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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Development and Sustainability (SWM628)

Organisational Unit Global Studies
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: WSP3-internal
Description A growing population and changing patterns of consumption place pressure on social and ecological systems. But the concept of sustainable development offers ways to think about relationships between the economy, environment and society, and to identify new ways of being that will improve wellbeing by reducing poverty, improving social equity and protecting natural systems. Planetary boundaries and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals frame discussions about two wicked problems of the day - climate change and food security.
Unit Learning Outcomes 1. Students will demonstrate a broad and coherent understanding of the theoretical perspectives and methods of enquiry within sustainable development.
2. Analyse the nature of interactions between poverty reduction, human development and environmental and cultural sustainability.
3. Critically interpret the contested nature of sustainable development.
4. Evaluate the Sustainable Development Goals as a global effort to address poverty and development.
5. Students will demonstrate the capacity to think critically and reflexively about professional development practice.
Timetabled Learning Activities Seminar 3 x 8.5 hours for 1 week
Unit Learning Experiences This is an intensive unit in the Winter semester. The unit runs over the course of one week where the intensive time together influences the learning atmosphere and culture of the classroom. This intensive mode of learning is highly concentrated in its delivery, in student participation, and in student engagement.

The unit uses an enquiry-based format enabling students to apply their skills and their comprehension of learned facts to real world situations through the use of case studies. The case studies highlight complex situations where the solutions are uncertain.

Students will be expected to read the case studies and all essential readings prior to workshops in order to be prepared to approach the enquiry-based learning. The case studies will allow students to use creative problem solving and they will be expected to distinguish between extraneous and critical factors. The cases necessitate research, stimulate analysis from different theoretical and practical viewpoints, and enable students to learn from one another.

In the process of this enquiry-based learning, students will gain a clearer sense of the complexity and the conundrum that the pursuit of sustainability and development present.
Assessment Individual and group assignments will be designed to scaffold students through key material and learning outcomes. Assessment tasks and criteria will include a mix of in-class collaborative assessment activities and individual written research.
As this involves participant-centred learning, students will be assessed on their in-class participation as they move through their analysis of the cases. The process of analysis is as important as the outcome - group dynamics, evidence of consideration of all case factors, feasibility of solutions presented, organisation of arguments, quality of research undertaken are all factors that will be observed for participation assessment.
In-class participation: 15%
In-class Case Analysis: 45%
Applied Written Assessment: 40%
Prerequisites Enrolment in Master of Business Administration (Global) or
Master of Business Administration Professional Practice or
Master of Community Development or
Master of Development Studies or
Master of Food Security or
Master of Health Administration, Policy and Leadership or
Master of International Affairs and Security or
Master of Public Policy and Management or
Master of Veterinary Studies (Conservation Medicine) or
Master of Wildlife Health and Conservation
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed SSH628 Development and Sustainability may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Previously 2013: SSH628
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Master of Business Administration (Global) (MBA(Global))
Master of Community Development (MCommDev)
Master of Development Studies (MDS)
Master of Food Security
Master of Health Administration, Policy and Leadership (MHAPL) [New in 2016]
Master of International Affairs and Security (MIAS)
Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM)
Master of Veterinary Studies (Conservation Medicine) (MVS)
Master of Wildlife Health and Conservation (MWildlifeHth) [New in 2015]
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Rochelle Spencer
Senior Lecturer

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2898
e: Rochelle.Spencer@murdoch.edu.au
o: 440.3.021 - Building 440, Murdoch Campus
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