University of Technology Sydney

15640 Public Engagement in Decision-Making

6cp; block: 4 x 8hrs, online via live video link
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


The right for communities to participate in public decision-making is one that is enshrined in many modern democracies. Governments, statutory authorities and corporations all facilitate the involvement of communities in their work, motivated either by legislative requirements and/or a genuine desire to be transparent and accountable to their communities, resulting in better strategy and policy. The practice of involving the public has expanded considerably as a result of: increasing legislative requirements; increasing demand from communities; increasing complexity of public issues; and the desire to manage risk. The practice has expanded beyond the public sector and now includes the private and not-for-profit sectors and is considered a specialist area with its own skills and competencies. The practice methods have become more sophisticated, no longer just public submissions and public meetings; they also include online methods, deliberative methods and co-design methods.

The subject introduces students to key theories, concepts and approaches in citizen engagement. It considers the historical context as it relates to involving citizens in public decision-making. It explores participatory and deliberative democratic theory and principles for practice. Students have the opportunity to gain knowledge of key techniques and develop practical skills in the design, delivery and evaluation of engagement processes. They are encouraged to think critically about the practice and the challenges and future it faces.

Typical availability

Autumn session

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.