Skip to main content

Unit information: Effective Communication Skills Development in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Effective Communication Skills Development
Unit code MEEDM0019
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Fowler
Open unit status Not open

PG Cert in TLHP (60 credits).



School/department Centre for Medical Education
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Good communication is at the heart of professional relationships in education and health settings. Research demonstrates the importance of good communication skills in providing effective health care and also highlights the need for the explicit teaching of these skills in the health professions. Drawing on the research bases of medical education and linguistics, the module will help the participants improve their own communication skills and their knowledge of language in order to develop their ability to teach communication in the health professions. The module offers students opportunities to develop knowledge from relevant fields and then apply it to their own work and teaching. It will also highlight opportunities to access and review research in this multi-disciplinary area. This module will appeal to participants with an interest in language, communicating to a range of audiences (including patients and fellow professionals) and in the teaching of communication skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module and related parts of the programme, the student should be able to:

  1. Identify how language varies according to participants and context and

define the discourse communities to which they belong.

  1. Identify and produce effective communication for a range of audiences

using a range of modes.

  1. Explore the range of communication skills needed in medicine.
  2. Use linguistic tools to analyse an interaction.
  3. Provide detailed and specific feedback on interactions. # Identify how

personal attitudes and feelings may impact on communication.

Teaching Information

Two workshops of 6 hrs each.

Assessment Information


  • Feedback on writing for different audiences and on oral and non-verbal

communication skills (peer assessment, self assessment and tutor assessment).

  • Feedback on presentation on discourse community and discourse analysis.


3000-3500 word written assignment (100%)(or equivalent in other media at the discretion of the lead tutor), focused around applying the learning outcomes to students' own experience, professional practice and/or workplace environment, indicative titles are (students would choose one from the following):

  • Design a communications teaching session (to include lesson plan, materials

and assessment) and write rationale for choices linking these to communication theory.

  • Use a video of a medical encounter (simulated or actual) with due

consideration for ethics and analyse using conversation analysis. Use the analysis as a basis for detailed feedback to the student and an action plan for developing the students' communication skills. Rationalise the choices in the action plan linking these to communication theory.

  • A negotiated title that reflects the learning outcomes for this module and that

draws on relevant research.

Reading and References

  • Silverman,J. Kurtz, S. &Draper, J. (2005)Skills for communicating with
  • Patients, 2nd ed.Abingdon, Radcliffe Publishing.
  • Kurtz,S.,Silverman, J. &Draper, J. (2005) Teaching and Learning
  • Communication skills in Medicine, 2nd ed. Abingdon, Radcliffe Publishing.