SOWK11015 - Professional Communication in Human Services

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit introduces students to professional communication skills within social welfare work and the human services industry. Students should acquire knowledge about the cultural context of all communication as well as the nature and contexts of professional helping relationships and how these differ from non-professional relationships. Students should develop practical skills in professional interpersonal communication including intrapersonal, on line and group-based contexts. Knowledge and skills in active and reflective listening, assertive communication and understanding conflict will be developed. Students should be able to articulate the elements of skills in active listening, assertive communication and participate in assessable tasks in the relevant residential to complete the requirements of this unit.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 1
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).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2019

Term 2 - 2019 Profile
Mixed Mode
Term 1 - 2020 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. Practical and Written Assessment 40%
2. Written Assessment 20%
3. Written Assessment 40%
4. On-campus Activity 0%

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

No previous feedback available

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 feedback
Some students experienced confusion with regards to assessment due dates
Ensure due dates are clearly outlined in the unit profile and again on the Moodle site
Action Taken
This issue was rectified and the due dates were included in the UC.
Source: Have my Say Survey
Students enjoyed the residential and skill development.
Continue to provide the skills workshops in residential.
Action Taken
Source: Have my Say Survey Email Face to face
Students reported that the audio visual preparation and submission was challenging and could have been better supported.
Provide more instructions on how to submit the audio visual. This can be embedded in the unit.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the distinctive context and characteristics of professional helping in social work and human services contexts.
  2. Explain communication as a cultural construct and the associated implications for the human services professional.
  3. Demonstrate effective professional listening and reflective communication skills.
  4. Discuss the characteristics of effective face to face, on line and group-based communication.
  5. Articulate the skills of cultural competency including working in Indigenous contexts.
  6. Demonstrate appropriate skills in the use of self and self care, within the one to one professional communication context.
  7. Explain how the professional practice tools of supervision and reflective practice are used within social and welfare work.
  8. Collate feedback on your performance drawn from your involvement in professional learning contexts.

Australian Association of Social Workers

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