Course Title: Power and Governance

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Power and Governance

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 1 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Professor Rob Watts

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8247

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 08.10.02.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces key political theories, concepts and ideas that explain the features of political systems and broader power relations in the modern world. It draws on political science concepts to deepen your knowledge of economic, social, cultural and ecological dimensions of societies to enable you to reflect on your place in the world.

You will examine some key features of political governance at the local, national and global levels, which is the traditional scope of political science. In addition, this course examines the exercise of power outside formal political systems, including the role of business groups, trade unions, community organisations and social movements. You will examine some key entrenched power imbalances that exist between groups.

You will focus on academic writing conventions and research skills, and be introduced to foundational political concepts that will underpin your studies throughout the rest of your undergraduate program.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe some key features of governance at the local, national and global levels 
  2. Analyse the role of various political actors and social groups in relation to a contemporary issue
  3. Critically analyse issues in power and government relevant to your academic discipline
  4. Communicate your analysis by developing a clear argument supported with evidence using appropriate academic writing conventions and skills

In the course you will develop the following graduate capabilities:

  • Cultural and social awareness
  • Global outlook and competence
  • Research literacy

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include interactive workshop activities focusing on group-based discussion and problem solving tasks. Course learning materials will be made available in a range of formats, which may include lectures, guest speakers and online media. In workshops you will also develop academic skills including analytical reading and academic writing.

In order to develop your knowledge and skills, you will be expected to participate in interactive discussions and activities and to critically engage with the weekly reading materials. The workshops offer a supportive learning environment where you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences, and to learn from the knowledge and experience your peers. This peer-based learning may take place through small-group discussions, collaborative work on activities and assessments and/or peer reviewing of research, written work and/or oral presentations.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through a course reader or core textbook and also will be able to access to a wide range of online learning tools and content for your course from the student portal, myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. These resources may include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video, and links to external websites. You will have the opportunity to contribute collectively to class resources by sharing your own research findings and sources with your peers.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.  Assessment may include:

Task 1:  Short essays, 1000 words, 40%, CLOs 1-3

Task 2:  Essay Plan, 1200 words, 20%, CLOs 4

Task 3:  Essay. 1500 words, 40% CLOs 1-4

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equity Learning Services if you would like to find out more. Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: