Fundamentals of Communication

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Fundamentals of Communication

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Mass Communications, Speech Communications

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course provides students with foundational skills and knowledge of communications theory and practice, including a range of interpersonal, group and mass communication theories as well as a range of written, oral and non-verbal communication skills.
    Course Introduction
    This course offers insights into the ‘hows’ and ‘whys' of communication. We look at the communication process itself (the construction and reception of 'messages'), the various ways we actually communicate (from face-to-face conversations to social media posts), and the various media formats that allow us to connect with others in the 21st century. Most importantly, this course allows students to imagine how communication concepts and skills may be used effectively both throughout their university years and, also, once they embark on their own, unique career paths. Whether or not all first-year students are already thinking ahead to post-university professions, this course will nonetheless assist students in becoming more effective communicators with benefits that will extend far beyond their years at university.

    After an introductory week that focuses specifically on communication norms and expectations at university, the course is divided into three topical units:

    UNIT 1: Communication Basics
    This unit provides an overview of what communication is, how critical thinking informs communication itself, and how messages are created and received for maximum understanding and effect.

    UNIT 2: Communication in Everyday Life
    This portion of the course will examine the history of communication media (from the printing press to the Internet), how visual signs and symbols convey information to others, and how one might overcome communication anxiety in varying interactions with others.

    UNIT 3: Communication in Context
    This final unit will consider the various ways in which communication can be both challenging and rewarding. In terms of 'challenges', we will look at how one might successfully navigate communication in specific contexts—whether in the workplace or within intercultural encounters. In terms of 'rewards', we will examine how expert communication can both empower communicators and potentially influence others.

    Course Aims
    Being an active, aware, and effective communicator is extremely useful both inside and outside of the classroom. This course aims to establish, if not advance, a set of knowledge and skills in communication. The 'Fundamentals' of communication as included in this course are: critical thinking skills, oral communication, and written communication.
    Today's employers continue to rank excellent communication skills as the number one attribute they look for when hiring new recruits. With this in mind, it is important to consider some of the following questions when you think about your current level of 'communication competence':
    • Would you consider yourself a good communicator? Why?
    • Do you feel more comfortable tweeting or messaging your peers than speaking face-to-face with your university lecturers or potential employers?
    • Do you understand what critical thinking is and how such thinking informs how you communicate with others?

    Fundamentals of Communication will inspire you to think about such questions and ask you to consider how being a successful communicator will pave the way for a rewarding experience at both university and in your post-university, future profession.

    The content and assessment items for this course-- which include the demonstration of developing oral and written communication skills-- are intended to prepare students for not only the other first-year courses (such as Academic Writing), but for second- and third-year courses across all BA majors.
    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1. Identify and analyse the role communication plays in culture; both at university and beyond.
    2. Demonstrate interpersonal skills based in verbal and non-verbal communication.
    3. Apply critical thinking to the analysis of a media message and support with evidence.
    4. Deconstruct professional communication skills required to inform career choices.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.