ATS3869 - Political philosophy - 2018

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


Chief examiner(s)

Dr Sam Butchart (semester 1 and summer semester)
Dr Linda Barclay (semester 2)


Dr Linda Barclay (Day)
Dr Sam Butchart (Flexible)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2018 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


A cornerstone unit in Philosophy.


ATS2869, AZA2869, AZA3869



The overarching aim of this unit is to give students a strong foundation in political philosophy. The unit focuses on three principal questions: How are political institutions justified? How should wealth and income be distributed in the just state? And when is it justified to punish someone for violating a state's laws? Students will be introduced to central attempts to answer these questions, using both classical and contemporary authors.


On successful completion of the unit, students will have:

  1. mastered fundamental concepts in political philosophy;
  2. acquired familiarity the methodology of political philosophy and how political philosophy relates to other branches of philosophy;
  3. be able to identify relevant literature for the purposes of scholarly work on political philosophy;
  4. improved written and oral communication skills;
  5. undertaken independent research and reading in completing the assignments.


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

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