Course Title: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Real-World Strategies and Solutions

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Real-World Strategies and Solutions

Credit Points: 12.00

Flexible Terms

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


PGRDFlex21 (ZZZZ),

PGRDFlex21 (All)

Course Coordinator: Professor John Fien

Course Coordinator Phone: Contact via email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Contact via email

Course Coordinator Availability: Contact via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will explore the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the targets associated with each one. This will be an opportunity to clarify their relevance to your developing professional knowledge, skills and commitments within your specific discipline.

The United Nations’ SDGs provide a practical, solutions-focused vision for local, national and international action to improve social and economic well-being whilst conserving (or wisely managing) the natural resource base upon which all development depends. 

You will investigate the nature, scope and purpose of selected SDGs, and develop expertise in sustainability problem-solving using several tools, including Risk Assessment, Systems Analysis, Design Thinking, Systemic Design and Appreciative Enquiry.

You will analyse different perspectives through exploring case studies of communities and organizations working towards one or more SDGs, especially in relation to disaster and climate resilience. You will then have the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills to plan a project that uses one or more SDG tools to achieve a chosen SDG target through a ‘real world’ challenge.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  1. Critically analyse, synthesize and reflect on complex theories and recent developments globally to extend and challenge knowledge and practice in design and development for disaster risk reduction and management.

  2. Determine and apply specialist knowledge and technical skills required to creatively solve problems, demonstrating expert judgment and ethical responsibility relating to your developing professional practice.

  3. Professionally communicate propositions, processes and outcomes to address specialist and non-specialist audiences.

  4. Master a body of knowledge and specific technical skills to progress your professional career within the contemporary disaster management, design and development arena.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Explain the history, scope and purposes of the SDGs.
  2. Critique arguments for and against a “goals and targets” approach to addressing sustainability challenges.
  3. Analyse how private and public sector organisations, such as a university, a business or a local government, are re-orienting their mission and activities towards the SDGs.
  4. Select and apply a range of tools for sustainability problem-solving, such as Risk Assessment, Systems Analysis, Design Thinking, Systemic Design, Appreciative Enquiry and Action Research.
  5. Appreciate the perspectives of different professions and disciplines towards the SDGs and analyse the Goals, Targets and Tools relevant to them.
  6. Work in a group to plan a project that uses one or more SDG tools to achieve a chosen SDG target in a ‘real world’ local challenge.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will engage in learning that involves a range of online activities, such as discussions, group work and research. Learning how to analyse and comment on your own and others’ work will be achieved through group reviews and discussions.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems including myRMIT. Discussions with experts and organisations as well as will comprise key learning activities and resources.

Additionally, a list of recommended learning resources will be provided, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own developing personal and professional interests.

The RMIT Library has extensive resources for students. A MoDDD guide that includes quality online and print resources may be fudnn on the  Canvas pages for the MoDDD program at

The RMIT Library also provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you achieve the course learning outcomes, and in relation to the program learning outcomes. Assessment will be done individually and/or in groups.

Assessment Schedule

1) Structured problem-solving, data-response exercise (perspectives on, and tools for, sustainability problem-solving) – 50%

Linked Course Learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

2) Project Plan (group) (2,500 words) —50%

Linked Course Learning outcomes: 4, 5, 6.

You are strongly encouraged to collaborate with your peers in the course.

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 the Equitable 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: