Multi Cultural Awareness

Course CodeBPS303
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Multicultural Awareness and Diversity Course - Study this course to promote cultural competence in yourself and your staff.

Learn more about multicultural awareness

  • Develop your understanding of appropriate practices and procedures within Different Cultures.
  • Some consider these differences to be of great significance in determining human behaviour and thinking, 
  • Others view culture as just one of many factors that influence the behaviour of individuals and groups.

In the course you will study -

  • cultural diversity and self awareness
  • different cultures
  • racism
  • prejudice
  • in and out groups
  • discrimination
  • working with clients from other cultures
  • developing cultural competence
  • mental health issues in different cultures
  • evaluation of current theories and research in multicultural society

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Cultural Diversity
    • Introduction
    • Defining culture
    • Elements of culture
    • Societal structures and processes
    • Subcultures
    • Key areas of cultural diversity
    • Cultural behaviour
    • Values
    • Social discourse
    • Ideology
    • Expectations
    • Problems of culture
  2. Cultural Self-Awareness
    • Introduction
    • Defining cultural self
    • Environmental influences
    • Family or social group
    • Definitions of self
    • Psychological influences
    • Human nature
    • Personal autonomy
    • Socio economic and political influences
    • Emphasis or minimisation of cultural diversity
    • Code switching
    • Physical environmental influences
  3. Prejudice and Racism
    • Introduction
    • Ingroups or outgroups
    • Ethnocentrism
    • What is prejudice
    • Functions of prejudice
    • How we measure prejudice
    • Theoretical perspectives on prejudice
    • Stereotypes
    • Functions of stereotypes
    • Dangers of using stereotypes
    • Discrimination
    • Social discrimination
    • Racism
    • Institutional or structural racism
    • Perception
    • Perceptual change
    • Cognitive dissonance
    • Perceptual defence
    • Reducing prejudice
    • Changing stereotypes
    • Developing cultural sensitivity
    • Belonging to a dominant culture
  4. Working with Culturally Different Clients
    • Introduction
    • Communicating across cultures
    • Principles of communication
    • Cultural differences
    • Communicating intimate information
    • The culturally skilled worker
    • Conformity
    • Factors affecting conformity
  5. Barriers to Effective Multi-Cultural Relationships
    • Abnormality
    • The counsellors culture
    • The clients culture
    • Individual differences
    • Cross cultural communication hurdles
    • Culture shock
    • Non verbal communication
    • Developing trust
    • Formal judgements
    • Culture and child development
    • Coping with change
  6. Developing Cultural Competence
    • Introduction
    • Culturally competent service delivery
    • Culturally appropriate service
    • Culturally accessible service
    • Culturally acceptable service
    • Training for cultural change
    • Cross culture counselling in disaster situations
    • The role of family
    • Working with other cultures
  7. Multicultural Mental Health Issues
    • Introduction
    • Problems with cultural difference in psychology
    • Cultural influences on mental health
    • Culture bound syndromes
    • Trance and possession disorder
    • Factors affecting grief and bereavement: social, psychological and cultural influences
  8. Shortcomings of Contemporary Counselling Theories and Future Developments
    • Introduction
    • Culture shock
    • Stages in cultural shock and adjustment
    • Post traumatic stress disorder
    • Treatments for culture distress
    • Successful intercultural adjustment


  • Develop an awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity;
  • Explain the cultural awareness of the self through verbal and non-verbal means;
  • Explain the origins and influences of prejudice and racism;
  • Explain the impact of culture when working with culturally different clients;
  • Explain bias toward and barriers against effective multi-cultural relationships;
  • Explain the fundamentals of developing and implementing cultural competence;
  • Develop an understanding of multi-cultural attitudes toward mental health issues.

What You Will Do

  • Learn what is meant by the term ‘culture’, and different cultural groups;
  • Discuss ‘cultural diversity’ and identify problems associated with it;
  • Discuss ‘intra-cultural’ and ‘inter-cultural’ contact to managing cultural diversity;
  • Identify reasons that people and groups make intercultural contact;
  • Explore how we communicate non-verbally;
  • Identify ways (verbal and non-verbal) that we communicate our identification to a cultural group;
  • In what ways a minority culture influence a dominant culture;
  • Ways that people and groups adapt to other cultures;
  • Explain the term ‘individualism-collectivism’;
  • Define
    • ‘ethnocentrism’
    • ‘prejudice’
    • ‘racism’
    • ‘stereotype’
    • ‘discrimination’;
  • Discuss how prejudice and/or racism help a group or person feel more comfortable about other cultures;
  • Explore the role of stereotyping by a dominant culture in perceived discrimination by an immigrant community;
  • Define ‘culture shock’;
  • Identify barriers to communication that exist in intercultural communication situations;
  • Identify strategies to ensure effective communication with a person from another culture;
  • Explore the influence of culture differences when providing helping or counselling services to clients;
  • Explore ways that people from different cultures deal with psychological or communication problems such as conflict, depression, mental health etc.

Sample Course Notes - COPING WITH CHANGE

Every society operates within a wider cultural context. We could think of a society as the collection of attitudes, behaviours, values, beliefs and creations of a group at a particular time and in a particular place, while culture is the underlying belief and value system. For instance, the Australian society that we live in now is quite different to Australian society a hundred years ago, but the basic principles of Australian culture, such as a belief in equality, fairness, and suspicion of authority, remain more-or-less in place. Although we often speak of culture as if it were a permanent, unchanging system, it is not. Cultural change is inevitable, since a culture that does not change at all will not remain relevant or meaningful to the people who are part of it. Cultures, like all expressions of living things, change, and may change quickly or slowly.

Most cultural changes are not readily noticeable to the different societies within that culture since each society develops its own perception of that culture, and adapts it to their needs and interests.  Therefore, society both conforms to culture and recreates it.

The study of history can help us understand the historical bases of our culture as we know it. For instance, family values have changed in most Western societies in the last 100 years, and by studying the history of family values in Western countries, we can better understand the reasons for these changes and the influences that contributed to them. In fact, we can learn a great deal about changing cultural values by comparing the values and beliefs typical of our generation with those of our grandparents.

The important point is that every society and every individual exists and acts within a cultural context. The culture may change over time, but its influence will always be felt. Society and social influences are the expressions of that culture at a particular time and in a particular place.  As societies communicate more widely and intensively with each other, their cultures can also influence each other. Often, more powerful societies will have more influence on the cultures of other societies. For example, the ancient Romans, who were the dominant Western power of their time, had a great influence on British Celtic culture of the time, and Arab societies had a profound effect on African culture. In modern times, American social values and norms are affecting many world cultures through television and film. Yet a society does not have to have technological, military or economic power to be influential. One can see a current trend in the West to acknowledge and even adopt Chinese and Indian healing methods, and the meditation practices associated with the East have now become an accepted part of Western life, and even practised by athletes in training. Aboriginal societies have taught the wider Australian culture a great deal about the Australian ecology and survival in the bush, and have added “bush tucker” to Australia’s cuisine.

Some people and groups see change as exciting, challenging, full of new possibilities, and enjoy being part of it. For others, it presents difficulties that they will cope with and eventually overcome. For other individuals, social change can be distressing because it removes the comfort and security of traditional perspectives and values, and forces individuals out of their comfort zone.

Within families, the rapid change resulting from migration can be very unsettling, and lead to high levels of stress. This may be compounded the development of inter-generational conflict as children respond more quickly to the different environmental influences, which may bring them into conflict with family expectations, values and norms. The distress caused by cultural change may be compounded by economic factors, such as difficulty finding a job or a well-paying job, and social factors, such as loss of prestige (an executive in one culture may become a waiter in his new home; a respected physician is force to pump petrol for a living). Research shows that the likelihood of domestic abuse increases significantly as the family’s economic status decline. Many migrants find it very difficult to find jobs because they lack adequate language skills or their skills and qualifications are not accepted or recognised in the adopted country. They may not be aware of essential support services, or the changed requirements of living in a different country can result in significant changes in self-perception, their image in the family and in the wider society, all of which can be highly stressful.


Who is this course suitable for?

This course is suitable for anyone interested in learning more about the multicultural world in which we live, for interest or to improve your work practice.  It is suitable for anyone who works with people today.


Study this course to -

  • Improve your knowledge of different cultures in today's world.
  • Improve your job and employment prospects.
  • Improve your work practice with other people.


Study multicultural awareness in 100 hours with this distance learning course.  
Enrol now to start this highly interesting and highly relevant course.


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