Course Title: Understanding Conflict and Mediation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Understanding Conflict and Mediation

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Rajesh Sharma

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 2855

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.4.16

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites: None.
Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities: Foundational knowledge of Alternative/Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes

Course Description

This course considers the issue of conflict resolution and mediation in our courts and our community. Through an engagement with theory and practical workshops the course assists you to understand conflict resolution and mediation at an advanced level. A social constructionist perspective is used to develop your ability to critique western concepts of conflict resolution. You are asked to engage in depth with the most common method of dealing with formal conflict in our society mediation. You will research and consider relevant legislation and case law dealing with the practice of mediation. You will also critique a number of different models of mediation practice, including the problem-solving, storytelling, narrative and transformative models. Additionally, you will develop skills in the practice of these different models of mediation and deal with ethical dilemmas related to the practice of mediation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


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

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the theory of conflict resolution.
  2. Critique the practice of conflict resolution, including mediation, in Australia
  3. Identify the legislative provisions relating to the practice of mediation and any relevant case law
  4. Identify various models of mediation, including the problem-solving, storytelling, narrative and transformative models of mediation
  5. Demonstrate skills in the practice of different models of mediation and critique these models, from a number of critical perspectives
  6. Explain the issues relating to vulnerable groups in our society, including issues arising regarding gender, class, race, ethnicity, indigenous and disability and the practice of mediation
  7. Evaluate a range of possible reform options and identify and reflect upon ethical dilemmas that may present in dispute resolution practice
  8. Demonstrate creative initiative in formulating solutions to community and legal problems

Overview of Learning Activities

Key concepts and their application will be explained and illustrated in lectures/ seminars, and you will have opportunities to develop your analytical and problem solving skills individually and in groups. Your learning will be supported by constructive participation in group discussions, and through engaging with readings and class exercises.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. These resources will include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video, and links to external websites. You will have the opportunity to contribute collectively to class resources by sharing your own research findings and sources with your peers.

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 may include:

Task 1: Video statement, 20%, CLOs 1,3,4.

Task 2: Dispute scenario, 1000 words, 40%, CLOs 1,3-5,8.

Task 3: Essay, 1000 words, 40%, CLOs 1,2,6,7.

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: