Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


FSAS001 Academic Communications Skills 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit builds on the notion that improved academic communication skills are key to success in a university environment in Australia. This unit is designed to develop, academic communication skills needed for successful study in ACU undergraduate courses. The unit offers practice in four academic communication skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and dedicated study of academic language, within the context of a range of topics and issues relating university studies. The unit also introduces the functional and critical skills necessary to begin to incorporate academic sources into writing and introduces students to concepts of academic honesty at ACU. 

The aim of this unit is to build on the knowledge and skills attained in Academic Communication Skills 1, and to introduce students to more complex concepts in academic language and regarding academic culture.

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 - Use academic language to express ideas meaningfully in a university context (GA9)

LO2 - Clearly articulate academic concepts in formal spoken and multimodal contexts (GA7, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Demonstrate an ability to effectively use listening and reading strategies to analyse and respond to a range of spoken and written texts (GA4)  

LO4 - Paraphrase, summarise and synthesise information from a range of academic sources (GA8, GA9)

LO5 - Construct coherent extended academic texts which effectively communicate more complex concepts related to Australian academic culture (GA8,GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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.


Topics will include:

  •         Development of individual study plans
  •         Developing understanding and use of language in an academic context.
  •         Developing understanding of appropriate language and techniques in academic essay writing.
  •         Developing effective communication strategies for a range of academic contexts.
  •         Strategies to assist in understanding spoken and written texts in an academic context.
  •         Basic research and referencing skills.
  •         Critically thinking about reading and listening texts.
  •         Note-taking and annotation skills – strategies for effective note-taking and guidance in how notes are used to further understanding, and for assessments.
  •         Test taking strategies. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Multi-mode: 5 hours per week on campus. Plus 5 hours per week of facilitated learning based on individual study plans to be completed in class or online. 

Duration: 10-week Term.

This unit facilitates an active and multi-modal approach to learning. Workshops include expert input but are student focused and collaborative and are designed to maximize opportunities for students to interact with academic English in various contexts as well as interact with each other. Students are required to actively participate in workshops and will be assigned learning activities to complete online. Students will be encouraged to build on past experiences of learning and assisted in transferring this knowledge to new learning contexts. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment tasks build on skills developed in Academic Communication Skills 1. The tasks are scaffolded and in part designed to prepare students for the type of assessments encountered in a undergraduate university setting. The tasks are designed to assess students understanding of academic English in a range of university contexts and their readiness for further studies of Academic English at a higher level. 

The speaking and peer review task encourages students to engage with multimedia and explore peer and self-review techniques for personal development. The guided academic essay allows for students to develop understanding of university expectations surrounding this kind of assessment, students will be supported through the different scaffolded stages including: idea generation, research, planning, synthesising sources, structuring and writing. The final examination allows for assessment of students’ overall proficiency before moving on to the next level (Tertiary Literacy). 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Speaking and Peer Review Task

Students will individually record a short response to a given prompt. This will be uploaded to the LEO unit. Within the unit a peer will be guided through a structured review process. 


LO1, LO2

GA7, GA9, GA10

Guided Academic Essay

Students create an academic research essay. Students will be provided with appropriate texts that they will be supported to paraphrase, summarise and synthesise in preparation for an academic essay. The final assessed writing component will be conducted under exam conditions in the classroom. 


LO1, LO4, LO5

GA8, GA9 


The exam is designed for students to demonstrate their understanding of the academic strategies and skills covered during the term. Students will be assessed on academic English knowledge use as well as their ability to respond appropriately to a range of academic texts and prompts. 


LO1, LO3, LO5

GA4, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Australian Catholic University. (n.d.). Academic Skills Unit.

Brick, J., Herke, M., Wong, D., & Davies, L. (2016). Academic Culture: A student's guide to studying at university. South Yarra, Vic: Palgrave Macmillan

Huntley, H. (2006). Essential academic vocabulary: Mastering the complete academic word list. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Oshima, A., & Hogue, A. (2006). Writing Academic English. White Plains, N.Y: Pearson Education.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs