- 2019


Minor / Major

Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2019 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook.

Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the component of any bachelors double degrees.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Managing faculty

Faculty of Arts

Offered by

South Africa School of Social Science


Dr Victoria Graham; victoria.graham@monash.edu


South Africa

Political studies is a broad area of study that tends to overlap with all the other major social science disciplines. It is an excellent discipline for learning about the interrelationships in the human world, and for acquiring a diverse range of interpretive, analytic and synthetic (especially conceptual) skills. The discipline is engaged in critical debates about resource allocation, decision-making, social behaviour and political action, the management or resolution of conflict, power struggles, ideologies and political movements, and the nature of the government and the state, including relations between states. The study of politics is ultimately concerned with important questions about the nature of power and authority, with the relationship between theory and practice, and with trying to understand the nature of social existence and the conditions needed for establishing more desirable forms of human community.


Political studies is offered in the Bachelor of Social Science at Monash South Africa as a major, extended major, or minor.


In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major will be able to:

  1. identify, interpret and explain theoretical and ideological paradigms on politics and international relations with regard to key elements including the role of the state, power and political systems, political economy, democracy and freedom and transformation, closed and open political systems
  2. critically evaluate and compare multiple perspectives on fundamental political debates concerning power, accountability, freedom and political change domestically, regionally and globally
  3. critically apply political theory to real world examples of key contemporary issues including: human rights and human security, poverty and development, political violence and terrorism, conflict, identity and multiculturalism, and to a range of political institutions and processes including leadership and elections, policy making, political parties and civil society.


Minor requirements (24 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited towards the minor.

Students complete:

  1. Two level 1 gateway units (12 points):
    • AZA1010 Fundamentals of political science
    • AZA1011 Fundamentals of international relations
  2. Two additional units (12 points) listed under (b) in the major. It is highly recommended that students complete a level 2 unit before enrolling in a level 3 unit.

Major requirements (48 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited to a major and at least 18 points must be credited to the major at level 3.

Students complete:

  1. Two level 1 gateway units (12 points):
    • AZA1010 Fundamentals of political science
    • AZA1011 Fundamentals of international relations
  2. Two level 2 units (12 points) chosen from:
  3. Four level 3 units (24 points) chosen from:
    • AZA3010 Competing models of political economy
    • AZA3015 War, peace and international security
    • AZA3643 Africa in the modern world
    • AZA3644 South Africa: Democracy and development
    • AZA3744 School of Social Science workplace internship
    • AZA3869 Political philosophy and justice

Extended major requirements (72 points)

No more than 24 points at level 1 may be credited to the extended major and at least 30 points must be at level 3.

Students complete:

  1. The requirements of the major in political studies (48 points)
  2. The remaining unit (6 points) listed under (c) in the major, plus the following units (18 points):
    • AZA2378 Development and the developing world
    • AZA2719 Theoretical perspectives in political and social thought
    • AZA3640 Philosophy of war and global conflict

Relevant courses

Successful completion of the minor or major can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degree:*

  • 4086 Bachelor of Social Science

Students in other single bachelor's degrees may be eligible to complete the minor or major by using 24 or 48 points of their free electives.

* Students cannot complete both the minor and major in the same area of study.