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PSY1102 Interpersonal Skills

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology

Contents on this page


Examiner: Andrea Quinn
Moderator: Gerry Tehan


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BPSH or BPSB. Students enrolled in other degrees may be permitted to enrol in this course with the examiner's approval.


To be a competent psychologist in any domain requires good communication skills that can be deployed across a range of contexts. Whatever the domain, a psychologist must be able to understand the message that is being communicated, and to facilitate communication with others. They must also be able to communicate their thoughts and ideas in a clear manner, be it verbally or in written form. Importantly, psychologists need to be aware of the problems that may arise when two or more people are involved in interactive communication, and to facilitate resolution. This course attempts to highlight and develop skills in these areas.


Good communication skills are attributes that USQ affirms its graduates should have acquired upon completion of their degree. This course is aimed directly at fostering one aspect of communication skills; namely interpersonal communication skills. In this introductory level course, communications are broken down in into their constituent parts in the first instance. That is, students' abilities to discern the meaning in other people's communication is examined. Students' abilities to communicate meaning via speaking and writing are then addressed. These constituent processes are then combined in an interactive context.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. understand a range of communication models;
  2. understand a range of influences on effective communication;
  3. demonstrate awareness of receptive and expressive communication;
  4. demonstrate competence in observing and interpreting communication;
  5. demonstrate competence in managing communication.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Theories and models that apply to interpersonal communication. 20.00
2. Personal, cultural and contextual influences on communication. 20.00
3. Elements of verbal and nonverbal communication. 20.00
4. Managing interpersonal processes, including conflict and barriers. 30.00
5. Augmented and assisted communication. 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. (

  • Lane, SD 2010, Interpersonal communication, competence and contexts, 2nd edn, Pearson, Boston, MA.

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.
  • DeVito, JA 2007, The interpersonal communication book, 11th edn, Pearson Education, Boston, MA.
  • Dick, B 1986, Learning to communicate, Interchange & University of Queensland Bookshop, Brisbane, QLD.
  • West, R & Turner, LH 2009, Understanding interpersonal communication, 2nd edn, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Boston, MA.
  • Additional readings will be supplied in class, although other helpful references are listed.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 55.00
Class Contact 39.00
Private Study 69.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Personal Development Plan 100 20 30 Mar 2012
Learning Journey Analysis 100 60 08 Jun 2012 (see note 1)
First Principles Quiz 100 20 25 Jun 2012 (see note 2)

  1. Assessment due dates to be advised.
  2. Assessment due dates to be advised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and 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:
    See item 4 below.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  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. Note that the Conceded Pass is not available in this course due to APAC accreditation standard 2.1.9. The term ?weighted? refers to assessment items that contribute to the calculation of the final grade for a course, i.e., have a non-zero weighting.

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

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  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. 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.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment, except the online quiz. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner.

  3. Access to email, discussion groups and the internet is a departmental requirement. Students are expected to open their university provided email account and check it regularly for personal communication. Information sent this way will be regarded as being receivable.

  4. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //