Women's and Gender Studies (WGST) 302

Communication Skills and Counselling Practice (Revision 6)

wgst 302 Course website

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: PSYC 347 is required (or equivalent course from another institution); in addition, WGST 266 (or equivalent course from another institution) is strongly recommended.

Precluded Course: WMST 302 (WGST 302 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for WMST 302)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

WGST 302 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course explores a number of topics on the subject of communication, all of which are relevant to counselling practice. The course encourages you to examine your own style of communication and to increase your personal self-awareness. Through your work in this course, the hope is that you will broaden your emotional vocabulary and develop skills in understanding and voicing what others feel. This course will also introduce you to the knowledge that underpins counselling skills and how to apply those skills in helping relationships across a variety of settings. You will learn about what it means to work safely and ethically in the role of helper or counsellor. While this course will not provide the training or credentials for you to work as a counsellor, it is designed to further your understanding of some of the key counselling theories and professional issues that will begin your preparation for work as a professional counsellor.


  • Unit 1 — Communication and Identity
  • Unit 2 — Influences on Communication: Perceptions and Emotions
  • Unit 3 — Learning to Be an Effective Communicator
  • Unit 4 — Nonverbal Communication Skills
  • Unit 5 — Listening: A Critical Communication/Counselling Skill
  • Unit 6 — Communication in Interpersonal/Counselling Relationships
  • Unit 7 — Controlling the Communication Climate
  • Unit 8 — Managing Relationship Conflict


To receive credit for WGST 302, you must complete four assignments and achieve a minimum overall composite grade of D (50 percent), and achieve an overall grade of D (50 percent) or better on Assignment 5 (final exam).

Assessment Activity 1: Oral Review 5%
Assessment Activity 2: Oral Review 5%
Assessment Activity 3: Midterm Take-Home Review 25%
Assessment Activity 4: Reflection Essay and Oral Presentation 30%
Assessment Activity 5: Final Invigilated Exam 35%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Adler, B., Rolls, J., & Proctor II, R. (2015). Look: Looking out, looking in (2nd Canadian ed.). Toronto: Wadsworth. (with online CourseMate)

Dykes, F., Postings, T., & Kopp, B. (2017). Counselling skills and studies. London UK: Sage.

Other Materials

All other materials (Student Manual, Course Manual) can be found online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the WGST 302 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) or greater on the research essay to be eligible to write the challenge examination. A cumulative average of 50 percent on both activities is required. Credit is awarded on a pass/fail basis only.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 6, November 5, 2015.

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