Course Title: Social Impact Assessment and Community Engagement

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Social Impact Assessment and Community Engagement

Credit Points: 12


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

ARCH1323

City Campus

Postgraduate

330H Social Science & Planning

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2006

ARCH1323

City Campus

Postgraduate

365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2016

ARCH1323

City Campus

Postgraduate

365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Martin Mulligan

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 2725

Course Coordinator Email: martin.mulligan@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Availability: By request


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None


Course Description

This course provides an introduction to social impact assessment principles and practices. The principles and history of SIA will be reviewed as a context for examining contemporary practices. The course will also critically examine how the notion of ‘community engagement’ is used either in the development of ‘participatory’ SIAs or in relation to change proposals more broadly.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

 

Graduate Capabilities:

 

The core graduate capabilities enhanced by this course are:

Historical sensibility – the ability to:

  • appreciate the development of SIA thought and practice

Knowledge - the knowledge of:

  • the strands of thought that underlie an SIA
  • the sociological and other theories which inform SIA practice

Technical and professional skills- the ability to:

  • scope out a methodology to conduct a basic SIA
  • identify key stakeholders and communities
  • undertake basic social risk assessment

Critical analysis- the ability to:

  • critically evaluate an SIA

Critical awareness- the ability to:

  • distinguish between good and bad practices

Communication- the ability to:

  • work in groups to identify social impacts and affected communities and report back in a workshop format
  • Report on an SIA project or review

Teamwork and leadership- the ability to:

  • work in small groups doing a SIA exercise

 


By the course’s conclusion students will:

  • Have an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of social impact assessment practices
  • Be aware of the range of social impact assessment practices occurring in Australia and in other countries
  • Be aware of the various theoretical frameworks and sociological issues which should be addressed in a social impact assessment
  • Have a sufficient working knowledge of SIA principles and methodologies to undertake or commission future SIAs
  • Be aware of dangers, pitfalls and opportunities involved in community engagement practices

 


Overview of Learning Activities

Face-to-face classes and online discussions will feature lectures, guest presentations and discussion of key readings. As well as discussing the history and principles of SIA practice, you will be taken through some recent examples of SIA development to understand how they were constructed and to critically appreciate their strengths and weakness. Lectures and discussions will also focus on the nuances and complexities associated with ‘community engagement’.


Overview of Learning Resources

Distributed Learning System (DLS) - Not applicable. 

Prescribed Text – There is no prescribed text book, however the ones which will be referred to most in class are Ziller (2012) and Vanclay et al (2015).


Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks will include the construction of a community profile for a selected local area in Australia or another country (25%); a scoping document for the completion of an SIA for a real world project or change process (45%); and a community engagement strategy report related to the same, or another, case study area as for earlier assessments (30%).