Course Title: Self, Identity and Agency

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Self, Identity and Agency

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

This course runs in both face to face and online modes.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


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 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2019


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Sonia Martin

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 3483

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 10

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Self, Identity and Agency examines the ways in which people shape, and are shaped by, the world around them. In this course you will examine questions such as: Are we ‘born’ the way we are or are we ‘made’ the way we are? How might issues be socially constructed and what are the debates about how meanings are created?  How and why do human beings grow and change over the course of their lives and what factors shape and determine their life chances? In order to answer these questions we will draw on a range of social science theories which can be used to increase understanding of human development and of the dynamics between the individual and the society of which they are a part. The course requires you to develop analytical skills in examining these theories and to apply them to an understanding of a range of social issues which confront individuals in contemporary society. It is particularly relevant to those working in human services such as psychologists, social work practitioners, youth workers, teachers, educators, community workers and others. 

This course is an academic study of constructs of self and identity, through interdisciplinary knowledge forms. It is not a therapeutic study.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Describe and explain the purpose of theory in the social sciences
  • Compare and critically evaluate key social, constructionist and developmental theories discussed in the course
  • Engage the complexity of social meanings in relation to an area of society related to your future professional practice
  • Identify the key factors and processes involved and impacting on human development across the life course development
  • Use the ideas and theories studied in this course to reflect upon your own life and experiences


This course services a number of Programs. It aims to contribute the following skills and knowledge as a result of student participation:


  • Participate robustly in contemporary and changing ideological and political debates impacting on society, in an informed, flexible and scholarly manner.
  • Critically reflect upon and analyse bodies of interdisciplinary knowledge, values and skills to work with and for society’s most vulnerable and marginalised individuals, families, groups and communities.
  • Apply professional, theoretical and practical knowledge of the psychological, psycho-analytic and social sciences to your professional practice and further study
  • Apply logical, critical and creative thinking from the psychological and the social sciences to respond effectively to a range of issues associated with changing social, cultural and political contexts.
  • Evaluate binaries of sameness and difference in considering societal and individual structures and agency.
  • Communicate effectively using appropriate formats, media and styles to a range of audiences including other professionals, the public and government agencies.

In the course you will develop the following graduate capabilities:

  • Work ready
  • Global in competence and outlook
  • Environmentally aware and responsive
  • Culturally and socially aware
  • Active and lifelong learners
  • Innovative

Overview of Learning Activities

This course runs in face to face and online mode. Some resources and activities are shared, whereas others may be specific to each group. This course will consist of a weekly lecture or series of mini lectures. There are also weekly two hour workshops, or their equivalent scheduled that draw upon the understandings developed in the lectures to establish deeper and applied conceptual knowledge through practical experiences. Online discussion forums will also be utilised. Readings will be provided and drawn upon to explore a range of theoretical perspectives.

Overview of Learning Resources

Reading materials will be available through CANVAS and the RMIT Library.

Overview of Assessment

You will demonstrate your learning in this course by completing assessment tasks with a total word length or equivalent of 4,000 words through a combination of these indicative tasks:

Assessment 1: Who are You? Introducing your ‘self’ - 500 words, 20%

Assessment 2: Self and Identity: A tale of two people -  2000 words, 40%

Assessment 3: Self and Agency – An evaluation -  up to 1500 words, 40%



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 your program coordinator or the Equitable Learning Services 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:;ID=c15i3ciaq8ca