Ideas in Politics

Subject PPMN90034 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week over two consecutive semesters for a total of 24 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

240 hours


Entry into 344-AB Master of Public Policy and Management



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


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:


Semester 1: Dr. Siobhan O'Sullivan

Semester 2: Dr. Damon Alexander

Subject Overview:

This subject is exclusively designed to introduce students entering the 200-point Master of Public Policy and Management or the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts to key ideas from political science , providing a foundation for further study in governance, public policy and public management. Across two consecutive semesters, students will consider ‘the public’, the ‘public interest’ and ‘the public good’ through different theoretical and contextual lenses, with a focus on the public sector and how its scope, role and influence has changed. Students will encounter classic theories along with contemporary reconceptualisations , and practical applications and case studies from a range of developed and developing countries will be analysed. Upon completion of this subject, students will be familiar with the major concepts in political science that are most relevant to policy and management.


On successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to understand, explain and engage with major political ideas;
  • have a solid understanding of the institutional structures and key actors in politics;
  • be able to understand and critically apply competing theories to political questions and problems;
  • be aware of the political economy of policy making and public management;
  • be able to engage with contemporary political issues and debates;
  • be able to argue a considered position in oral and written presentations; and
  • have developed a solid background for further studies in governance, public policy and public management.

1. A 10 minute seminar presentation, equivalent to 1000 words (10%) due during allocated teaching weeks;

2. A group project of 2,000 words (20%) due mid-semester (different semester to the seminar presentation);

3. A 5,000 word research paper (50%) due in the Semester 1 examination period;

4. A final 2,000 word in-class written test (20%) due in the first week of the semester 2 examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment that is submitted after the due date and up to 10 working days late without an approved extension will be marked on a pass/fail basis only. Assessment that is submitted later than 10 working days will not be accepted or marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Required readings will be available from the subject’s LMS site prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate competence in critical, creative and theoretical thinking through essay writing, seminar discussion and presentations, conceptualising theoretical problems, forming judgments and arguments from conflicting evidence, and by critical analysis;
  • be able to demonstrate proficiency in the application of policy analysis skills to empirical problems;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the academic protocols of research and presentation.

This subject requieres students to enrol in 2 consecutive semesters.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
Public Policy and Management
Public Policy and Management

Download PDF version.