Academic Units

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship offers academic units that combine active citizenship with learning content.

The 'Wicked Problems' project-based transdisciplinary unit is offered at undergraduate (second year minimum) level. The unit is typically intensive (up to six weeks), delivered in partnership with community organisations, and the majority of work is project-based and collaborative. 

Making a Difference: Civic Participation and Social Change is a Level 1 unit that introduces the many ways that individuals can make a contribution through active citizenship.

Both 'Approaches to Wicked Problems' and 'Making a Difference: Civic Participation and Social Change' can be taken as stand-alone units, or as part of the new Minor in Active Citizenship.

Approaches to Wicked Problems Undergraduate Unit+

Certain challenges facing Western Australian communities are complex or 'wicked', with demographic, infrastructural, political, cultural and economic dimensions. In this unit, students will form small teams to address different dimensions of social challenges, working collaboratively with academic staff and the unit partners (community groups, industry or government).

Approaches to Wicked Problems SVLG3008 offers enquiry-based learning, leadership training and develops valuable skills transferable to later studies and employment. Further skills developed by students include self-awareness, deep listening, inclusive communication, and teamwork.

In January 2020, the McCusker Centre for Citizenship delivered this unit for the first time in partnership with the WA Alliance to End Homelessness. Held over four weeks, the unit saw 20 undergraduate students across all university faculties work in groups to solve a problem for organisations working to end homelessness. Projects included engaging school students with the issue of homelessness and encouraging local governments to collaborate to address homelessness.

For organisations interested in partnering for future units, please download the information booklet and contact the Academic Coordinator.

How to Enrol

Approaches to Wicked Problems is usually offered in Summer (January-February). Please see further details in the unit outline. Interested students can enrol through Student Connect, however your enrolment will show 'invalid' until approved by the Unit Coordinator. For more information, please email our Academic Coordinator.

Making a Difference: Civic Participation and Social Change+

Active citizenship is becoming increasingly important around the world in the context of complex and unpredictable problems and systems. It represents all that we are responsible for in our communities and the actions we take to make a difference. There are many different options available to us regarding how we might choose to participate, engage, and enact change.

Through a series of seminars, this unit explores local and global possibilities for the exercise of active citizenship, and it invites and supports students to explore and develop their own pathways of 'making a difference'. Topics include community connection and action, volunteering, donating, advocacy and governance, and starting something new. By participating in this unit, students will:

  • Discover and clarify their unique strengths and interests in making a difference in their communities;
  • Equip themselves with more knowledge and awareness of the various responsibilities they have and actions they could take; and
  • Be inspired and empowered to adopt a caring and inclusive approach in every context of life and work.

How to Enrol

Making a Difference is usually offered in Semester 1 and you can enrol through Student Connect. You can read the unit outline here. For more information, please email our Academic Coordinator.