Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


UNCC100 Self and Community: Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society OR PHCC102 Being Human OR PHCC104 Ethics and the Good Life


UNCC301 Humanity in Catholic History and Culture (International) , UNCC302 Human Dignity in an International Context , PHCC320 The Just Society

Unit rationale, description and aim

‘Interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan‘.(Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home, p.122)

Pope Francis challenges us to extend our thinking across new ways in which the relationship between self and community can be realised. In achieving a global consensus on the nature of our relationship to each other and the world in which we live, Pope Francis calls for a renewed emphasis on the dignity of the human person as the basis of all action, advocacy and solidarity. Universal fraternity and aspirations for the common good begin with a basic recognition that we need one another. In this unit you should develop your understanding of the dignity of the human person within the context of a global community. You should develop skills that may assist the cooperative efforts of government, business, faith groups, and not-for-profit agencies to achieve a more just and equitable world. On completion of this unit you should have acquired the skills and knowledge to become an active agent for change in an interconnected and interdependent world. This unit is the second of two units which are part of the University Core Curriculum.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Explain how Catholic Social Thought principles are relevant to human communities, using examples from their course of study. (GA1, GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Analyse, from a global perspective, some key challenges to the realisation of the common good, and the effects this has on human dignity. (GA2, GA4, GA8)

LO3 - Apply their understanding of these global challenges to their local or professional community in terms of advocacy and engagement with community organisations. (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information


Topics will include: 

  • Revisiting key concepts from UNCC100, e.g., Human Dignity
  • Frameworks for Human Dignity
  • Historical examples where human dignity was absent
  • Human dignity in contemporary society
  • Case studies
  • Defining advocacy
  • How does one achieve advocacy in a professional context?
  • Community engagement principles
  • Models of community engagement
  • Community engagement - global organisations
  • Working for change and the common good

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is delivered in the following modes: 

  • mixed mode over a 10 week period in a normal university semester, with lectures delivered online and tutorials via attendance; or 
  • intensive mixed mode delivered in winter and summer semesters with lectures delivered online and tutorials via attendance; or 
  • synchronous online mode over a normal university semester. 
  • Asynchronous online mode over a 10 week teaching period through ACU Online, where the course is offered via this platform.

The use of the LMS is integral to the unit. The approach to learning and teaching is via active learning where students are supported through the provision of learning resources and class activities (ether in physical or virtual classrooms) to take responsibility for their individual learning. Students are expected to participate in the activities provided either in class or online and to be able to extend their learning through working alongside other students and undertaking individual research. Students are supported in their learning through the provision of: 

  • Learning modules 
  • Discussion forums and chat rooms 
  • Guided readings and links to electronic readings 
  • Self-assessments and other self-directed learning activities. 

When offered via ACU Online, this unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks in this unit are designed to build the students' engagement with the material in a progressive way, in order to assist them in meeting the unit Learning Outcomes. These tasks lead the students through the increasingly complex phases of explanation and reflection, analysis, and finally application.

The assessment structure will remain consistent across all modes of offering. Some flexibility may be exercised in the options available to students, consistent with achieving the learning outcomes and meeting the Graduate Attributes.

The first task serves to remind students of the principles of Catholic social thought (CST), and invites them to reflect upon these principles specifically in the context of reflection on how they relate to their course of study at ACU. As a lightly weighted and early task, it serves to consolidate and orientate the students to the more focused work to come.

The second task is linked to the units' focus on global perspectives, and requires the students to analyse the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in light of Catholic social thought. As a more challenging task, this assessment piece is more strongly weighted, and it helps pave the way toward the final task that has a focus on the demonstration of ‘deep’ learning.

The final assessment task is designed to build on these first two by assessing students' ability to creatively apply their understanding of CST and the SDGs to a local community. As such, it requires students to show how the principles and aspirations they have studied in the unit can be applied concretely in real contexts in ways that make a difference to the lives of people. Consequently, this task is the most heavily weighted of the three.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 – Reflective Task

Students reflect on how the Catholic Social Thought principles relate to what they are learning in their course of study



GA1, GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 2 – Analytic Task

Students analyse the UN Sustainable Development Goals from a global perspective.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 3 – Applied Task

Students apply their understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals in a local community, by drawing on the skills and knowledge from their course of study.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

  1. Churchill, S.A. (ed). (2020). Moving from the Millennium to the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons and Recommendations, New York, Palgrave.
  2. Cichos, K. et al (eds). (2021). Sustainable Development Goals and the Catholic Church: Catholic Social Teaching and the UN's Agenda 2030, London: Routledge.
  3. Massaro, T. (2016). Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action. London: Rowman & Littlefield.
  4. Moore, T., et al. (2016). Community Engagement: A Key Strategy for Improving Outcomes for Australian Families (child family community Australia paper no. 39). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Available from 
  5. Mukarram, M. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Strategic Analysis, 44, 3, 253-258
  6. Oerther, S. and W. Rosa. (2021). “Advocating for Equality: The Backbone of the Sustainable Development Goals”. The American Journal of Nursing.120, 12, 60–62.
  7. Pope Francis. (2015). Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home [Encyclical]. 
  8. United Nations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  9. United Nations. (2020).The Sustainable Development Goals Report. Accessed 7th October 2021
  10. Wall, Barbara (editor). (2003-) Journal of Catholic Social Thought. Villanova University: Philosophy Documentation Centre.

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