PUB HLTH 1003 - Communication for Health Sciences

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

This course will be taught in intensive mode over one week during the mid-semester break in Semester 2, with online learning activities before and after. This course requires face-to-face attendance; students are not able to complete it online. The course will be highly interactive and skills-based providing students with the opportunity to assess and improve their communicative competence (oral, written and interpersonal) through self and peer-assessment tasks and by using a variety of media for communication. During the intensive face-to-face week the students will have the opportunity to replicate real-world communication in health care. Topics will include: basics of interpersonal communication and working in groups; giving & receiving feedback; psychology of communication; assessing communication skills by survey and observation; active listening and building trust and rapport; effect of power differentials in communication; health literacy; seeking information from experts and consumers; verbal and non-verbal communication; identifying and overcoming communication barriers; collaboration and interdisciplinary communication; foundations of evidence-based practice and policy; developing answerable questions; summarising and synthesising evidence and producing health information for different audiences.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 1003
    Course Communication for Health Sciences
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive & online
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of undergraduate study
    Assessment Written assignments, group work, participation and practical activities
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Clare Hume

    Course Coordinator: Dr Clare Hume
    Phone: +61 8313 6871
    Location: Level 4, Rundle Mall Plaza, North Terrace

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Timetable details are located on MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate a understanding of how the psychology of communication impacts on interpersonal communication between individuals and groups
    2 Assess their own and others communication skills using structured assessment tools and observation of communicative encounters
    3 Demonstrate skills in active listening and in building rapport and trust in interpersonal communications
    4 Demonstrate an awareness of non-verbal communication skills and the effect of physical presence on effective communication
    5 Use effective interpersonal and written communication skills to: give and receive feedback; obtain information from peers, supervisors, consumers/stakeholders; persuade and argue for a course of action or a compromise between conflicting views
    6 Demonstrate an awareness of the factors influencing workplace behaviour and the interaction of people in workplace teams or groups
    7 Produce evidence-based information using a variety of media which is suitable for a general (consumer) audience
    8 Match the information needs of different audiences to the selection of media and the format of information produced
    9 Integrate learning from a number of disciplinary areas with evidence from various sources to deliberate about a health issue of national or international importance
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    7, 8, 9

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    7, 8, 9

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    2, 5, 7, 8

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    7, 8, 9

    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.

    8, 9

    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    There is no set text for this course. Resources will be made available on MyUni.

    Recommended Resources
    Chapters from the following book will be very useful:
    Eunson, B 2016, Communicating in the 21st century, 4th edn, Wiley, Milton, Queensland. 

    There will be specific articles and other readings made available through Course Readings on MyUni. 

    Links to all learning resources will be provided through My Uni, as will all other course materials such as the course profile, notes for seminars and seminar recordings (where audio-visual equipment is available), learning activities, discussion board, quizzes, and assignment information and submission (where appropriate).
    Online Learning


    University information on computer laboratories and other computing services is available at:

    The Health Sciences computer laboratory, S118, is situated on the first floor of the Medical School South Building. Twenty-four hour access to computers is provided at the Barr Smith Library.

    Communication for Health Sciences makes lecture notes and other teaching aids available electronically to students, through MyUni.


    MyUni is the primary entry point to online learning at Adelaide University. MyUni provides students and staff with access to course materials, discussion forums, announcements, online and many other features to help manage your study or teaching. You can connect to MyUni on or off campus from an internet connected computer using a Web browser. The URL is: 

    Login to this resource using your Username and Password. Once logged on to MyUni, you will find the information displayed is customised to present only details relevant to you and the online content for courses that you are studying.

    For enquiries about online education services, what’s available and access, contact the Online Education Helpdesk:

    Phone: (08) 8313 3335


    The Helpdesk is available for extended hours during the week or through voicemail.

    In Communication for Health Sciences, you will use MyUni for a number of purposes:-

    Accessing announcements about changes in scheduling, course information etc.

    Accessing lecture notes both in pdf format and, if recording is possible in the allocated lecture theatre, in audio file format.

    Accessing online learning activities including self and peer-assessment tasks, discussion boards, blog posts, wikis

    Accessing online resources

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Intensive week: Communication seminars and workshops and associated practical activities will be conducted during the intensive week. In addition, there will be health focus topic activities including seminars, discussions and opportunity for individual and group work. 

    All learning activities will be supported by material on MyUni, including seminar notes and recordings, readings and discussion boards.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Approximately 35 hours of face-to-face contact during the intensive week (5 x 7 hours/day) + 40 hours of online learning activities + 6-7 hours of reading & assessment preparation per week (spread over the month prior to and the month following the intensive week, and the intensive week)
    Learning Activities Summary
    A detailed timetable for the intensive week will be made available prior to the commencement of the course.
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no specific course requirements.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting Course Learning Outcomes addressed
    Participation 10% 1 - 6, 9
    Quiz 10% 1, 6
    Interview skills assessment 30% 1 - 6
    Written communication task 20% 5, 7 - 8
    Group assignment 30% 1 - 9
    Assessment Related Requirements
    There are no special requirements for this course however you are expected to attend all components of the intensive week and to be aware that assessment tasks and activities contributing (in part) to the participation grade will need to be completed during and after the scheduled intensive week.
    Assessment Detail
    Details will be provided closer to the commencement of the course.
    All assignments are to be submitted through MyUni unless otherwise advised.

    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission. Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds. Supporting documentation must be provided at the time a student requests an extension. Without documentation, extensions will not be granted. Late requests for extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged. Only the Course Co-ordinator(s) may grant extensions.

    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc.), a letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer that provides an assessment of compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent external counsellor or appropriate professional able to verify the student’s situation. The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact on the student. Extensions of more than 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.

    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits. In the case of late assignments where no extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted. If an assignment that is 2 days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%.  If that same assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.

    The School of Public Health reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late. Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.

    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.
    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process. Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with the Course Co-ordinator in the first instance. This must be done within 10 business days of the date of notification of the result. Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator and will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.