Course Title: Communication Design for Social Change

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Communication Design for Social Change

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 1 2006


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2012


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015

Course Coordinator: Russell Kerr

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1243

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 9.01.003

Course Coordinator Availability: Tuesday 11.00 - 1.00

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will examine the questions: ’What’, ’How’ and ’Why’ in relation to communication design for social change.  You will analyse the social role and ethical practice of communication design in international and global contexts of media and communication. There will be particular emphasis on how social responsibility and sustainability are presented in interdisciplinary design practice. You will also examine how social change is a significant driver in the professional practice of communication design.

A focus of the course will be to collaboratively research professional studio models and performance assessment methods to apply to your current and future professional practice. You will also identify your personal position on socially responsible and sustainable practice and learn how to participate in ethical debates or process within a studio environment in order to achieve your collective or personal goal.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


On successful completion of this course you will be able to:
•    reflect on, articulate and apply a personal framework for practising communication design for social change;
•    convey, negotiate and implement personal projects according to socially responsible and sustainable principles;
•    negotiate the transfer of authorship or assistance to achieve goals and complete projects; and
•    establish an ethical framework and apply criteria to evaluate a socially responsible and sustainable studio practice.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will take a blended approach in its delivery with learning that involves a range of activities including lectures, tutorials, group and online class discussion, group activities, peer review and individual research.

You will be involved in activities requiring you to reflect, make decisions, reach agreements and document your design process as well as to articulate, negotiate and achieve your objectives within an ethical framework and professional practice.

Overview of Learning Resources

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

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources that are relevant to the focus of your own learning.

There are services available to support your learning, including the University Library and Study Support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

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 socially responsible and sustainable professional practice. Assessment will occur during the course and at the end of the course. Methods may include any combination of assessment tasks such as reports, reflective papers, group work, presentations, assignments and portfolio.