Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Examines the nature of politics and government in Australia. It examines the political institutions and machinery of government and the political system, as well as the relationships between the political actors and political activity in Australia. Topics discussed include the federal nature of national politics, the constitution, parliament, the High Court, political parties, the public service, and pressure groups (including the role of the media). Throughout the course key political issues will also be examined.

Availability2022 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Apply core analytical and critical skills in written communication, including critically evaluation of competing information from academic sources;

2. Develop an understanding of the nature of Australia's political institutions;

3. Analyse contemporary social, economic and political ideas and their impact on government;

4. Develop a critical understanding of the complex relationships between political actors and political activity in Australia;

5. Identify and summarise key information within academic sources;

6. Identify, define and describe ideas in political science and employ these within verbal communication.


This course examines Australia's changing political and governmental institutions.

These institutions include the constitution, parliament, the High Court, political parties, pressure groups and the bureaucracy.

Key political concepts, such as "citizenship", "the state" and "power" are studied in the Australian context.

Particular attention is directed to the relationship between key political institutions and the operation of federalism, sovereignty and legitimacy in Australia.

Assessment items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Research Summary and Oral Exercise

Essay: Minor Essay

Essay: Major Essay

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct

Integrated Learning Session

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 2


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 2

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.