Course Title: Social Impact Assessment and Community Engagement

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Social Impact Assessment and Community Engagement

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2017


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Assoc Professor Andrew Butt

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3351

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to the principles and practices of social impact assessment and of community engagement practices more generally, in the areas of urban and environmental policy and decision-making. The principles and history of SIA will be reviewed as a context for examining contemporary practices. In this course you will also critically examine how the notion of community engagement and communicative and collaborative decision-making processes are used either in these areas of policy and practice. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes: 

  • Develop and use appropriate research tools, methods and strategies to generate knowledge, manage urban environments, and inform decision-making in diverse social, cultural and geographic contexts. 
  • Apply the specialist knowledge and technical skills required to implement locally inspired solutions to a range of environmental and other consequences of urbanisation. 
  • Clearly communicate complex and technical research findings and environmental management decisions to diverse audiences. 

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Have a critical understanding of  past and current social impact assessment practices.
  2. Have a critical understanding of a range of participatory decision-making practices occurring in Australia and in other countries.
  3. Be able to demonstrate understanding of various theoretical frameworks and methodological issues involved in  social impact assessment.
  4. Be able to demonstrate understanding of various theoretical frameworks and methodological issues involved in a range of communicative and participatory practices in urban and environmental policy.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities including lectures, workshops, guest presentations, group discussion, and group and individual research. 

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

        1. Critical Impact Assessment Review Task (30% Linked to CLOs 1 and 2) 

        2. Impact Assessment Design Task (40% Linked to CLOs 1, 2 and 3) 

        3. Engagement and Participation Review Task (30% Linked to CLOs 2 and 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 instructions.