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Building Relationships and Communication

Module description

This module will focus on how to build effective collaborative relationships including managing conflict and earning trust.

Apprentices will examine working patterns and how to work collaboratively across teams to communicate decisions made and problems solved.

Apprentices will seek to understand different areas of operation within an organisation and learn how to create productive relationships outside of their own function.

There will also be an emphasis on interpersonal skills including how to effectively communicate whilst developing an awareness of emotional and social intelligence.

Full module specification

Module title:Building Relationships and Communication
Module code:BEM1029DA
Module level:1
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Mrs Claire Cahill - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

  1. Consider, explore and understand teams shift patterns and how they effectively meet the needs of the employee, customer and the business. Understand how to effectively communicate the patterns and requirements to the team.
  2. Explore the different relationships required within the team and organisation to understand the different approaches to partner, stakeholder and supplier relationship management including negotiation, influencing, delegation and effective networking to get the right things done.
  3. Learn how to earn the trust and respect of the team to build positive working relationships by consistently making good decisions, keeping commitments, treating others and their ideas with respect whilst adhering to ethical standards and appreciating diversity.
  4. Explore how to create an environment where team members have room to take smart risks and learn from mistakes whilst not losing sight of accountability for results. Understand how to refer People Policy questions to your line manager or HRAP on shift.
  5. Learn how to build relationships on trust by actively listening and speaking candidly even if that results in being vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Have the ability to benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.
  6. Explore how to work collaboratively across teams to enable delivery of results through others and confidently share best practice. Be brave to handle potential conflict by understanding how to flex communication styles to meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Evaluate influencing & negotiating theories and models. Consider the effectiveness of these within the organisation to manage supplier relationships through stakeholder management (K6)
  • 2. Discuss how to build collaborative relationships built on trust and play to peoples strengths within teams (K6) (S6) (B1)
  • 3. Analyse barriers to communication and how to overcome these using conflict resolution, the escalation process and recognising when help is required (K6) (K7) (K8) (S6) (S8) (B1)

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Review how to use interpersonal skills including active listening, challenging and providing constructive feedback whilst seeking views of others and ensuring diversity is valued (K7) (S7) (B2)
  • 5. Analyse shift patterns and effectively communicate decisions made which provide the best result for the employee, customer and business (K10) (S10)
  • 6. Practice how to effectively communicate when chairing or presenting a meeting and effectively engages the audience (K7) (S7) (B2)

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Demonstrate how to network more confidently
  • 8. Demonstrate how to delegate effectively (K8) (S8)
  • 9. Reflect on ability to make ethical decisions (K8) (K10) (S9)

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Masterclass15Faculty led workshops face to face on campus at Exeter University
Webinars1Online action learning set facilitated by module lead
121 tutorial time1Time with module lead to ask additional questions to cement learning
Independent study and work based practice133Guided independent study through online learning activities. Reading, case studies, professional practice forums, assignment writing and time at work

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group case study activity1 hour activity and feedback1-9Verbal, peer and lecturer

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case study including reflective journal 501500 words1-9Written via ELE
Assignment50750 words1-3Written via ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Case study including reflective journal As previous1-9Next re-assessment period
AssignmentAs previous1-3Next re-assessment period

Re-assessment notes

All passed components of the module will be rolled forward and will not be reassessed in the event of module failure.

Defer – as first time

Refer – capped at 50%

Syllabus plan

3 Day Masterclass

Introduce negotiating and influencing theories and models and discuss these within the context of apprentice’s own organisation/ workplace

Activities and exercises to explore trust and building effective relationships with stakeholders

Communication exercises to practice effective communication approaches and gaining perspective on communication differences in the workplace

Role play networking and relationship building in face to face workshops, develop own practice using peer and lecturer feedback.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Managing Conflict: A practical guide to resolution in the work place – David Liddle
  • Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ – Daniel Goleman
  • 7 habits of highly effective people – Stephen R Covey
  • Effective Communication – The most important management skill of all – John Adair
  • The Art of Connection: 7 Relationship Building skills every leader needs to know – Michael J Gelb

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • 4 Quadrants of Psychological Safety
  • Communication Cycle
  • Personality Profiling – DISC, Myers Briggs, Insights, Tetra Map, Belbin
  • TRUST equation
  • Stakeholder Map

Origin date


Last revision date