- Code VCUG3001
- Unit Value 6 units
Some activities that form part of this course can be taken remotely or on-campus in Sem 2 2020. Check timetable for details. Group limits may apply.
'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 behaviour of complex problems. 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:
- Identify and generalise archetypical behaviours in complex problems
- Provide and situate disciplinary perspectives and methodologies in an interdisciplinary team
- Analyse and construct arguments from multiple perspectives, supported by evidence and with intellectual independence
- Reflect critically on theory from the course by connecting personal experiences and/or real-world situations
- Design, research and defend a learning portfolio unravelling a complex problem
This course requires an application, as positions are strictly limited. Please apply online at http://vc-courses.anu.edu.au/uc . Successful applicants will be provided with a permission code
from CECS Student Services.
Interested students need to register an expression of interest at: http://vc-courses.anu.edu.au/apply
- Peer-reviewed Individual Learning Portfolio that unravels a complex problem (50%)
- Interdisciplinary Group Project that distills and provides direction on a complex issue (30%)
- Tutorial Co-Facilitation during semester (20%)
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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
Preliminary ReadingBefore the course starts students should browse the open access course web site (http://vc-courses.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 perspectives, Earthscan
- 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
Lineweaver, C.H., Davies, P.C.W., Ruse, M., 2013, Complexity and the Arrow of Time, Cambridge 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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.