based on their own interests, was maintained.
Source: Student Unit and Teaching Evaluation
The videos, unit content, support material and lecturer feedback was excellent, however more exemplars would be appreciated, due to the highly individualised nature of the assessment.
Provide additional exemplars of completed assessments across a range of grades.
Action Taken
Additional exemplars were provided for students.
Source: Student Satisfaction Survey
Students would benefit from a broader range of learning materials, including videos, interactive modules and synchronous sessions
Embed a broader range of learning materials into the unit, including videos, interactive tools such as H5Ps and offer more synchronous sessions
Action Taken
In Progress
Source: Student Satisfaction Survey
Students enjoyed the 'real-world' applicability of the assessment pieces
Continue to offer assessments in which students can see a direct link between their assessment and their current or future workplaces
Action Taken
In Progress
Source: Student Satisfaction Survey
Students felt written feedback may not have been sufficient for their needs
Consider ways to give students more detailed feedback on their assessment, in a range of formats, including oral feedback
Action Taken
In Progress
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Recognise different types of crises and how they can impact on an organisation
  2. Critically evaluate potential risks to leadership throughout the crisis lifecycle
  3. Analyse the leadership role during and after a crisis
  4. Apply crisis communication techniques to mainstream and digital media
  5. Develop a crisis management communication plan.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Case Study
2 - Report
3 - Online Test
4 - Self assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8