Course Title: Homelessness: Contemporary Themes, Policy and Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Homelessness: Contemporary Themes, Policy and Practice

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2019,

Course Coordinator: Dr Juliet Watson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3477

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.10.49

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the first year of your undergraduate degree to provide the required knowledge areas and understanding for engaging with the course.

Course Description

In this course you will be introduced to the contemporary context of homelessness in Australia through the exploration of current theory, policy and practice issues. This course contextualises homelessness within broader societal conditions in order to fully characterise this dynamic and precarious environment. You will have the opportunity to advance your analytical skills through the development of critical frameworks that challenge commonly held misconceptions about homelessness and how it is experienced.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


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

  1. Define and articulate the concept of homelessness and how it is affected by policy, practice and research contexts.
  2. Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on how factors such as race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and place contribute to homelessness.
  3. Identify and appraise policy and practice contexts affecting the delivery of homelessness services.
  4. Critically analyse and apply theoretical frameworks that inform homelessness research, policy and practice.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include lectures and interactive workshop activities. Course learning materials will be made available in a range of formats, which may include lectures, guest speakers, field trips and online media. In workshops you will have the opportunity to engage actively in experiential learning via videos, exploration of case material, self-reflection and discussion, analysis and critique of guided reading.

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 of your peers. This peer-based learning may take place through small-group discussions and collaborative work on activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You will be given access to a wide range of materials, including the required weekly reading, through the student portal. These resources will include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, video links, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary readings, and links to external websites.

The University Library has extensive resources for 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

Task 1: Reading summaries, 1800 words, 30%, CLO 1, CLO 4

Task 2: Small group presentation, 20%, CLO 1, CLO 2, CLO 3, CLO 4

Task 3: Critical analysis, 2000 words, 50%, CLO 1, CLO 2, CLO 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 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: