Scientists,Communication & the Workplace

Subject SCIE90006 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2014:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours comprising one 3-hour seminar per week.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

Students undertaking this subject will be expected to be competent in word-processing and basic library research skills using internet databases.

Students undertaking this subject will be expected to regularly access an internet-enabled computer.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Melbourne Graduate School of Science
Faculty of Science
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010

Tel: + 61 3 8344 6128
Fax: +61 3 8344 3351


Subject Overview:

This subject examines the workplace environment and the range of competencies needed to operate effectively. Communication is central to success in the workplace, from proposing projects, consulting and influencing colleagues, through to reporting. Students will gain a range of communication skills in writing, oral and presentation skills, and using graphics and statistics, to communicate science to others with whom they work.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject prepares students for the work environment -- including scientific research, industry or the public sector. It is estimated that managers spend around 60-80% of their time communicating, and all workers increasingly need to communicate as part of their jobs in reports and presentations, as well as less formal written and spoken settings. Students will be made aware of the range of competences needed in order to transition into employment, and put the technical communication knowledge and skills in context. Students will gain skills by working in groups and individually, and through communicating effectively with their peers. They will also learn the essentials of business presentation design and delivery.

  • Individual presentation, Weeks 5-8, 30%
  • 2,000 word Writing Portfolio, Week 11, 30%
  • 2-hour examination, during formal examination period, 30%
  • Class participation score, Ongoing, 10%

Hurdle requirement: Students must pass the final examination to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Dwyer, Judith (2011) The Business Communication Handbook, 9th edition, Pearson.

Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the completion of this subject, students should have an understanding of:

  • The range of communication competencies required to operate effectively in a work setting.
  • The essentials of communication and the importance of clear objectives, right attitudes and skills.
  • How to communicate effectively and persuasively in a workplace setting in writing, speaking and presenting data about science and scientific projects.
  • How to give and receive feedback to improve the effectiveness of communication.
  • How to reflect on their communication skills and identify individual strengths and areas for development.

Related Course(s): Master of Biotechnology
Master of Operations Research and Management Science

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