Course Title: Introduction to Policy: Concepts, Debates and Practices

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Policy: Concepts, Debates and Practices

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023

Course Coordinator: Sharon Andrews

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99258239

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.4.12-E

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities



Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the key concepts, debates and practices that shape contemporary public policy.  The course is designed to begin the process of inducting you into the discipline and developing your capacities as a policy actor.  The course explores major theoretical traditions and debates in the study and practice of public policy.  The course also explores the role of key actors and the way that they legitimate and use processes and instruments to frame and progress policy goals.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically analyse the social, political, ethical, institutional, economic and environmental factors that both enable and limit policy change;
  2. Make use of complex theories, diverse evidence and modes of reasoning, to extend and challenge knowledge and practice in policy and social innovation.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define key concepts in the field of public policy;
  2. Critically analyse key rationales and drivers for government intervention into public problems;
  3. Critically analyse the role of key actors and institutions;
  4. Engage with key debates about current theory and practice relating to public policy in Australia and elsewhere.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will be conducted through face to face workshops.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through a Course Reader or core textbook and also will be able to access to a wide range of online learning tools and content for your course from the student portal, myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. These resources may include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video, and links to external websites.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes.

Assessment Tasks

  1. Argument analysis 15%, (500 words), CLO 2 & 4.  
  2. Critical evaluation of a policy argument  35%  (1500 words), CL0 1 & 3. 
  3. Development of a policy argument  50%  (3000 words), CL0 1 & 3
You will received feedback 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