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COMN71-104: Relational Communication September 2020 [Standard - Relational Communication]

General information

This subject is premised on the belief that an evolved understanding of human communication is central to the construction of personal identities and relationships, and further, our engagement in our social world. Therefore, this subject aims to help students acquire an advanced understanding of the key concepts, theories, and perspectives that govern the study and practice of relational communication. In reviewing alternative approaches within the field, students will explore issues related to the development, maintenance, and dissolution of relationships across a range of contexts. Incorporating a 'dark side' approach to the study of personal communication, students will critically examine topics ranging from attraction and love to conflict, gossip, privacy, deception, and transgressions. Students will further develop their abilities to engage with and analyse research and theory about relationships and apply their newly acquired knowledge to analysing real-world communication problems.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:COMN71-104
Subject title:Relational Communication
Subject level:Postgraduate
Semester/Year:September 2020
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Seminar: x12 (Total hours: 36) - Weekly seminar
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended study hours
Attendance and learning activities: Attendance is expected in all sessions. Non-contact hours include assigned reading, assessment tasks and self-directed study.


Prescribed resources:
  • John Stewart (2011). Bridges Not Walls: A Book About Interpersonal Communication. 11th, New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education , 560.
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of relational communication.
  2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of key theories, concepts and controversies in research on relationships.
  3. Critically reflect on relational communication theory and research.
  4. Apply acquired theoretical knowledge to real world communication problems or practice.
  5. Interpret, analyse, and theorise on communication issues from a 'dark side' perspective.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Literature Review Literature Review 30% Week 5 1, 2, 3.
Creative Piece Creative Critical Work 30% Week 11 1, 2, 4.
*Process Portfolio Engagement Portfolio 40% Week 12 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A student who has not established a basis for an extension in compliance with University and Faculty policy either by 1) not applying before the assessment due date or 2) by having an application rejected due to failure to show a justifiable cause for an extension, will receive a penalty on assessment submitted after its due date. The penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment for every day late, with the first day counted after the required submission time has passed. No assessment will be accepted for consideration seven calendar days after the due date. Where a student has been granted an extension, the late penalty starts from the new due date and time set out in the extension.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Accessibility and Inclusion Support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

Key Definitions, Concepts, and Principles

1, 2.

Explore theories of self and identity management.


Explore theory/research relevant to the form and function of verbal and nonverbal communication.

2, 4.

Develop familiarity with research/knowledge around perception and meaning-making in relationships.

1, 2, 3.

Explore key theory/literature around relationship development; self-disclosure. Experience self-disclosure through practice.

2, 3, 4.

Review literature centered on close relationships; family/friendships.

2, 3.

Develop familiarity with research/knowledge focused on intimate relationships.

2, 3.

Develop an understanding of how relationships are maintained. Explore concepts of equity and equality.

2, 3.

Introduction to the 'Dark Side' perspective; Overview of key theory/research.

Review key 'dark side' phenomena through a survey of the literature.

2, 3, 5.

Explore the aftermath of dysfunction and dissolution; forgiveness and remediation.

2, 3, 4, 5.

Review newly acquired relational communication knowledge and its application.

1, 2, 4.
Approved on: Jul 23, 2020. Edition: 3.1
Last updated: May 18, 2021.