- Code VCUG3001
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Engineering
- ANU College ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
- Course subject Vice Chancellor Undergraduate
- Academic career UGRD
- Christopher Browne
- Mode of delivery In Person
First Semester 2014
See Future Offerings
'Universities serve to make students think: to resolve problems by argument supported by evidence; not to be dismayed by complexity, but bold in unravelling it'. (What are universities for? by Geoffrey Boulton and Colin Lucas). This course takes up this challenge by offering latter year students from any part of the ANU the opportunity to explore a series of complex issues. The connections between economic, historical, social, legal, scientific, engineering and environmental and moral dimensions of complex problems will be explored.
The course will examine the linked themes of 'collapse' and 'resilience'. Case studies will include the collapse of empires, contemporary development, health and environmental issues, engineering and network failures and the moral and legal dimensions of all these issues.
The course will encourage students to share their existing disciplinary perspectives to develop deep understandings of how to go about effective team based approaches to unravelling complex issues.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
• Analyse and provide direction on complex issues"
• Compare and contrast different methodologies for analysing complex issues"
• Ability to apply multiple methodologies in order to holistically unravel complex issues."
• Reflect on theory from the course by connecting personal and real-world experiences"
This course requires an application, as positions are strictly limited. Please apply online at http://vccourses.anu.edu.au/home/apply . Successful applicants will be provided with a permission code
from the Research School of Engineering."
Indicative Assessment• Individual Learning Portfolio (3,000-word, 35%) that unravels a complex problem"
• Group Project (15-page, 20%) that distills and provides direction on a complex issue"
• Jigsaw Tasks, including Tutorial Co-Facilitation (90-min, 15%), Research Paper (1,500-word,
20%) & Peer Review (10%) to develop peer learning of the course material"
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
Four hours contact a week, made up of a 2-hour seminar (highly recommended) and a 2-hour
tutorial (compulsory). In addition, a 1-hour workshop (compulsory) is held the week before your
Approximately six hours independent learning a week is required to engage in the course content."
Requisite and Incompatibility
You will need to contact the Research School of Engineering to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
Preliminary ReadingBefore the course starts students should browse the open access course web site (http://vccourses.
anu.edu.au/uc). Examples of past student assessment items are available and all students
should read at least one of the pre-readings:"
• Bammer, Gabriele and Michael Smithson 2008, Uncertainty and risk: multidisciplinary
• Brown, Valerie, John Harris and Jacqueline Russel 2010, Tackling wicked problems through the
transciplinary imagination, Earthscan"
• Bar-Yam, Yaneer 2004, Making things work: solving complex problems in a complex world,
NECSI Knowledge Press"
• Harris, Graham 2007, Seeking sustainability in an age of complexity, Cambridge University Press"
• Mitchell, Melanie 2009 Complexity a guided tour, Oxford University Press"
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
- Domestic fee paying students
- International fee paying students
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|4469||17 Feb 2014||07 Mar 2014||31 Mar 2014||30 May 2014||In Person||N/A|