Communication and Interpersonal Skills - SOCI3070

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Johanna Woodcock Ross checkmark-circle


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.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


BA (Hons) Social Work – compulsory module

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework - reflective diary (3000 words) - 100%

Reassessment methods

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. (2014) Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work. 4th 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. (2017) Communication Skills in Health and Social Care, 4th Edn, London: Sage
Thompson, N. (2017) Effective Communication: a Guide for the People Professions. 3rd 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 (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Recognise the underlying theoretical and research base informing communication and interpersonal skills in social work
8.2 Demonstrate core communication skills and the capacity to develop them.
8.3 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.
8.4 Describe the importance of self-awareness, self-monitoring, professional boundaries and emotional resilience in social work practice.
8.5 Demonstrate awareness of the impact of diversity and the relevance of anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive principles in interpersonal communication.
8.6 Demonstrate basic skills of reflection and recognition of the role of reflective practice.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Demonstrate skills in working together with others, including giving and receiving feedback and contributing to the learning of others
9.2 Demonstrate personal and professional development


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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