Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Social Skills Development

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Social Policy and Social Work

DESCRIPTION This study-unit aims to familiarise students with basic concepts and practices in respect of social skills. The study-unit will enable students to become aware of and evaluate their own social skills and to further develop their skills through training sessions within a group. It is intended to help students to strengthen their skills on personal, interpersonal and group levels. Sessions will focus on communication skills; self-awareness; managing conflict, solving problems and making decisions; and managing time, among others. The study-unit will consist of 22 two hour sessions, each focusing on a particular topic and will be based on experiential learning in training groups.

Knowledge and Understanding:

By the end of this study-unit, students will be able to:
• Identify, articulate and display feelings in appropriate manner;
• Understand and demonstrate behaviors consistent with being a good listener;
• Understand keys to effective communication;
• Develop awareness of body language for communicating meaning;
• Recognise the importance of non-verbal language in understanding and communicating with others;
• Understand the dynamics of shyness and anxiety, and the steps to manage these;
• Understand the steps in rational problem-solving;
• Understand the types of conflict and how to manage them;
• Describe how stress affects performance and may be managed well;
• Understand the critical elements and behaviours of team-building and cooperation;
• Understand the influence of family, peers, culture and media on personal behaviors;
• Understand the various manifestations of anger and how it may be managed;
• Develop an appreciation of diversity in social life.


By the end of this study-unit, students will be able to:
• Develop reflexivity through weekly journalling;
• Exercise good listening skills;
• Express feelings appropriately;
• Communicate effectively and respectfully;
• Provide constructive feedback and manage feedback received;
• Actively participate in groupwork in a creative and responsible manner;
• Tackle problems systematically;
• Demonstrate assertive behaviour, managing anger and conflict constructively;
• Analyse the causes of stress and take action to manage it well;
• Assume responsibility for one's individual learning plan and desired outcomes.


This study-unit is based on experiential learning, which takes place within a group setting. Mutual trust, respect and collaboration are key ingredients in successfully completing this unit. This requires a committed presence from all members in the group, for one’s own learning and professional development as well as for other students and the group as a whole. In view of this, it is mandatory for students to attend all sessions.

In the event of serious reasons which would make it absolutely impossible for a student to attend, s/he may be given permission to absent her/himself from one session. Irrespective of the reason, absence from more than 3 sessions "will lead to the student being declared ineligible for assessment of the unit, in which case a 0 mark and an F grade shall be assigned and recorded" (General Regulations, Clause 40[1]).

Selected Bibliography:

- Carnegie, D. (1997). How to stop worrying and start living. London: Vermillion.
- Corey, G., & Schneider Corey, M. (2002). I never knew I had a choice: Explorations in personal growth. California: Brooks/Cole.
- Fensterheim, H., & Baer, J. (1989). Don’t say ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’. London: Futura.
- Kennerley, H. (1997). Overcoming anxiety: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques. London: Robinson.
- Lindenfield, G. (1995). Self-esteem. London: HarperCollins.
- Lindenfield, G. (2000). Managing anger: Simple steps to dealing with frustration and threat. London: Thorsons.
- Looker, T., & Gregson, O. (1997). Managing stress. London: Thorsons.
- Szuchman L.T.,& Thomlison B. (2004). Writing With Style - APA Style for Social Work (2nd ed.) Belmont: Brooks/Cole.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation Yes 20%
Assignment Yes 35%
Logbook Yes 45%

LECTURER/S Charmaine Attard Bezzina
Patricia Bonello
Colette Farrugia Bennett
Holger Saliba
Daniella Zerafa (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.