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CMS1100 Communicating in the Sciences

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Communicating in the Sciences
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 100799 - Communication and Media Studie
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 21 July 2021


Examiner: Jill Lawrence

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


The contemporary world is characterised by increasing cultural and linguistic diversity and knowledge explosion and transmission. Effective communication in these changed contexts requires not only an understanding of the processes involved in communication and scholarship, but also the ability to apply these understandings to specific contexts. This course will help students access, master and demonstrate the specific genres, discourses and literacies required by academic and scientific fields.


This course presents an introduction to the theory and practice of communication and academic and scientific scholarship. Students study the processes of academic and scientific reading and writing, including research and note taking skills and critical and analytical skills. Students will also study the processes involved in tailoring communication for specific audiences, in analysing tasks and in developing and structuring academic and scientific arguments. The importance of identifying and analysing sound arguments is also covered, along with the development of students' oral presentation, interpersonal and group/team communication skills.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. define and describe the process of communication (all items of assessment);
  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 academic and professional literacy by analysing academic and scientific communication tasks and develop, structuring and editing logically argued and valid academic/scientific arguments;
  4. demonstrate ethical research and inquiry skills by analysing and developing a given task, conducting a targeted literature review, developing a methodological rationale, and identifying and applying referencing principles using an accepted referencing system;
  5. demonstrate academic and literacy skills by evaluating credibility of sources;
  6. 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;
  7. examine problem-solving and decision-making strategies;
  8. specify the importance of interpersonal and team/group work to scientific and academic endeavour and develop students' abilities to be effective group/team members;
  9. demonstrate cultural literacy skills by exploring principles of nonverbal communication and a range of strategies designed to overcome barriers to communication.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Information literacy and research skills 10.00
2. Evaluating and assessing research evidence 10.00
3. The communication process and cultural literacy 10.00
4. Written communication in academic and scientific contexts 10.00
5. Interpersonal and group/organisational skills 10.00
6. Oral Communication 10.00
7. Critical thinking, logic and argumentation 10.00
8. Research reports, including research design, literature review and methodology 30.00

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. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.
Eunson, B 2015, Communicating in the 21st century, 4th edn, John Wiley & sons Aust Ltd, Milton, Qld.
Kossen, C, Kiernan, E & Lawrence, J 2018, Communicating for success, 2nd edn, Pearson, Sydney.
Mohan, T, McGregor, H, Saunders, S & Archee, R 2013, Communicating as professionals, 3rd edn, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne, Vic.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 39.00
Independent Study 126.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ORAL PRESENTATION 100 20 20 Sep 2021
RESEARCH PROJECT 100 50 15 Oct 2021

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ 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.

    On-campus: 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:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  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 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 obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

Date printed 21 July 2021