Course Title: Policy Economics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Policy Economics

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: John Whyte

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 1079

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Over the last three decades, the ideas, vocabulary and arguments of economists have increasingly dominated Australia’s public life, its media and public policy. This course is designed to develop an understanding of how economics shapes social policy. You will be introduced to some of the key concepts, debates and major developments in economics that have reshaped social policy. You are encouraged to develop a thoughtful and critical response to economic discourse and to think about your own values and ideas on the issues canvassed by economists. Finally, the course will help you to identify key questions, claims, evidence and assumptions economists use in their arguments.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Identify and define the key economic concepts and ideas that influence social policy 
  • Determine how an economic world-view has shaped and continues to shape government decision-making and objectives 
  • Evaluate major theoretical and practical criticisms of economics as a social science discipline 
  • Assess public policy from both a theoretical and practical perspective

In this course you will develop and be assessed on the following graduate capabilities:

  • Communication
  • Critical analysis and conceptual development
  • Policy making
  • Problem-solving

Overview of Learning Activities

The course is based upon weekly seminars. Each seminar will discuss an area of economic theory and the linked current policy issue(s), identified in the Course Guide for that week. The focus is detailed discussion of issues and concepts presented by the Lecturer and encountered in your reading. The learning relies upon you preparing for the seminars by undertaking the prescribed weekly reading(s). You are also encouraged to read further about issues and follow up ideas which particularly interest you.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. All readings will be made available through myRMIT studies

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on the above learning outcomes and capabilities. Assessment is based on two major tasks with a total word length or equivalent of 5,000 words. 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 the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: