Course Title: Influencing Policy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Influencing Policy

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 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Sebastian Cordoba

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9956

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 10

Course Coordinator Availability: Mon - Wed

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

POLI1066 Public Policy

Course Description

In this course you will develop and refine your policy making and policy analysis skills. This course will build on your earlier policy studies and consider the ways in which social policy is negotiated, formulated and implemented. You will explore contemporary social issues to analyse the policy making process and understand the point of possible impact.

This will involve: reviewing the theoretical literature and models of policy making; investigating the nature of policy making processes within the state, community and corporate sectors; identifying the key actors and organisations involved in the development of policy; assessing the role, nature, politics and level of influence of actors and organisations in the policy process; and analysing the key steps and strategies used in the development implementation and review of policy.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Critically analyse the role and contribution of social workers to influencing policy
  • Articulate the conceptual issues associated with policy in the contemporary state
  • Critically assess models in use and contemporary practices in relation to making and influencing policy, particularly in relation to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups
  • Actively engage in critical analysis of social policies, particularly in relation to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups


You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes:

  • Participate robustly in contemporary and changing ideological and political debates impacting on society, in an informed, flexible and grounded manner to evaluate policy and/or engage in policy debates
  • Apply a body of interdisciplinary knowledge, values and skills in working with and for society’s most vulnerable and marginalised individuals, families, groups and communities.
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on issues of social disadvantage, marginalisation and oppression in both local and international contexts, and proactively work to promote social justice and human rights
  • Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and practical reasoning when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts within the discipline of social work

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 includes 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 experiences of your peers.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be given access to a wide range of resources detailed in the Course Guide available on Canvas. You will be able to access a wide range of online learning tools and content for your course from the student portal, myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. These resources will include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video and links to external websites.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will include:

 Assessment  Weighting
 Assessment OneScoping document50% - 1500 words

 Assessment TwoPolicy submission50% - 2500 words

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice.

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: