Course Title: Public Policy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Public Policy

Credit Points: 12.00


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 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 2 2023,
Sem 1 2024,
Sem 2 2024


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Dr Kathy Edwards

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8260

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8. Floor 10. Room 1

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will attain a broad introduction to the design, implementation and evaluation of public policy. You will begin with a general overview of the many and varied ways that public policy affects our lives, both personally and professionally. In this context, you will consider questions of the definition and breadth of the activity we call public policy. From there you will look at some of the key institutions and process that policy actors use to implement public policy. Finally, you will consider some key policy issues and debates.  

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

If you are enrolled in BH105 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) will develop the following program learning outcomes:  

  • Participate robustly in contemporary and changing ideological and political debates impacting on society, in an informed, flexible and grounded manner to evaluate policy and/or engage in policy debates 
  • Apply a body of interdisciplinary knowledge, values and skills in working with and for society’s most vulnerable and marginalised individuals, families, groups and communities 
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on issues of social disadvantage, marginalisation and oppression in both local and international contexts, and proactively work to promote social justice and human rights 

If you are enrolled in BP112 Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) you will develop the following program learning outcomes:  

  • Apply professional, theoretical and practical knowledge of the psychological and social sciences to your professional practice and further study. 
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and apply theoretical and professional insights from the psychological and social sciences to reflect on the challenges facing professional practice in a rapidly changing world 
  • 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. 
  • Work professionally, ethically and effectively with others from diverse cultural, linguistic and organisational contexts. 
  • Communicate effectively using appropriate formats, media and styles to a range of audiences including other professionals, the public and government agencies. 
  • Reflect on the experience of personal and professional practice in international and cross-cultural settings and act in professionalized settings responsibly, ethically and with integrity. 

If you are enrolled in BP322 Bachelor of Youth Work and Youth Studies will develop the following program learning outcomes:  

  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect upon the factors, agencies and influences that shape the life-worlds, experiences and aspirations of young people to consider enabling models of practice and interventions  


Course Learning Outcomes  

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

  1. Give an accurate account of what public policy is and how it affects our lives
  2. Describe the general processes through which public policy is developed and implemented
  3. Identify and analyse the ways in which different policy actors can enable and also limit the possibility of just and equitable policies
  4. Apply policy analysis techniques to interpret and critique particular policies that relate to your professional field, and effectively present your findings 

Overview of Learning Activities

Depending on delivery mode, learning activities will include interactive workshop or online discussion 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 or online discussion spaces 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. 

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 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 Tasks

Assessment Type Weight Course Learning Outcomes
Assessment 1: Two quizzes (Key Policy Concepts and Debates, Policy Cycle) 20% each. Multiple choice and short answer combination CLO1, CLO2 and CLO3
Assessment 2a: Key Issues Paper 20%, 800 words CLO3 and CLO4
Assessment 2b: Policy Position Paper 40%, 1500 words CLO3 and CLO4


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 Equity Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: