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CMS1000 Communication and Scholarship

Semester 2, 2011 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities and Communication

Contents on this page


Examiner: Eleanor Kiernan
Moderator: Lauretta Wright


Advances in communication are occurring globally at a rapid rate. In the contemporary world, effective communication requires an understanding of these new complex processes. It also requires individuals to possess a broad range of transferable skills to meet the demands of change, and to apply these in an equally broad range of contexts.


This course presents an introduction to the theory and practice of communication, with particular application to academic and professional settings. Students study the processes of research and scholarship, and of tailoring communication for specific audiences. Students develop an understanding of barriers to communication, and strategies which can be used to overcome these barriers. Verbal and nonverbal communication thinking skills, and the dynamics of interpersonal and group communication will be explored. Students also gain the written, verbal and personal transferable skills essential to their role in a rapidly changing environment.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. define and describe the process of communication;
  2. demonstrate management, planning and organisation skills by comprehending and adapting styles of written and oral communication to the needs of particular audiences;
  3. demonstrate ethical research and inquiry skills by analysing and developing a given task, conducting a targeted literature review, and identifying and applying referencing principles using an accepted referencing system;
  4. demonstrate academic and literacy skills by evaluating credibility of sources;
  5. demonstrate both written and oral communication skills including a systematic approach to drafting, revising and editing, and the development of logical, clear, concise, balanced arguments;
  6. examine problem-solving and decision-making strategies;
  7. examine the dynamics of communication within groups and within organizations;
  8. explore the dynamics of interpersonal communication across a range of contexts;
  9. demonstrate cultural literacy skills by exploring principles of nonverbal communication and a range of strategies designed to overcome barriers to communication
  10. identify a range of interpersonal communication strategies to minimise barriers to effective communication.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Foundation module 20.00
2. Capstone module 20.00
3. Written communication module 10.00
4. Oral communication module 10.00
5. Clear thinking, problem solving and decision making module. 10.00
6. Interpersonal communication module 10.00
7. Nonverbal communication module 10.00
8. Group and organisational communication module 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Tyler, S, Kossen, C & Ryan, C 2005, Communication: a foundation course, 2nd edn, Pearson education, Frenchs Forest, NSW.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Alberts, JK, Nakayama, TK & Martin JN 2010, Human communication in society, Pearson Education Inc, New Jersey.
  • DeVito, J 2009, Human communication: a basic course, 11th edn, Pearson Education Inc, Sydney.
  • Eunson, B 2008, Communicating in the 21st century, John Wiley & Sons Aust Ltd, Milton, Qld.
  • Grellier, J & Goerke, V 2006, Communication skills toolkit: unlocking the secrets of tertiary success, Thomson Social Science Press, Melbourne.
  • Mohan, T, McGregor, H, Saunders, S & Archee, R 2008, Communicating as professionals, 2nd edn, Cengage, Melbourne.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 120.00
Private Study 42.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives assessed Graduate skill Level assessed Notes
PRELIM PLAN - ESSAY/REPORT 100 15 19 Aug 2011 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 U1,U2,U3,U4,U8 1,1,1,1,1 (see note 1)
ORAL PRESENTATION 100 20 23 Sep 2011 2,3,4,5 U1,U2,U3 U8 U4,U5,U7 1,1,1
ESSAY OR REPORT 100 35 21 Oct 2011 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 U1,U3,U4,U8 1 1,1,1 1,1,1
SELF TEST 0 0 28 Oct 2011 (see note 2)
EXAMINATION 100 30 End S2 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 U1,U4,U7 1,1,1 (see note 3)

  1. Business and Public Relations students are encouraged to choose the report rather than the essay.
  2. Students can self-pace these tests throughout the semester
  3. Students should check USQConnect to find out details of the date, time and place of their exam.

Graduate qualities and skills

Elements of the following USQ Graduate Skills are associated with the sucessful completion of this course.
Ethical research and enquiry (U1)Introductory (Level 1)
Problem solving (U2)Introductory (Level 1)
Academic, professional and digital literacy (U3)Introductory (Level 1)
Written and oral communication (U4)Introductory (Level 1)
Interpersonal skills (U5)Introductory (Level 1)
Cultural literacy (U7)Introductory (Level 1)
Management, planning and organisational skills (U8)Introductory (Level 1)

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this external course. However, it is the student's responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To successfully complete an individual assessment item, a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. This statement must be read in conjunction with Statement 4 below.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without extenuating circumstances and without prior approval, then a penalty of a maximum of 5% of the assigned mark may apply for each working day late, up to a maximum of 10 working days, at which time a mark of zero can be recorded for that assignment.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade, a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks / grades obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    The exam for this course is a CLOSED EXAMINATION, and candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Given the details under (6) above, there are no deferred exams for this course. However, if any deferred/makeup work is granted, it would have to be submitted by a date set by the examiner.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. (a) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. (b) Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if requested by the Examiner. (c) In accordance with University's Assignment Extension Policy (Regulation 5.6.1), the examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances such as documented ill-health. (d) In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the examiner's convenience. (e) Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements. (f) Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in the course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of the course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete-Makeup). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study. (g) Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or sit for an examination at the scheduled time, may apply to defer an assessment in the course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

Other requirements

  1. In view of the course objectives and their emphasis on the development of conceptual and applicable skills, students are strongly advised to attend all classes.

  2. Subject to 1 above, the final result is based on the aggregate of all assessment items.

  3. Note: Students will be given the chance to resubmit their essay if a passing grade is not achieved. Under these conditions, the maximum mark a student can achieve for the essay is 50/100 (that is, a pass).

  4. Students will require access to email and have internet access to UConnect for this course.