Australian Politics

Subject 166-101 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: *
Prerequisites: *
Corequisites: *
Recommended Background Knowledge: *
Non Allowed Subjects: *
Core Participation Requirements: *


Dr John Chesterman
Subject Overview:

This subject is an introduction to Australia's political institutions including the Constitution, the High Court, Parliament, Cabinet and the Prime Minister, the bureaucracy and the Federal system. We will examine Australia's major political parties as well as the role of minor parties, interest groups and social movements. We will also discuss important controversies in Australian political history, as well as contemporary issues such as women and gender in politics, the representation of marginalised groups and the impact of globalisation on Australia's political institutions and political culture. Students who complete this subject should have a solid understanding of Australia's political institutions and be able to analyse critically competing theories and interpretations of Australia's political system. Students should develop an awareness of contemporary political issues which challenge the existing institutions and political order.

Assessment: A short essay of 500 words, worth 15% (due early in the semester), a research essay of 1500 words worth 45% (due mid-semester), and a 2-hour exam worth 40% (during the examination period).
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookstore.Government, Politics, Power and Policy in Australia (Andrew Parkin et al.), Longman 2006, 8th edition
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Biomedicine
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Environments
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Engineering

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;

  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;

  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligently and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;

  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision;

  • be able to participate in team work through small group discussions.


Formerly available as 166-001. Students who have completed 166-001 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Diploma in Arts (Australian Studies)
Diploma in Arts (Political Science)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Political Science)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Political Science)

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