The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2018
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.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2018


  • Semester 2 - 2018

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2018

Learning outcomes

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

1. Acquisition of core analytical and critical skills.

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

3. An ability to analyse contemporary social, economic and political relations from an institutional perspective.

4. A critical understanding of the complex relationships between political actors and political activity in Australia.


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 Exercise

Presentation: Group Oral Work Presentation

Essay: Minor Essay

Essay: Major Essay

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact hours

Callaghan, Ourimbah and Newcastle City Precinct

Integrated Learning Session

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

Students are expected to complete 4 hours of guided learning via online preparation, lectures, interactive workshops, tutorials, discussion groups or self-directed learning and an additional 6 hours of independent study per week.