Communication and Interpersonal Skills - SO307

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
(version 2)
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4 15 (7.5) MRS EA Kelly







In this module students will be introduced to concepts of professionalism and ‘relationship’ in social work and the role of self-monitoring and reflection. They will learn about, discuss and practise a range of communication and interpersonal skills. These will include: the commencement of effective contacts with service users and colleagues; active listening and attending skills; the role of non-verbal communication; empathy; effective use of questions; paraphrasing and summarising; challenging constructively and managing conflict; the use of electronic and telephone communication; and working with people with special communication needs. Students will also explore the use of feedback in the classroom and in professional practice and supervision.

In addition the module will introduce students to the theoretical underpinnings of models of personal and professional communication. They will also be encouraged to explore and reflect on the application of social work values and will analyse the impact of inequality, power and diversity in relation to engaging with the experiences of others.

Method of assessment

The assessments for this module comprise the following elements:

• Each student will complete and submit a DVD recording of a role play of an extract of a social work interview based on a case scenario, together with a 1000 word commentary. The DVD and commentary will be assessed as one piece of work and together will constitute 40% of the overall mark for the module.

• Students will also submit a 3000 word reflective diary demonstrating reflection on their experience and learning during the module and application of literature and theoretical learning gained through the module

Indicative reading

Egan G. (2010) The Skilled Helper: A problem management approach to helping. 9th Edn. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole

Hargie, O. & Dickson, D. (2004) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. London: Routledge

Koprowska, J (2010) Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work. 3rd Edn, Exeter: Learning Matters

Lishman, J. (2009) Communication in Social Work. 2nd Edn. BASW Macmillan

Miller, L (2012) Counselling Skills for Social Work. 2nd Edn. London: Sage

Moss, B. (2012) Communication Skills in Health and Social Care, 2nd Edn, London: Sage

Thompson, N (2011) Effective Communication: a Guide for the People Professions. 2nd Edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Trevithick, P. (2012) Social Work Skills and Knowledge: a Practice Handbook. Maidenhead: Open University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

11.1 Recognise the underlying theoretical and research base informing communication and interpersonal skills in social work

11.2 Demonstrate core communication skills and the capacity to develop them.

11.3 Demonstrate capacity to engage with others in order to build compassionate and effective relationships, with a particular focus on communicating with those who may be vulnerable.

11.4 Describe the importance of self-awareness, self-monitoring, professional boundaries and emotional resilience in social work practice.

11.5 Demonstrate awareness of the impact of diversity and the relevance of anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive principles in interpersonal communication.

11.6 Demonstrate basic skills of reflection and recognition of the role of reflective practice.

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