This unit of study aims to develop students' understanding of, and proficiency in, interpersonal and communication skills for application in a range of professional contexts. Students will develop an understanding of communication theories, values and ethics and the importance of cultural sensitivity. Students will have the opportunity through group discussion, experiential workshops and simulation activities to develop their own interpersonal and communication skills. Topics include: self-awareness and personal insight; values; motivation; attitudes; cultural awareness; and introduction to active listening skills and observation skills that are imperative to working with people, particularly in the helping professions.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Work ethically and collaboratively to develop and use effective active listening and interpersonal skills;  
  2. Analyse and reflect on skill acquisition and personal development;  
  3. Examine the relevance of values and cultural sensitivity in developing effective working relationships;  
  4. Working collaboratively, apply actively listening skills to an interpersonal problem solving task; and  
  5. Integrate interpersonal communication theory with the critical appraisal of students' own and others demonstration of active listening skills.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Journal Reflective Journal (800 words) 25%
Assignment Reflection on performance of micro-skills 35%
Other In-class Practical demonstration of skills 40%

Required reading

Additional resources are listed in the Unit Guide and available for students on VU Collaborate.

Basic personal counselling: A training manual for counsellors 8th ed.
Geldard D., Geldard K. & Yin Foo, R. (2017)
South Melbourne: Cengage

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