Faculty of Business and Economics

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Business and Economics
Organisational UnitDepartment of Management
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Mr Rod Sarah


This unit integrates 'systems thinking' with policy analysis to help students and managers understand and deal with policy design within complex systems such as modern organisations or the global climate system. Operating as an experiential learning environment, students will engage in policy modelling and analysis of the sustainability impacts of policy directions. A variety of public policy issues including issues and problems at a global level including climate and population challenges, urban dynamics involved in sustainable cities, dynamics of the health system as a wellness system, including medical workforce dynamics and patient care, and environmental dynamics surrounding issues such as water management and species maintenance such as fish-stocks and regulatory dynamics. Embracing contemporary systems mapping, modelling, simulation and analysis techniques, students will be able to conduct their own policy formulation and evaluation experiments to anticipate their viability and sustainability outcomes in complex dynamic systems, identify leverage points for improving policy outcomes.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. describe Systems Thinking as a generic set of 'new' skills for reframing and understanding complex policy issues spanning social, organisational and natural systems
  2. develop competence in a range of the essential principles, tools and methods of systems thinking as applied to policy for sustainability outcomes
  3. apply the systems thinking tools and methods in a structured methodology including systems mapping, modelling and simulation to generate insights and understanding of the implications of policy decisions as applied to contemporary societal challenges from a sustainability perspective.


Within semester assessment: 50%
Examination: 50%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)