COMM5703 Social Impact Investment - 2021

Blended, Intensive
Term 2
6 Units of Credit
UNSW Business School

Offering Selection
This course outline is for the current term. To view outlines from other years and/or terms, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

COMM5703 Social Impact Investment is offered by the Centre for Social Impact and is an elective in the following programs:

Graduate Certificate in Social Impact (7357);

Graduate Diploma in Social Impact (5357);

MBAX Social Impact specialisation (this course may also count as an elective in other MBA programs upon request).

Students are required to complete (or study simultaneously) the core course, COMM5701 Social Impact, before enrolling into this elective course.

Social Impact Investment first provides an introduction to social impact investment and the ecosystem of diverse players, before examining in more detail contemporary examples of social impact investments, and exploring the current developments, trends and challenges in social impact investment. It is delivered using applied learning methodologies, and is aimed at providing the knowledge necessary to actively engage in the analysis, development and application of social impact investment strategies from an investor, investee and policy development perspective.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

The emerging field of social impact investment is increasingly recognised around the world as holding enormous potential for unlocking private capital to deliver positive impact for society and our environment. It is enabling new solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges, expanding the toolkit available to deliver positive societal impact, and helping to shape a new contemporary landscape that blurs the traditional bifurcated view between investment and philanthropy. Positive outcomes are already being seen in areas as diverse as aged care, health, social housing, education, clean water and sanitation, renewable energy, financial inclusion and sustainable agriculture.

As social impact investment gains momentum, there is an increasing awareness that, like commercial investment, successful social impact investment requires skills, knowledge, tools and techniques, and thoughtful decision-making. Building on the introduction to social impact investment in the COMM5701 core course, COMM5703 Social Impact Investment aims to equip students with knowledge about the contemporary operating environment and practices for social impact investment and develop critical awareness of the various stages in the process of social impact investment, from need identification to evaluation of financial and impact performance.

In this course we explore the history, concepts and current practices in the field of social impact investment. It includes an overview of the emergence of social impact investment in Australia and globally; an examination of the underpinning principles and differentiating characteristics of social impact investment; an exploration of the ecosystem for social impact investment; an introduction to a range of social impact investment instruments, drawing on local and international examples; an overview of frameworks for impact measurement, investment due diligence and construction of impact investment portfolios; and an examination of the current developments, trends and challenges in social impact investment.

Additonal Course Details

The website for this course is on Moodle at: Login to Moodle with your student zID (username) and zPass (password).

If you encounter a technical problem while using Moodle, please contact the UNSW IT Service Desk via the following channels:



Telephone: +61 (2) 9385 1333

Phone and email support is available Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm, Saturday 11am - 2pm. Online service requests can be made via their website.

The website for this course is on Moodle at:

Login to Moodle with your student zID (username) and zPass (password).

If you encounter a technical problem while using Moodle, please contact the UNSW IT Service Desk via the following channels:



Telephone: +61 (2) 9385 1333

Phone and email support is available Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am - 2pm. Online service requests can be made via their website.

There are no prescribed textbooks for this course. Each Unit will have required and optional readings. Links to all of these resources are on the reading list for your course in the UNSW Library's Leganto system, which you can access via your Moodle course. Please note you will need to login and may be required to enter your UNSW zID and zPass in order to access the library site.

If you experience any problems in accessing the readings, please try the following:

  • Search directly for the article on the UNSW Library home page ( by placing the name of the article in the Search box.
  • Search directly for the book excerpt on the UNSW Library home page ( by placing your course code into the Search box. When you do this all the course readings that are excerpts from books will appear


3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Course AuthorityMichael Katz
by appointment

Michael Katz is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Social Impact.  He is also a consultant and investor in social impact and traditional business, including renewable energy, disruptive sustainable technology and urban renewal.

Michael specialises in authentic assessments where he has led the expert team in implementing authentic assessments across the curriculum, as well as the development of a new course focused on creativity and innovation.

Michael was the President of a semi-professional football club in Sydney, which currently plays in the top-tier of the state, and recently retired as a player following a semi-professional career spanning 17 years and five continents.

Michael is multilingual and proficient in English, Croatian and German. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and Communications from the University of Canberra (where he graduated top of his class and won the ACT Economics Prize) and a Master of Applied Finance from Charles Sturt University.

Centre for Social Impact

BEc, BComm, MAppFin


Consultation: by appointment

4. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

The course is taught in a 'blended' mode of delivery, incorporating both intensive f2f classes as well as online module. This approach is designed to encourage you to develop an inquiry-based approach to your learning. The online modules and course readings are critical to preparing for the face-to-face classes, which will comprise applied, case study based learning to enable the linkage of theory to practice.  

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

In order to maximise the collaborative and experiential nature of this course, a flipped learning approach will be used that will help to support deeper student engagement and outcomes. Each topic will include a range of readings and other learning materials. Use will be made of the course Moodle site where the three online modules and other learning materials are located. By engaging with the leaning in this course you have three major resources to help you learn:

  1. The course materials comprising readings, references, insights and commentary for each topic. You will do much of your learning outside the classroom by working through the course materials and associated activities
  2. Your f2f classes where your facilitator's role is to guide your learning by conducting class discussions, providing insights from practical experience and understanding of theory, providing you with feedback on your assignments.

  3. Your co-participants are an invaluable potential source of learning for you. Their work and life, and their willingness to question and argue with the course materials, the facilitator and your views, represent a great learning opportunity. They bring much valuable insight to the learning.


Course Structure

The face-to-face classes are run over four (4) whole days, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June and Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July. Each of the weekend days run from 9am-5pm.

The venue for the f2f classes will be confirmed on the COMM5703 Moodle site.

