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Curtin University

Communication skills at Curtin

Whatever your first language, you will benefit from actively focusing on the development of your communication skills, as it will assist you both in your studies and in your future career. The ability to 'communicate effectively' is one of Curtin's graduate attributes, not only because this is a valuable skill but also because employers cite high level communication skills as one of the most desirable characteristics for their appointees.

Curtin offers a range of credit-bearing units that will help you develop your communication skills. Many of them are core units for your course, but some can also be taken as electives. The key communication skills units for each Faculty are listed below.

Faculty of Business and Law

Communication in Business 100: Communication in Business 100 introduces students to the principles of effective communication in the academic and professional business contexts. The unit has four parts: the theoretical underpinnings of business communication and its application, essential academic communication skills, general communication issues and communication in the professional business context. More details here.

Faculty of Health Sciences

Health Science Communication 180: Introduction to information technology and its application to health sciences. Information literacy (sourcing information from libraries, books, journals and the Internet). Critical appraisal of information. Use of information in oral presentations and in academic writing (citation, referencing). Academic integrity and avoidance of plagiarism. Cross cultural communication including Indigenous Australians. Communication with people with disability. More details here.

Communication for Health: The aim of this unit is to prepare students with the scholarly skills required for success in postgraduate studies. The unit will address identifying the need for information, the use of information search strategies, including library catalogues, electronic databases and World Wide Web, the critical evaluation of information, managing information using databases such as End Note and writing effective postgraduate academic papers. More details here.

Faculty of Humanities

Engaging in the Humanities 100: Students learn how to communicate effectively in the context of the Humanities, via academic writing, online communities and face-to-face presentations. Three streams of content (Media, Culture and Creative Arts; Design and Art; or Social Sciences and Asian Languages) introduce students to the ideas, histories and practices most closely related to their field of study. The unit covers effective research using both print and electronic texts, referencing, developing an argument, the conventions of academic genres, revision and editing, oral presentations, group work, and reflective practice. More details here.

Cultural Literacy 500: Specifically devised for postgraduate students of non-English speaking backgrounds. Includes research, seminar, critical reading and academic writing skills, research proposals, evaluation and editing of research writing. More details here.

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Science communications 101: Covers key aspects of research and written communication in academic and professional contexts, as well as working to develop students' skills in oral communication. Emphasis will be placed on students' ability to work collaboratively in research and oral work. Students learn to locate, understand and critically evaluate information from books, journals, the Internet and primary sources in order to research relevant scientific topics. Using these sources of information, students then produce an extended piece of analytical writing and an oral presentation to their peers. Skills in accessing information, synthesising and paraphrasing information, argument development, the Harvard referencing system, principles of effective communication and the professional presentation of documents are all covered during the development of the key assignments. More details here.

Don't forget - you can also get study skills and communication skills assistance from the Learning Centre and, for students in Faculty of Buisness and Law, Academic Communication Development Centre.