Course Title: Power and Governance

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Power and Governance

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities. 

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT: 

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance:

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


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: 37.04

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

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

Program Learning Outcomes 

In course you will develop the following program learning outcomes: 

  1. Apply a body of professional, theoretical and practical knowledge relevant to the socio-legal field and primary dispute resolution processes
  2. Reflect on and implement ethical practice and social responsibility in diverse international and cross cultural settings.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this 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 

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is delivered through a blend of learning activities, which include interactive workshop activities, role plays, problem solving, guest speakers, presentations, videos, online media and activities and student led discussions. The course may be delivered online in modules.

Overview of Learning Resources

There may be a prescribed text for this course. 

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through the Canvas student portal, myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. You will have the opportunity to contribute collectively to class resources by sharing your own research findings and sources with your peers. 

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

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 Tasks 

Assessment Task 1: Short essays 40%, CLO1-CLO3  

Assessment Task 2: Essay Plan 20%, CLO1-CLO4 

Assessment Task 3: Essay 40%, CLO1-CLO4 

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 manager or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.