Academic Units

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

Approaches to Wicked Problems is a 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 units can be taken as standalone units, or as part of the new Minor in Active Citizenship.

Approaches to Wicked Problems+

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.

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

Unit Dates & How to Enrol

In 2022, Approaches to Wicked Problems will run from Monday 17 January - Friday 25 February 2022.

We're partnering with Circle Green Community Legal to explore solutions to help tackle modern slavery. Circle Green Community Legal is the merger of three specialist community legal centres in Western Australia: Employment Law Centre of WA, The Humanitarian Group and Tenancy WA.

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 or to express your interest, please email

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.

The 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 offered in Semester 1 and you can enrol through Student Connect. For more information, view the unit outline or email