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 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 interrelated demographic, infrastructural, political, cultural and economic dimensions. Approaches to Wicked Problems SVLG3008 is a unit that offers enquiry-based learning, and development of leadership and other valuable skills transferable to later studies and employment.

Further skills associated with active citizenship and social change are developed, including self-awareness, collaborating across multi-disciplinary teams and with diverse stakeholders, problem-solving, and designing solutions.

We are pleased to be partnering with the Equity Project, led by Ruah Community Services and Anglicare WA, in collaboration with Good Sammy Enterprises. The Equity Project is a movement for change through research, advocacy and citizen-led action, aiming to create a fair, just and compassionate society.

Unit Dates & How to Enrol

Approaches to Wicked Problems SVLG3008 will be running from 15 January to 23 February 2024. Expressions of interest are now closed.

Expressions of interest for 2025 will open in Semester 2, 2024.

For more information, please see the unit outline or 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 (2024)

Making a Difference is offered in Semester 1, 2024 and you can enrol through Student Connect once re-enrolment opens in November. For more information, view the unit outline or email