MEDS20005 - Advanced Communication in the Health Professions

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit provides a structured programme of study facilitating the development of increased competence in the critical application of advanced communication skills in clinical practice. You will learn about the theoretical principles underpinning advanced communication, undertake a review of literature in the field, develop advanced communication skills, and critically reflect on their application, in order to improve the information and support you provide to patients, students, peers and other health professionals. Areas covered will include responding to challenging situations, effective communication with students, self awareness when interacting with patients and report writing.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 9
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

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 - 2021

Term 2 - 2021 Profile
Mixed Mode
Term 2 - 2022 Profile
Mixed Mode

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. Presentation and Written Assessment 60%
2. Portfolio 40%

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

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 60.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 71.43% 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: SUTE data
The assessment item relating to writing a formal sonographic report to document sonographic findings was thought provoking, authentic and interesting.
Continue to retain the authentic assessment item where students are required to develop formal written sonographic reports to document sonographic findings.
Action Taken
The assessment related to sonographic report writing was maintained. Sonographic report examples were presented and discussed during interactive tutorials.
Source: SUTE data
Students commented that the lectures and information provided were interesting and had strategies to implement in real practice.
Continue to provide information in lectures and other learning resources related to communication strategies that students can apply to real life practice.
Action Taken
The lectures and resources related to communication strategies that students can apply in real life practice were maintained. In addition, further lectures were developed and provided regarding gender diversity. Furthermore, interactive tutorials were facilitated whereby challenging communication scenarios that the students had experienced were discussed. The students were also encouraged to evaluate and reflect on other examples presented during the tutorials.
Source: Student feedback.
Students reported that unit requirements should be clearly outlined at the start of the unit.
Unit requirements could be unpacked in a pre-recorded lecture. This could be made available to students at the commencement of the term. It could outline the learning outcomes, their practical relevance and the assessment tasks.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically reflect upon and evaluate your own use of advanced communication within clinical practice.
  2. Create reasoned plans for advanced communication in challenging situations based on an analysis of the relevant literature.
  3. Apply knowledge of advanced communication to situations involving clients, students and other health professionals and discuss the outcome.
  4. Construct written reports which interpret patient findings and discuss recommendations based on information from case studies undertaken .

This masters unit does not lead to entry into the sonography or echocardiography profession. It is for advanced practice by qualified practitioners. As such it does not require external accreditation but we will be seeking approval for the course from the accrediting body, the ASAR.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Presentation and Written Assessment
2 - Portfolio
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Presentation and Written Assessment
2 - Portfolio