SCIENCE 4025 - Professional Communication

Roseworthy Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

A key aspect of communicating well is to present logical arguments. In this course students will enhance their skills to understand and evaluate arguments and apply these skills in professional communication contexts in both oral and written formats. Group and organisational communication will be considered as will ethics in professional communication.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SCIENCE 4025
    Course Professional Communication
    Coordinating Unit Sciences, Engineering & Technology Faculty Office
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Roseworthy Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Approximately 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available only to students admitted to the relevant Honours program
    Assessment Critical Evaluation, Oral Presentations, Infographic Presentation, Written Reflection
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Hayley McGrice

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Extend written, visual and verbal communication skills for a variety of audiences and purposes
    2. Critically evaluate and synthesise information for a range of target audiences.
    3. Develop and present arguments in a clear, succinct and logical manner.
    4. Defend and justify the treatment and presentation of information within a professionally ethical framework.
    5. Develop team work and interpersonal skills
    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.

    1, 2, 4

    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.

    2, 3, 4

    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.

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5

    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.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

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

    2, 4

    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 & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Learners will engage in a series of eight 2-3 hour workshops focusing on these broad topics:

    1) Theory and models of communication
    2) Oral, poster and infographic presentation skills + infographics
    3) Literature review and project proposal writing
    4) Non-verbal communication and barriers to communication
    5) Ethics and morals in professional communication
    6) Constructing and argument (critical thinking)
    7) Interpersonal, group and organisational communication
    8) Giving and receiving feedback
    9) Thesis writing

    Learners also present their Professional Honours infographic and their 3-minute thesis presentations to peers, supervisors and assessors in two separate research showcase sessions.

    In addition to these formal sessions, there is considerable individual and group self-guided work to be completed on the assessments.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Learners must attend the compulsory face to face (or equivalent) synchronous zoom.

  • 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 Task Type Weighting Hurdle?
    Learning Outcome Approximate week due
    Critical Evaluation Formative & Summative 15% No 2, 3, 4 Week 4
    Me in a minute video Formative & Summative 15% No 1, 3, 4 Week 6
    3 minute thesis oral presentation Formative & Summative 10% No 1, 3 Week 8
    Evidence Brief and Implementation Plan Formative & Summative 20% No 1, 3, 4 Week 10
    Workshop content final online quiz Summative 10% No 2, 3, 4 Week 11
    Final reflective piece Formative & Summative 15% No 1, 3 Week 12
    Infographic presentation Formative & Summative 15% No 1, 2, 3 Swot Vac
    Assessment Detail
    Critical Evaluation (15%): Students choose a current scientific topic of interest (e.g. environmental, medical, STEM education) and prepare a 1000-1500 word critical evaluation comparing information from published literature, current news, and print/social media sources.

    Me in a minute video (15%): Students prepare a Me in Minute video (modelled off the Deakin model). An innovative video strategy that promotes the acquired knowledge and capabilities of students and graduates to prospective employers.

    3 minute thesis oral presentation (3MT) (10%): Identical format to the universities current 3-minute thesis (3MT) competition. Students prepare a 3min oral presentation that is designed to engage and explain their professional honours project to a general audience in lay terms.

    Evidence Brief & Implementation Plan (20%): In small groups students decide on a topic that is an emerging issue in science and society, conduct extensive research and prepare an evidence brief. From this brief the group develops an object and design an implementation plan for their position or project (groups may choose an appropriate organisation/regulatory body with which they can act as or within e.g. as a government regulatory body). The project must set appropriate goals, set clear objectives, actionable steps that are concrete, measurable and attainable and consider regulatory/legislative and budgetary constraints in order to implement their plan.

    Workshop content online quiz (10%): Multiple questions type online quiz (MCQ, short and long answers) that covers the workshop content.

    Final reflective piece (15%): A 1000 word reflective essay “How has your knowledge of and practice in communication changed as a result of your professional honours candidature”. Student examines his or her experiences across their year or throughout their degree and writes about those experiences, exploring how he or she has changed, developed or grown and how they can continue to improve from those experiences.

    Infographic Presentation (15%): Prepare an infographic that showcases the key projected outcomes from the honours student’s honours research project. Students present their infographic at a mini Research Day (approx. 5min oral presentation) and answer questions posed by their examiners and peers.

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

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

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    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.