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CMS1010 Introduction to Communication Studies

Semester 1, 2019 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Intro to Communication Studies
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100700 - Communication & Media Studies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Andrew Hickey

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.
Internet access is required to satisfactorily complete assessment for the course.


Human interactions, including those between individuals, nations and cultures involve communication. This course introduces the study of human communication and the basic skills of critical interpretation and analysis of communication forms. Communication in a range of social contexts will be explored through textual and discursive devices.


This course is a foundation course in Communication Studies. It introduces students to the study of a broad range of communication texts, forms and systems. Students will apply major approaches to textual and discourse analysis, and develop skills in communications scholarship and critical thinking. This course provides an introduction to topics and perspectives that are
explored at a more advanced level in subsequent courses in the Communication and Media Studies major.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. competently use appropriate communications vocabulary and key theories
  2. articulate a range of perspectives in the analysis of communication forms and contexts
  3. apply selected communication theories to the critical analysis and interpretation of written and image texts.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Critical Interpretation and analysis 20.00
2. Models of communication and language 20.00
3. Communication vocabulary and theory 20.00
4. Reading spoken, written and visual texts 30.00
5. Communication in context. 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

The study materials are not available from the bookshop. Study materials and readings can be accessed on Study Desk. All other study materials must be downloaded or accessed from the Study Desk for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Hartley, J 2011, Communication, cultural and media studies: the key concepts, 4th edn, Routledge, New York.
Marsen, S 2006, Communication studies, Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Chandler, D, Semiotics for Beginners,
Chandler, D, The Transmission Model of Communication,

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 42.00
Independent Study 123.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
TEXTUAL ANALYSIS 100 20 20 Mar 2019
PROJECT PROPOSAL 100 30 24 Apr 2019
PROJECT 100 50 05 Jun 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.