Course Title: Environmental Policy and Governance

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Policy and Governance

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Andrew Butt

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 3351

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will gain an overview of the models and theories related to policy-making, specifically focused on environmental policy, together with an understanding of the historical and current environmental policy activity in Australia. Contexts for this overview include recent moves towards globalisation, reducing involvement of governments, international environmental and economic activity, the many influences on policy-making, and the underlying value systems that affect decision-making. Specifically the purpose of this course is that you will understand the frameworks and influences that lead to policy-making that results in effective policies, rather than to develop policy.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Identify and articulate the scope, interconnections, and multiple roles of environmental policy across different scales and sectors (local, state, national, international and corporate policy);
  • Critically reflect on the theories and methods that inform environmental policy-making, implementation, and evaluation and how they shape different policy approaches and outcomes;
  • Analyse, in the context of theory and professional practice, and apply problem solving skills to evaluate ways in which policies develop, are implemented, and how they ‘succeed’ or ‘fail’
  • Describe and analyse the practical aspects of formulating and implementing environmental policy, including recognition of the influences and stakeholders acting at each stage; and
  • Establish a framework for policy-making, informed by theory, which has particular meaning for you as an emerging or established professional, and which enhances your skills and attributes associated with effective policy leadership and advocacy.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning experiences have been designed to enable you to develop an understanding of the key concepts of environmental policy and their relationship to the practical aspects of bringing about change in environmental management; this will provide a basis for you to adopt the concepts in your personal and professional situations. You will have the opportunity to discuss the application of material to specific situations and policies. You will consolidate your knowledge through individual and group work aimed at establishing the theoretical concepts of policy-making, and relating these to a practical investigation of several case studies. This is a reading-intensive course in which assigned and self-directed reading will form a significant component of the learning activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

Course readings (available electronically online from the course site accessed via MyRMIT) provides the basis for weekly reading and workshop discussion.

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 may include policy analysis essays and individual or group enquiry-based research projects/ reports on environmental issues and policies of your choice.
You will be required to prepare assessment tasks with a total word length or equivalent of 5,000 words.

  • 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: