Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Knowledge of and skills in communication are highly valued in a broad range of academic, social and professional contexts. This unit provides students with a grounding in the theory and practice of communication, the process by which humans come to a mutual understanding of shared meaning. Students will consider competing models of communication, different approaches to the study of communication, and examine a selection of topical issues in contemporary communication.


Students will also develop their understandings of, and their own skills in, a range of practical communication situations. These may include public communication, communication for influence or persuasion, graphic communication, online communication, intercultural communication or communication in teams.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe and contrast different models of communication and their implications (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Discuss selected current issues in communication (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8)

LO3 - Apply appropriate communication strategies to a range of communication situations (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8)

LO4 - Use oral, written or electronic means of communication effectively (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, G10)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


The unit will introduce students to different models of communication and a variety of approaches to the study of communication. Students will examine a selection of topical communication issues, such as issues arising from the digital revolution in communication. These may include public communication, information presentations, communication for influence or persuasion, graphic communication, online communication, negotiation situations, intercultural communication or communication in teams.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning in this unit takes place lectures and tutorials, which are used to provide unit content and develop unit-related skills. Students also learn in a small-group environment in tutorials, where class discussions, skills workshops, small group activities and individual or group presentations take place.


Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this unit has been chosen to engage students while developing the knowledge and skills they need to meet the learning outcomes of the unit. The written task on a current issue in communication is designed to help students develop their knowledge in an area of communication (Learning outcomes 2 and 4). The presentation task is designed to develop students’ ability to deliver an oral presentation on a communication topic (Learning outcomes 2, 3 and 4). Students will increase their understanding of contemporary research in the field and develop their own oral communication skills. The final summative assessment is designed to assess students’ overall understanding of unit content, and their ability to apply what they have learnt (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4).

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

A written task exploring a current issue in communication 


LO2, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

A presentation task examining one or more aspects of communication


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

A summative task focused on theoretical and practical aspects of the unit 


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Archee, R. Gurney, M & Mohan, T. (2013). Communicating as professionals. Melbourne, Victoria: Cengage Learning.

Baran, S. J & Davis, D. K. (2013). Mass communication theory: Foundations, ferment, and future. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Glynn, C. J., & Young, C. (2018). Public Opinion. Third ed. New York: Routledge.

Hayhoe, G & Grady, H. (2009). Connecting People with Technology: Issues in Professional Communication. Amityville, N.Y. Baywood.

Grellier, J., & Goerke, V. (2018). Communications toolkit. 4th ed. Cengage Learning Australia.

Jenkins,H, Ford,S & Green, J. (2013). Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture.

Mahoney, L. M. & Tang, T. (2017). Strategic Social Media : From Marketing to Social Change. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

McQuail, D. (2020). McQuail's Mass Communication Theory. 4th ed. London: Sage Publications.

Trenholm, S. (2018). Thinking through communication: An introduction to the study of human communication. 8th ed. Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

Wood, J. T. (2016). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters. 8th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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