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PSY1102 Interpersonal Skills

Semester 1, 2020 On-campus Ipswich
Short Description: Interpersonal Skills
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090701 - Psychology
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Tony Machin


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BPSH or BSCI (13815 Psychology) or BSCI (17582 Psychology Extended) or BPSB or BSEH


To be a competent psychologist, counsellor or helping professional in any domain requires good communication skills that can be deployed across a range of contexts. Whatever the domain, a psychologist, counsellor or helping professional 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, counsellors and helping professionals 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 into their constituent parts in the first instance. That is, students' abilities to discern the meaning in other people's communication is examined. Students' skills 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 should be able to:

  1. articulate and apply a range of communication models;
  2. identify a range of influences on effective communication;
  3. articulate the influence of culture on effective communication and reflect on modifying communication for cultural appropriateness and working with diverse communities;
  4. critically reflect on their awareness of receptive and expressive communication;
  5. competently observe and interpret interpersonal communication skills;
  6. critically reflect on interpersonal communication skills implementation.


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. (

DeVito, JA 2018, The Interpersonal communication book, 15th 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.
Lane, SD 2010, Interpersonal communication, competence and contexts, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, Boston, MA.
West, R & Turner, LH 2011, Understanding interpersonal communication, Enhanced 2nd edn, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Boston, MA.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 55.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 78.00
Tutorials 13.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Personal Development Plan 100 20 26 Mar 2020 1,2,3,4,5,6
Learning Journey Analysis 100 60 04 Jun 2020 1,2,3,4,5,6 (see note 1)
First Principles Quiz 100 20 19 Jun 2020 1,2,3,4,5,6 (see note 2)

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

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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle).

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  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. Electronic submission of assignments is required for this course. All submissions must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ study desk for this course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. 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.

  2. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains electronic assessment and submission elements. In order to avoid internet issues, on-campus students should upload their assignments electronically using the same computer laboratories. External students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment submission. External students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, external students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.

  3. Students are expected to open their university provided email account and check it regularly for personal communication. In accordance with the Electronic Communication with Students Policy and Procedure ( information sent to the student's USQ email account will be regarded as being received.

  4. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use the 6th or 7th edition of the APA Style Manual to format their assignments. The APA Style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Date printed 19 June 2020