Australian Politics

Subject 166-101 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - 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: 3 contact hours/week , 5 additional hours/week. Total of 8 hours per week.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr John Henry Chesterman


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.
  • have a solid understanding of Australia's political institutions, including the Constitution and the High Court, the Parliament, Cabinet and role of the Prime Minister, the bureaucracy and the Australian federal system;
  • be able to analyse critically competing theories and interpretations of Australia's political system;
  • be aware of the history, ideologies and contemporary outlook of the major political parties;
  • be conversant with contemporary political issues which challenge the existing institutions and political order;
  • further develop skills in oral and written presentations;
  • have developed a solid background for further studies in Politics.
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: 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:

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.

Available as a Breadth Subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Diploma in Arts (Australian Studies)
Diploma in Arts (Political Science)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Studies Major
Political Science Major
Politics & International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies

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