Credit points: 30

Subject outline

This subject is focused on analysing social, political and economic change. It does so by combining research from a range of academic disciplines with the practical perspectives offered by NGOs and other change agents. It offers the latest thinking and evidence on what works to achieve desirable social change and improvement. The subject is designed for students doing the Master of International Development, but it is relevant to students from the across the social sciences and health sciences. The subject is in three sections. Part 1 is conceptual and theoretical. Part 2 examines the way in which entities such the government, law, the media and the business sector influence change, and are themselves targets for change. Part 3 examines how NGOs and other civil society organisations achieve change, giving particular focus to importance of coalition and network building, leadership, activism and education. Several case studies of social change will be discussed and analysed.

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorTim Thornton

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjects POL4MSH

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions Core subject the Master of International Development (AMID/AMIDV/AMIDH/HZHPHID/HZPHID) but open to students not doing these awards


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsHow Change HappensPrescribedGreen, Duncan 2016Oxford University Press

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

02. Explain and evaluate contending theoretical perspectives on how social change occurs

tutorial activities, lectures, essays.

03. Demonstrate an understanding of how different actors (such as NGOs, Governments, Media, Business) influence social change and are themselves targets for social change.

tutorial activities, lectures, essays.

04. Describe how theory and practice do (and do not) co-inform each other with particular reference to NGO sector

Group discussions, lectures, case study project and essay.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2017, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorTim Thornton

Class requirements

Seminar Week: 31 - 43
One 1.5 hours seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
One 1.5 hours lecture per week on any day including weekend from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Weekly online quizzes (equivalent to 1500 words)equivalent to 1500 words25 02, 03, 04
Tutorial activities and tasks (equivalent to 750 words)equivalent to 750 words10 02, 03, 04
750 word essayequivalent to 750 words15 02
3,000 word essay50 02, 03, 04