6. Course Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services for students, including:

Centre for Social Impact (CSI)

Please direct any CSI education program, enrolment and administration queries here:

Email: Phone: 02 8936 0990.

Business Student Centre 

The Nucleus: Student Hub, Level 2, in the Main Library. (UNSW map location F21)

Tel: (02) 8936 7005

Moodle eLearning Support

For online help using Moodle, go to: For technical support, email: ; Phone: 9385 1333.

UNSW Learning Centre 

Provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See website for details.

Library services and facilities for students

IT Service Centre

Provides technical support to troubleshoot problems with logging into websites, downloading documents, etc. Office: UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor). Phone: 9385 1333.

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services 

Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling. Office: Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building; Phone: 9385 5418; Email:

Equitable Learning Services (formally Disability Support Services)

Provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. 

Phone: 02 8374 9201; Email:

Nura Gili Indigenous Student Support 

Nura Gili's Academic Support Officers are available to assist Indigenous students 

Phone: 02 9385 3805 Email:

    7. Course Evaluation & Development

    Continual Course Improvement

    Each year feedback is sought from students and other stakeholders about the courses offered in the Business School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. UNSW's myExperience process is one of the ways in which student evaluative feedback is gathered. In this course, we will seek your feedback through end of semester myExperience evaluations.

    Student Response

    Feedback from previous COMM5703 and other GCSI/MBA (SI) students indicate a desire to have the face-to-face course timetabled in a more intensive mode to accommodate work and family commitments.

    Other recent feedback was to spread out the assessments.

    Response to Student Feedback

    We have restructured this iteration of the course into a 'blended' mode of delivery, which combines online modules and two face-to-face intensive weekend classes. This redesign of the delivery of the course is aimed at providing greater flexibility for students through diversified platforms for student engagement and the mediums in which key concepts are communicated. The blended model also provides students with adequate time to understand and reflect upon course content before building on this knowledge in face-to-face workshops.

    Spreading out the assessments is difficult given that the first intensive weekend of teaching is not until the end of week 3 and we then need to give the students two weeks to produce their assessment.

    8. Course Schedule

    Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
    Week 1 Online Module 1Topic 1: Emergence of Social Impact Investment
    Week 2 Online Module 2Topic 2: Social Impact Investment in Action
    Week 3 Intensive Weekend 1: Sat 19 & 20 JuneShort review of Modules 1 & 2 (Topics 1 & 2); Topics 3-5

    Topic 3: Total Portfolio Management

    Topic 4: Impact Measurement

    Topic 5: Sourcing, Selecting, Structuring and Managing Social Impact Investments

    Assessment 1 : Report
    Week 6 Online Module 3, Assessment 1 dueTopic 6: Impact Investment Readiness

    Assignment 1 due on Sunday 11 July by 11.59pm 

    Week 7 Intensive Weekend 2: Sat 17 & 18 July

    Short review of Module 3 (Topic 6):

    Topics to be covered

    Topic 7: Equity and Responsible Exits

    Topic 8: Developing Efficient Intermediation for Social Impact Investment

    Topic 9: The Role of Government

    Topic 10: The Future of Social Impact Investment

    Assessment 1 : Report
    Week 9 Assignment 2 due

    Assignment 2 due on Sunday 01 August by 11.59pm 

    Assessment 2 : Report
    Week 11 Assessment 3 due

    Assignment 3 due on Sunday 15 August by 11:59pm Sydney Time (35%) - individual task

    Assessment 3 : Essay
    Week 12 MyExperience Feedback

    9. Policies and Support

    Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

    Program Learning Outcomes

    The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

    PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

    Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

    All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

    PLO 1: Business knowledge

    Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

    PLO 2: Problem solving

    Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

    PLO 3: Business communication

    Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

    PLO 4: Teamwork

    Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

    PLO 5: Responsible business practice

    Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

    PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

    Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

    PLO 7: Leadership development

    Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

    These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

    Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



    UNSW Graduate Capabilities

    The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

    UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
    Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
    • PLO 1: Business knowledge
    • PLO 2: Problem solving
    • PLO 3: Business communication
    • PLO 4: Teamwork
    • PLO 7: Leadership development

    Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
    • PLO 1: Business knowledge
    • PLO 2: Problem solving
    • PLO 3: Business communication
    • PLO 4: Teamwork
    • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
    • PLO 7: Leadership development

    Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
    • PLO 1: Business knowledge
    • PLO 2: Problem solving
    • PLO 3: Business communication
    • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

    Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
    • PLO 1: Business knowledge
    • PLO 2: Problem solving
    • PLO 3: Business communication
    • PLO 4: Teamwork
    • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
    • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

    While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

    Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

    Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

    The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


    UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

    Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

    Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

    Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

    Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

    • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
    • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
    • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
    • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

    Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

    Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

    Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

    To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


    The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

    If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

    For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

    For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

    Student Responsibilities and Conduct

    ​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

    Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


    It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

    We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

    View more information on expected workload


    Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

    View more information on attendance

    General Conduct and Behaviour

    You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

    View more information on student conduct

    Health and Safety

    UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

    View more information on Health and Safety

    Keeping Informed

    You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

    Student Support and Resources

    ​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

    Business School EQS Consultation Program
    The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
    Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
    02 9385 4508

    Communication Resources
    The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

    Business School Student Centre
    The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
    Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
    02 9385 3189

    UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
    The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
    Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
    02 9385 2060

    Student Support Advisors
    Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
    John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
    02 9385 4734

    International Student Support
    The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
    Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
    02 9385 4734

    Equitable Learning Services
    Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
    Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
    02 9385 4734

    UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
    Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
    Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
    02 9385 5418

    Library services and facilities for students
    The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
    Main Library, F21.
    02 9385 2650

    Moodle eLearning Support
    Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
    02 9385 3331

    UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
    UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
    02 9385 1333