Australian Politics

Subject POLS10001 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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: 2 x one hour lectures and 1 x one-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 166-101 Australian Politics
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr. Scott Brenton:
Subject Overview:

This subject is an introduction to contemporary Australian politics with an emphasis on what makes Australia unique and how Australia compares internationally. Australian political culture is explored through current political issues, debates, elections and campaigns. The foundations of Australian democracy and the Constitutional framework are unpacked and the institutions of Parliament, the High Court and the Bureaucracy are explained. A range of key actors including the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, political parties, lobbyists, interest groups, social movements, and the media are encountered. Students will be introduced to a range of theories, concepts and ideas relevant for further study in Political Science and Public Policy, along with practical applications of political research.


Students who complete this subject should:

  • be able to understand, explain and follow Australian Politics and develop the confidence to make informed political decisions.
  • have a solid understanding of the institutional structures of Australia's democracy and system of government, and of the key actors in the political process.
  • be aware of competing interpretations of Australia's political history, ideologies and ideas and be able to critically analyse how these shape the thinking of the key actors and inform debates.
  • be able to engage with contemporary political issues and debates.
  • be able to argue a considered position in oral and written presentations.
  • have developed a solid background for further studies and research in Political Science.

One tutorial assignment (20%) due in the first half of the semester, a research paper of 1500 words (40%) due in the second half of the semester, and a 2-hour exam (40%) during the examination period.

This subject has a minimum Hurdle Requirement of 75% Tutorial attendance. Students who fail to meet this hurdle requirement will be deemed ineligible to submit the final piece of assessment or sit the final examination. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:
  • Government, Politics, Power and Policy in Australia (Dennis Woodward et al.) Pearson 2010, 9th 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:

Students who complete this subject should:

  • 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.
Notes: Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies

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