Course Title: Policy in Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Policy in Practice

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 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr. Brian Coffey

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3980

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Floor 11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course explores the way in which policy making and implementation shape environmental governance and planning. 

Policy-making theory and practice and policy processes in Australia form the basis of the syllabus. Emphasis will be given to the key aspects of policy development, implementation and evaluation in order to explore the factors which influence each of these aspects for effective policy making. 
These points will be expanded by the consideration of policy-making and implementation processes at global, national, state and local levels. In particular, exploration of policy will provide you with a context for investigating the role of public policy, the interconnections of layers of policy-making, and the organisational and structural processes that influence policy processes.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

For those of you in BH108 Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (Honours), this course will help you develop the program level outcomes:

  • Discern the value of information and knowledge from a wide variety of sources and experiences and reflect on and evaluate their application in planning practice and research.
  • Apply a range of social science research methods to conduct research and undertake policy development that consider theoretical, historical, local and international contexts for decision making.
  • Initiate positive contributions to the wider community through professional planning practice, establishing empathy, equity and shared understanding across diverse interest groups.

For those of you in BP000P16 Bachelor of Environment and Society, BP329 Bachelor of Environmental Science/Bachelor of Environment and Society and BP193 Bachelor of Environmental Science/Bachelor of Environment and Society, this course will help you develop the program level outcomes:

  • Apply a body of theoretical and practical knowledge of principles and practices in natural resource management, sustainability, globalisation and environmental management to professional practice or further study.
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on knowledge related to the social implications of environmental concerns and challenges both in Australia and globally.
  • Apply logical, critical and creative thinking to effectively solve a range of problems associated with environmental monitoring and management and associated policies and practices.
  • Work effectively and productively with others in a range of roles in a variety of professional and social contexts.
  • Assist in the identification of needs, the design, planning, resourcing and implementation of research and development projects in environmental and social sustainability.
  • Reflect on the experience of personal and professional practice in international and cross-cultural settings and to act in professional settings.

Course Learning Outcomes 

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

  1. develop a critical understanding of the formal and informal processes of policy 
  2. understand the theories of policy-making for environmental governance and planning 
  3. develop policy analysis skills particularly in relation to environmental governance and planning  
  4. analyse the organisational and social structures that affect policy particularly in relation to environmental governance and planning  
  5. gain an understanding of the extent of environmental and planning policy.

Overview of Learning Activities

Key concepts in this course will be developed through lectures and tutorials/discussions, all of which will be supported by online learning tools. The tutorials/discussions are supported by readings that you are expected to critically engage with. In addition to the readings, you are encouraged to draw upon your own experiences within the topics under consideration.  The practical sessions will provide additional experience in data analysis.  

Overview of Learning Resources

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

You will be expected to utilise library and electronic resources (as well as any other appropriate resources) to engage in the reading of academic literature. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. Recommended learning resources for each topic will mostly include journal articles and web resources but you will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.  

Assessment Tasks

  1. Understanding Policy Theory and Practice Task (35%) (Linked to CLO 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Research and Analysis of Policy Case Study Task (40%) (Linked to CLO 2, 3, 4)
  3. Policy Briefing Task (25%) (Linked to CLO 4 and 5) 

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

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