Health & Social Sector Leadership (Dumfries Campus) MA

Communication, Influence & Leadership DUMF1070

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Good leadership is notoriously difficult to achieve and this course will investigate its theory and practice with particular reference to effective communication. Many aspects of the art of persuasive communication are now well understood, and this course investigates how these correspond with some particular challenges of leadership. Towards this end some fundamentals of the psychology of influence and of leadership will be explored. Their overlap will then be considered in terms of particular modes of communication such as public speaking, negotiations, and group deliberations.


1 x 2 hour lecture, and 1 x 1.5 hour seminar per week.

Excluded Courses





Short answer test (week 6): 15% [ILOs 1 & 2]

Group presentation (week 11): 30% [ILOs 1-4]

Essay (exam period): 55% [ILOs 1-4]

Course Aims

This course aims to introduce students to some fundamental principles and theories of 1) persuasive (or effective) communication and 2) leadership. With respect to the former, ideas are primarily drawn from cognitive and social psychology (such as dual process theory, framing, social power, and the respective roles of reason and emotion in influencing attitudes and decision making); and with respect to the latter, a number of approaches will be explained and assessed (for example challenges to the traditional trait theories of leadership). These two sets of learning will be jointly explored in analyses of specific areas of practice associated with leadership and communication; for example public speaking, negotiations, and group decision making.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Explain and evaluate some fundamentals of persuasive (or effective) communication in terms of underlying principles and practical applications.

2. Explain and evaluative a variety of different theories of leadership.

3. Apply theories of persuasive communication and leadership to an understanding of good practice in specific contexts of communication (such as public speaking, negotiations, and group deliberations).

4. Apply some fundamentals of persuasive communication towards solving real or hypothetical civic or work-based problems.

5. Better reflect on their own strengths, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies as effective communicators and (potential) leaders.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.