University of Technology Sydney

52900 Active Resilience in the Workplace

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication
Credit points: 2 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject is only offered until the end of 2023. It will not be available for enrolment in 2024 and beyond.


Standard workplace stressors of deadlines, policy shifts, new technology, staff incompatibilities, as well as major disruptive events like an economic recession, can evoke emotional reactions that negatively impact the ability to operate effectively. This subject aims to demonstrate the usefulness of active resilience as a core skill for people in or entering the workforce. Students explore the ways active resilience can assist them to minimise their risk of errors, reduce the intensity of overwhelming emotions, and help them better navigate work situations during periods of uncertainty, change, disruption and crisis. Students learn what resilience is and why it’s necessary; how the brain, mind and emotions process what’s occurring and impact decision-making; and to select and apply proven tactics to help regain composure during high-pressure situations and improve the likelihood of making well-informed choices.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge of the theories of stress, coping and resilience with application to the workplace.
b. Develop skills for resilience in the workplace and wider contexts.
c. Apply with analysis and critical reflection knowledge and skills for self-directed resilience in simulated workplace situations.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Act in a professional manner appropriate to communication industries (1.1)
  • Act as reflexive critical thinkers and innovative creative practitioners who evaluate their own and others' work (2.2)
  • Analyse and act ethically in the personal, political and professional contexts of civil society (5.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Learning in this online subject is iterative, building an understanding of resilience skills through repeated engagement with an adaptive workplace simulation (‘choose your own adventure’). Students are introduced to and respond to events both instinctively and by applying active resilience strategies introduced and practised in the subject. Learning is consolidated through reflective practices such as journaling and discussions, allowing students to review and reflect on common workplace disruptions or crises and the impact of active resilience strategies to improve professional outcomes.

Students engage in regular online discussions with their peers and learn from senior practitioners through recorded insight sessions. Opportunities to check comprehension and receive automatic feedback are embedded in subject site and provide an opportunity for early formative feedback. Two live, face-to-face online sessions give students further opportunities to have questions answered.

This subject runs over six weeks.

Content (topics)

This subject provides a functional overview of resilience as a concept and explains common challenges that require or benefit from active resilience. Particular topics to be covered include:

How resilience can be both a quality and a practice
Psychological and neurological responses to crisis and disruption
VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) challenges
Resilience skills and capacity building
The limits of resilience in the workplace and its relationship statutory obligations, policies, and ethical frameworks


Assessment task 1: Reflection on application of technique


a, b and c

Weight: 100%

1000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Appropriateness of proposed approaches to challenge 50 a, b 5.1
Degree of insight into rationale and consequences of actions 25 b, c 2.2
Appropriateness of suggested future course of action 25 b, c 1.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes


There are four modules to be studied online over six weeks. Each module is an independent learning activity that provides knowledge, skills for understanding for application in the subsequent modules. Each modules include teacher input, videos, readings, skills development, self-awareness exercises and comment and discussion activities. Two modules include interviews with experts. References are listed in a bibliography at the end of Modules 1 to 3.