Course Title: Public Policy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Public Policy

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


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

Course Coordinator: Dr Kathy Edwards

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8260

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 37, Melbourne City Campus

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Public policy is the collection of decisions and instruments used by governments to respond to diverse and complex mix of social, environmental, economic and cultural problems, issues and circumstances. In this course you will explore how political agendas are shaped, and how policies are developed, implemented and evaluated.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

 In the course you will develop the following graduate capabilities:

  • critical analysis and problem solving
  • professional communication

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

  • Analyse and assess the role of political thinking in public policy development
  • identify and analyse the ways in which the influence of different stakeholders can enable and also limit the possibility of just and equitable policies
  • apply policy analysis tools to interpret and critique particular policies that relate to your professional field, and present your findings in a professional context


Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include interactive workshop activities focusing on group-based discussion and problem solving tasks. Course learning materials will be made available in a range of formats, which may include lectures, guest speakers and online media. In workshops you will also develop academic skills including analytical reading and academic writing.

In order to develop your knowledge and skills, you will be expected to participate in interactive discussions and activities and to critically engage with the weekly reading materials. The workshops offer a supportive learning environment where you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences, and to learn from the knowledge and experience your peers. This peer-based learning may take place through small-group discussions, collaborative work on activities and assessments and/or peer reviewing of research, written work and/or oral presentations. 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. This includes resources such as weekly readings, assessment supports, requirements for workshop and seminar participation and notes from classes.

The University Library has extensive resources for [discipline] students. The Library has produced a number of subject guides that includes quality online and print resources for your studies.

The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarians.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the graduate capabilities. Assessment tasks may include research and analysis of specific policy issues, case studies, group presentations and written assignments. Feedback will be provided throughout the semester by your teachers and peers in class and/or online discussions, and through individual and/or group feedback on practical exercises.


Assessment Type


Assessment 1: Quiz on key concepts

20%, 45 minutes (20 multiple choice, 2 short answer responses)

Assessment 2: Policy Position Paper

40%, 2000 words

Assessment 3: Group presentation

40%, 20-minute presentation, 10-minute Q&A

• 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.