Introduction to Politics

Course code POLI1020
Available in 2016
2015 Course Timetables


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 within the Western tradition such as liberalism, democracy, nationalism, Marxism, anarchism, feminism and so on are discussed. The course also introduces you to the idea of the state, the international system of states, and contemporary theories of 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. Lectures will also be available on the Web.



  • Semester 1 - 2016


  • Semester 1 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

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

2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of differences in political systems and the contexts in which they operate

3. Apply concepts and theories used in the study of political science to the analysis of interests, ideas, institutions and political behaviour

4. Critically evaluate different interpretations of political phenomena

5. Demonstrate knowledge of the different research methods used to investigate political phenomena

6. Demonstrate the capacity to use the different research methods used to investigate political phenomena

7. Demonstrate the capacity to develop evidence-based argument and evaluation

8. Gather, organise and use evidence from a variety of secondary and primary sources

9. Identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems

10. Communicate effectively in oral and/or written work

11. Recognise the importance of ethical standards of conduct in the research and analysis of politics


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 in the Western tradition such as liberalism, marxism, anarchism, nationalism and so on;
  3. key political concepts such as the state, sovereignty, democracy, citizenship, globalisation,
  4. global politics and the international systems of states,
  5. theories of international relations,
  6. the shift from modernist to postmodern ways of understanding political phenomena.

Assessment Items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Tutorial Engagement Exercises

Essay: Tutorial Essay

Essay: Major Essay

Formal Examination: Final Exam

Contact Hours

Ourimbah and Callaghan


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


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks