The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


Gives students the opportunity to study the processes of communication as they relate to the structures of government, and to other socio-political forces within society.

Availability2019 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2019

PSB Singapore

  • Trimester 1 - 2019 (Singapore)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Be familiar with the developing professional field of public affairs communication;

2. Be able to identify and describe the major components of the local, regional and national systems of government and politics, and the key forces involved in contemporary public affairs;

3. Explore how these components and forces relate to each other;

4. Be able to analyse and interpret current events and issues in the light of this understanding; and,

5. Be able to identify and explain the role of communication professionals in public affairs.


This course provides students with an understanding of the significant institutions and forces that shape political society and their role in contemporary public affairs and includes:

  • an examination of the local, regional and national systems;
  • the role and operation of the various spheres of government;
  • political parties, democracy and interest groups;
  • the parliamentary, executive and judicial arms of government;
  • the public and private sectors;
  • the formulation of public policy; and,
  • the role of communication professionals in public affairs.

Assumed knowledge

60 units at 2000 level as well as CMNS1090, and either CMNS1280 or CMNS1290.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assessment 1 - Individual Essay

Written Assignment: Assessment 2 - Written Assignment Blackboard Participant Postings

Presentation: Assignment 3 - Class Presentation With Blackboard Stimulus Posting

Report: Assignment 4 - Group Essay/Report

Participation: Assignment 5 - Participation

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct and PSB Singapore


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 10 Weeks starting in week 1

Weeks 1-10


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 2