The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This course will provide you with a broad overview of the study of politics at an introductory level. The course introduces you to the discipline of political science, its key concepts and approaches for the study of politics and political systems. Important political theories will be discussed, including liberalism, democracy, nationalism, feminism and indigenisation. The course also introduces you to the idea of the state, the international system of states, international political economy, the media and contemporary ideas concerning international relations. The contemporary transformation of politics and political science is also examined, especially the challenges to the hegemony of the West and its worldview. Weekly teaching material will be available on the course Blackboard site.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the nature and significance of politics.

2. Apply theories and concepts used in the study of political science to the analysis of politics.

3. Critically evaluate different interpretations of political phenomena.

4. Gather and organise evidence from a variety of secondary and primary sources and apply these in evidence-based argument.

5. Identify and summarise key information within academic sources.

6. Identify, define and describe ideas in political science using verbal communication.


This course includes but is not limited to the following topics:

  1. the idea of the ‘political’ and political science;
  2. a range of political theories such as liberalism, democracy, nationalism, feminism and indigenisation;
  3. key political concepts such as the state, sovereignty, democracy, citizenship, globalisation;
  4. global politics and the international systems of states;
  5. contemporary ideas concerning international relations;
  6. the shift from modernist to postmodern ways of understanding political phenomena.

Assessment items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Research Summary and Oral Exercise

Written Assignment: Minor Essay

Essay: Major Essay

Formal Examination: Formal Exam

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

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.