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PLT1020 - Australian Politics and Government

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dennis Woodward and Paul Strangio


Berwick First semester 2007 (Day)
Caulfield First semester 2007 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


Systems and structures of Australian government, especially the national parliament, the Australian constitution, the electoral process, how political parties are organised and how they impact on the political process, and how national policy is made in a federated polity. Key philosophies and theories including liberal-democratic theory, pluralism, and social democracy. The three critically important political concepts of 'power', 'democracy' and 'the state' will also be dealt with.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able:

  1. To introduce students to the discipline of Politics and to foster a critical understanding of contemporary Australian politics.
  2. To introduce students to the demands of studying politics at the tertiary level and to foster an ability to present clear and coherent arguments in a tutorial situation and to write analytically rigorous essays.
  3. To foster a critical understanding of Australia's key political and governmental institutions and their inter-relations.
  4. To foster a critical understanding of theories about the nature of liberal democracy and power in the context of Australian politics.
  5. To foster an ability to examine current political events within a framework informed by an understanding of the major themes and processes of contemporary politics.
  6. To foster an enthusiasm for the study of Australian politics.


Written exercise (500 words): 10%
Essay (2000 words): 40%
Tutorial attendance, participation and presentation: 10%
Examination (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

3 hours (2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week