SOWK11015 - Professional Communication in Human Services

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit introduces you to professional communication skills within social work and the human services industry. You will acquire knowledge about the cultural context of communication. You will develop an understanding of the nature and contexts of professional helping relationships and how these differ from non-professional relationships; the importance of the working alliance and communication; the use of self; and how to facilitate self-determination when communicating. You will develop practical skills and knowledge in professional active listening skills, and in reflective practice and writing. You will be required to participate in assessable tasks in the relevant residential to complete the requirements of this unit. Attendance at residential is compulsory and is required under the Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards 2020.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
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 Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

Term 2 - 2023 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 Undergraduate 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. On-campus Activity 0%
2. Practical and Written Assessment 60%
3. Written Assessment 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 1 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.4 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 32.58% 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: Have your say
Students reported to enjoy the assessment tasks because of their authenticity and relevance to social work practice.
Continue to use authentic assessment tasks.
Action Taken
Case studies and examples reflect 'real life' social work examples. Assessment tasks focus on skill development and critical reflection.
Source: Have your say
Students reported to like the Moodle site and learning resources provided on the Moodle site.
Continue to provide diverse learning opportunities and resources.
Action Taken
Well developed Moodle and learning resources.
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply effective professional listening and active listening communication skills
  2. Describe and demonstrate the working alliance; self-determination and the use of self; when communicating in a professional context
  3. Demonstrate critically reflective practice in relation to professional active listening communication skills
  4. Apply cross cultural awareness and knowledge when communicating with culturally diverse groups, including Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Australian Association of Social Workers

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - On-campus Activity
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - On-campus Activity
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment