ENS5510 - Processes to influence change - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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




Dr Annette Bos

Mr David Robertson

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Evening)


Leadership for sustainable development requires the ability to influence societal change in a range of complex contexts at varying scales. Critical appreciation is needed of processes and mechanisms that affect and guide such change.

The unit breaks down the complexity of change processes, examining the various components of societal change (rules, norms, values, knowledge), and the different dimensions of our social world (institutional, political, organisational, community), that either help or hinder sustainable development. The unit also explores a range of formal and informal processes of influence.

Blending theoretical and practical insights, the unit will equip students with a suite of tools and mechanisms for influencing, supporting and facilitating change towards sustainable development at a variety of scales, drawing on science-policy partnerships, strategic planning, social and organisational learning and advocacy networks.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Investigate, interpret and assess selected societal change theories, evaluating key conceptual frameworks, methods and current debates.
  2. Explore the complexity of societal change processes and identify the dimensions of societal change.
  3. Critically analyse and select processes and strategies for facilitating societal change at different scales (i.e. community, organisational, institutional, political).
  4. Evaluate how organisations and communities can influence their social and political context and how this context can in turn encourage or require them to act in a sustainable way.
  5. Design, develop and effectively communicate a change management intervention for a real-world sustainability challenge, grounded in theory, evidence and practice.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Contact hours equivalent to minimum 2 hours per week.

Additional requirements for at least 10 hours of independent work.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


This is a specialist core unit for the Leadership for sustainable development specialisation and an elective unit within the other specialisations. There are no prerequisite units, but non-cognate students must complete Part B studies prior to undertaking Part C specialist studies.