Faculty of Arts

print version

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Communications and Media Studies


Dr Elizabeth Coleman



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


Privacy laws, internet filtering, classification codes and whistleblowing are major issues in contemporary media and policy debates. This unit will explore the ideal of freedom of expression, and the principles governments use to limit this freedom. The first part of the unit covers the reasons why we think freedom of expression is important, and the strength of the arguments used to justify it. The second part of the unit applies these ideas to contemporary moral and political debates, such as whistleblowing and leaking, privacy and defamation, hate speech, pornography, computer games, classification laws, sedition, and internet filtering.


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the main ideas informing policy and media debates about communication
  2. critically assess the arguments that justify freedom of expression, and the reasons this freedom may be limited
  3. understand basic moral frameworks and identify moral issues
  4. articulate a coherent position about a current issue relating to freedom of expression
  5. explain their ideas and justify their conclusions in oral and written contexts.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.