Course Title: Research for Impact in Design and Social Context

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research for Impact in Design and Social Context

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: Professor Ingrid Richardson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5608

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: By appointment

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You must be enrolled in a PhD or Master by Research program at RMIT to take this course. 

Course Description

This course aims to build your understanding of the key concepts of research impact and translation practice which promote meaningful, real-world impact from research. 
The course takes an inclusive view of research translation beyond commercialisation and introduces students to debates and ideas in research engagement, research communication, and research translation. The course incorporates both cross-disciplinary and disciplinary specific content.

Topics to be covered include:
Impact as Ethos. For example, the role of research in achieving meaningful real-world change.
The Range/Type of Impact. For example, examining the impact and relevance of your research in both academic and non-academic contexts.
Models of Pathways to Impact. For example, how to create positive, transformational change from your research.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


On successful completion of the course, you will be able to:​​
1. Articulate the distinctions between academic research impact and impact beyond the academy through demonstrated knowledge of key literature in the field and established impact models. 
2. Critically evaluate a range of translation and engagement possibilities for research in general; and with reference to their own research projects apply these concepts in their research design, co-design and planning. 
3. Interrogate and apply concepts and frameworks which promote successful research engagement, co-creation, translation, and impact. 
4. Develop effective research communication strategies to support engagement with a range of relevant stakeholders and beneficiaries.
5. Articulate and theorise the role of research in contributing to meaningful, real-world change. Critically reflect on the purpose of their research, its cultural context, and its likely and actual impact, positive and negative.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will participate in a range of learning activities, which may include opportunities such as expert facilitated seminars and workshops, participation in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary peer discussion, peer assessment, and methods of public engagement to explain your research, such as 3MT, mock media releases, and impact statements. 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 
Lists of learning resources will be provided during the course, and you will be expected to build on these through your own literature searches.
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.  Specific assessment tasks may include:

• The development of an impact statement or plan, in which you will be required to demonstrate your understanding of research impact.

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 team if you would like to find out more.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures.