Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Ideas in Political Science provides students with a thorough understanding of the basic ideas and concepts which inform the study and practice of political science. In particular, their key role, as well as their use and application, will be emphasised, thereby demonstrating their relevance to the field of study. Students will be introduced to the competing theoretical frameworks within which these ideas, concepts and their methods of application acquire both meaning and purpose, thereby providing students with a framework to understand the various sub-disciplines within political science as a whole.

Availability2021 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2021

Learning outcomes

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

1. Apply core analytical and critical thinking skills in written communication including the capacity to critically evaluate competing information from academic sources;

2. Develop a capacity for inquiry and analysis within the discipline of political science, including an ability to think critically, creatively and coherently about political problems and issues;

3. Explain key political ideas that inform political science, as well as how these ideas inform political practice;

4. Critically apply the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that inform the study of political science;

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 is divided into three main parts which includes a broad range of theories, ideas and concepts that inform political science:

  • Foundations of modern political ideas.
  • Contemporary political ideas in practice.
  • Theoretical and conceptual frameworks that inform the understanding of political science.

Within these three parts, key concepts to be discussed may include but need not be limited to:

  • liberty
  • equality
  • class
  • gender
  • ideology
  • neo-liberalism
  • neo-conservatism
  • social democracy
  • environmentalism

Assumed knowledge

POLI1010 and POLI1020

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Research Summary and Oral Exercise

Essay: Minor Essay

Essay: Major Essay

Formal Examination: Formal Exam

Contact hours

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.

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.