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COMN71-103: Human Communication Theory May 2019 [Intensive]

General information

This subject provides postgraduate students with an overview of the field of communication study. Designed to develop a body of knowledge that includes an understanding of the history and trajectory of the discipline, students will compare and contrast communication theories and theoretical perspectives from the traditional to the alternative. Rather than simply reviewing key theoretical terms and metatheoretical concerns, this subject encourages and engages students in critical discussion of the value, functions and consequences of communication theory. Students will also analyse current communication issues across a range of contexts, including relationships, organisations, and the mediated world. In sum, students will develop an appreciation of the depth and breadth of the field of communication, and acquire theory-based knowledge and skills relevant to both advanced study and professional practice.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:COMN71-103
Subject title:Human Communication Theory
Subject level:Postgraduate
Semester/Year:May 2019
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Workshop: x1 (Total hours: 18) - 1 x 3 day
  • Workshop: x1 (Total hours: 18) - 1 x 3 day
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - No Description


Prescribed resources: No Prescribed resources. 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. Describe, critically analyse and integrate information into coherent arguments about a range of theories and related research in the field of Communication.
  2. Apply communication theories studied to practical problems related to communication.
  3. Demonstrate understanding and skill in research, group problem solving, and report writing through undertaking an ethnographic research exercise.
  4. Summarise complex theories in visual and verbal formats.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of a wide range of theories useful in communication.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Presentation Theoretical review and application presentation 30% Week 3 2, 4.
*Tutorial Portfolio Online quizzes, in-class exercises and ethnography 40% Week 9 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Analysis Analysis of a communication issue using theory 30% Week 12 1, 2, 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 late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.

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

Communication theory; models of communication; history of the discipline; traditions of communication theory.

Post-positivist, interpretivist and narrative approaches to the study of close relationships; dialogue, dialectics and ethnography.

Theoretical approaches to the study of groups and organisations; social identity, groupthink and functional theories.

Classic and critical approaches to media: media effects, cultivation, uses and gratifications.

From classical rhetoric to post-positivist, postmodern and semiotic approaches to studying persuasion; post-positivist, critical and feminist approaches to studying gender; muted group and standpoint theories.

Varied approaches to the study of culture and communication; Hofstede, politeness and face negotiation theories.

Approved on: Mar 4, 2019. Edition: 2.1