Communication and Interpersonal Skills - SOCI8960

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 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, critically 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 critically 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. Understanding and working with reluctance and resistance will also be addressed along with models and skills in ending relationships and evaluating practice.


Contact hours

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


Social Work MA (compulsory module)

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework assignment – Reflective Commentary (2500 words) with transcription of a recorded role-play interview – 100%

Reassessment methods

Indicative reading

Egan G. (2010) The Skilled Helper: A problem management approach to helping. 9th Edn. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole
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
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
Woodcock Ross, J. (2016) Specialist Communication Skills for Social Workers, London: Palgarve.

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 Critically examine and evaluate the theoretical and research base underpinning interpersonal communication skills in social work
8.2 Analyse, reflect on and demonstrate communication and relationship skills when working with difference in self and others and skills in challenging discrimination and oppression while critically aware of the role of power and authority
8.3 Demonstrate judgment in the use of interpersonal skills to communicate clearly, accurately and precisely with individuals and groups
8.4 Demonstrate systematic knowledge and use of judgement to the application of relevant key skills required to communicate and form relationships with children, adults and those with particular communication styles and needs
8.5 Show awareness of self and skills in critical self-examination, demonstrating self-monitoring and commitment to developing their practice and showing understanding of the use of systems of professional supervision as well as service user feedback
8.6 Engage in and critically evaluate the processes of working in a group learning environment

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Demonstrate developed verbal and written communication skills which are commensurate with postgraduate study
9.2 Critically explore personal strengths and weaknesses, informed by critical judgements based on theoretical material as well as feedback from others
9.3 Acquire skills relating to the organisation of information in a clear and coherent manner through essay and journal writing
9.4 Interact with others in a group context and articulate and defend opinions based on critical reasoning, logic and evidence


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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