Course Title: Program Design and Participation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Program Design and Participation

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2009


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Jose Roberto Guevara

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3046

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 37, Level 05, Room 17

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will be introduced to the history, theory, and practice of participation in program design as an integral part of the program management cycle. You will experience, engage with, and examine participatory approaches used to design and implement programs according to the needs, capacities and aspirations of the stakeholders and the local community. 

You will engage with case studies drawn from different organisational and geographical contexts and learn to prepare your own program design to address an identified outcome. 

The program has been designed to prepare you to work in complex, global contexts. You will be able to make strategic decisions about your practice and leadership in international arenas. You will demonstrate a collaborative and professionally informed approach to your work.  

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes 

  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on the immediate effects and broader consequences of global sustainability challenges, including the interplay of ecological, economic, political, social, and cultural factors. 
  • Develop and use appropriate research strategies, methods and tools to generate knowledge to inform decision-making in diverse social, cultural, and geographic contexts. 
  • Clearly communicate complex and technical analysis and proposals related to global challenges to diverse audiences and stakeholders. 
  • Provide professional leadership by determining and applying the specialist knowledge and technical skills required to creatively solve problems, demonstrating expert judgment and ethical responsibility. 
  • Critically analyse, synthesize and reflect on diverse knowledge, practices, and lived experiences to extend and challenge the discipline and the field. 

Course Learning Outcomes  

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

CLO1: Outline the historical development of participatory approaches in program design that aims to address contemporary global challenges within organisations and in local communities. 

CLO2: Identify, design, and implement appropriate participatory program design strategies across diverse organisational and community contexts. 

CLO3: Design and review participatory approaches used in program design that encompass issues of culture, language, gender, and social inequality. 

CLO4: Design, develop and evaluate programs that enhance learning and collaboration with professionals from different backgrounds.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will utilise the same participatory approaches employed in program design. This is based on the argument that participatory approaches are best learned through experience. 

A deeper understanding of participatory approaches in program design can be achieved through a facilitated process of critical self-reflection through individual journals and group-based project work which is complemented with access to the key literature regarding the history, concepts, practice, debates, and future directions about participatory approaches to program design. 

The course is highly participatory, and activities will utilise a substantial amount of experiential based learning methods for skills development. As a consequence, you will benefit most from the course if you are in regular attendance in the workshops and/or participate and contribute regularly online. 

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 relevant to the focus of your own learning. 

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 are designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of key concepts, themes and debates appropriate for studies at postgraduate level and relevant to program and project managers. 

Assessment tasks 

Assessment Task 1: Critical Annotated Bibliography (2,000 words), 30% CLO1, CLO2 and CLO3  

Assessment Task 2: Participation and Collaboration Reflections (1000 words), 30%, CLO2, CLO 3 and CLO4  

Assessment Task 3 Participatory Program Design Proposal (3000 words), 40% CLO1, CLO2, CLO 3 and CLO 4 

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 instruction.