Course Title: Humanitarian Experiential Learning Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Humanitarian Experiential Learning Project

Credit Points: 12.00

Flexible Terms

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


172H School of Engineering



Course Coordinator: Dr Nick Brown

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3024

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students must have applied for, and been accepted into a pre-approved Humanitarian Global Intensive mobility experience prior to enrolling in this course. A list of pre-approved mobility experiences is included in the Course Guide Part B. 

Course Description

This course extends students’ learning on a Humanitarian Global Intensive mobility experience, including Engineers Without Borders (EWB) 'Design Summits' and Unbound 'Global Programs'. Humanitarian Global Intensives offer students a unique opportunity to experience international development and learn about a range of development issues, working with local communities and various development stakeholders in-country. Whilst the Global Intensives may vary in destination, this course provides students with a foundation in topics such as international community development, humanitarian engineering, sustainable engineering design, appropriate technology, cross-cultural (technical) communication, and the role of professional engineers in global contexts.

Course activities and assessments will run pre-departure and on return, enabling students to prepare, debrief and reflect on their experiences, sharing lessons learned during their in-country experience and after returning to Melbourne.

This course includes a Work Integrated Learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience. As part of the Humanitarian Global Intensive and learning in this course, you will actively work in small teams on a design project relevant to the development issues and community contexts experienced in-country.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for all Engineering degree programs:

1.5 Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
3.4 Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Articulate the roles and responsibilities of professional engineers in humanitarian contexts
  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the tools, principles and practices of Humanitarian Engineering
  3. Express how your engineering discipline skills and knowledge can be applied in a humanitarian context as well as acknowledge the relevance of Humanitarian Engineering skills to your own engineering program. 
  4. Communicate effectively in cross-cultural contexts and in a professional manner

Overview of Learning Activities

The primary learning activity will involve travel to a less- developed country as part of a Humanitarian Global Intensive mobility experience. This in-country experiential learning is complemented by online or face-to-face workshops run pre-departure and on return to Melbourne.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources for this course include:

  • Workshop and course materials as provided available online via myRMIT Studies.
  • Lists of relevant reference texts, Library resources and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

Overview of Assessment

☒ This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment consists of range of individual and team assessments to demonstrate your learning and provide feedback on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes.

Please note that this course does not have a final exam.

Assessment tasks

Assessment Task 1: Individual research assignment (completed and submitted pre-departure)
Weighting 25%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 2: Individual research presentation (completed and submitted pre-departure)
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 4

Assessment Task 3: Individual reflective logbook (completed during the Humanitarian Global Intensive and submitted post-return)
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 4: Individual reflection report (completed and submitted post-return)
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2, 3 & 4

You will receive verbal and/or written feedback from your lecturer, course-coordinator and/or peers on your assessment tasks.