Communication and Influence in the Digital Age online short course

Course starts 25 January 2021

Course information

Registration Closes:
19 January 2021
Course Starts:
25 January 2021
6 weeks, excluding orientation
8–10 hours per week, entirely online
ZAR R11,900
Payment Options
University of Cape Town (UCT)


In an increasingly complex global and local environment, where individuals need to cope with rapid change and abundant information, the value of effective communication is crucial. The prevalence of disinformation and the growth of social media’s outrage culture means a misstep in communication can lead to loss of credibility at both a company and an individual level, making purpose-driven communication more important than ever.

The Communication and Influence in the Digital Age online short course from the University of Cape Town (UCT) explores emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and the essential interpersonal skills needed to lead communication efforts effectively. Led by UCT faculty and subject matter experts, you’ll learn to communicate more persuasively with your teams or stakeholders, improve interpersonal relationships, positively influence your relationships, and cultivate authenticity through your personal communication style.

You’ll also learn how to think critically about the current communication landscape as you explore the value of persuasion, storytelling, cultural awareness, and crisis management, all integral to manifesting influence and communicating successfully.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • A personalised communication guidebook to help you communicate clearly and influence at all levels, in person and virtually
  • Insights into essential aspects of communication, from critical thinking and persuasion to personal branding, cross-cultural communication, ethical leadership, and crisis management
  • Frameworks to mitigate the various risks that miscommunication can create

Is this course for you?

This course is aimed at professionals across industries who are looking to build their communication abilities – in person and online – to meet the needs of an increasingly complex, digitised world. In occupations where effective communication skills are required to engage with a range of stakeholders, this course will help to develop an interpersonal skill set applicable to the current communications landscape. If you’re seeking ways to influence and inspire others, build greater self-awareness and interpersonal skills, and communicate effectively during a time of crisis, the course provides a practical roadmap to promote trust, clarity, and goodwill in your professional context.

Relevant to early- and mid-career professionals who need to engage with a wide range of personnel, as well as new or aspiring leaders who need to communicate effectively with teams, you’ll be compelled to assess your interpersonal communication skills and the value of investing in communication as a professional and a leader. No matter what your context, building influence is crucial for reaching your personal and professional goals. This course will help you develop your personal brand and hone your presentation skills in order to cultivate influence and communicate persuasively.


Course curriculum

Explore persuasive and effective communication strategies as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course.

  • Orientation module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 The current communications landscape
  • Module 2 Critical thinking: Avoiding miscommunication
  • Module 3 Persuasive communication
  • Module 4 Communicating with influence: Strategies and techniques
  • Module 5 Communication as an investment in leadership and ethics
  • Module 6 Crisis communication and reputation management

Your Course Convenors

The design of this online short course is guided by UCT faculty, as well as industry experts, who will share their experience and in-depth knowledge with you throughout the course.

Dr Signe Rousseau

Dr Signe Rousseau

Lecturer in Critical Literacy and Professional Communication, UCT


Gao Nodoba

Gao Nodoba

Lecturer in Intercultural Communication, Diversity and Reputation Management, UCT

Earn a certificate from the University of Cape Town (UCT)

Investigate the importance of effective communication in cultivating influence and successfully navigating the digital age as you earn an official certificate of completion from the University of Cape Town.

Assessment is continuous and based on a series of practical assignments completed online. In order to be issued with a certificate, you’ll need to meet the requirements outlined in the course handbook. The handbook will be made available to you as soon as you begin the course.

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 25 January 2021.

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.