Politics

Power and governance: shaping states, societies and lives

Study the governments of different societies. Investigate the way political organisations emerge, develop and operate. Examine world-changing events to understand how and why they happen.

Why study Politics?

Politics immerses you in the pivotal subjects of the 21st century – like the politics of climate change or contemporary China – and equips you to join the debate.

In a politics major you'll compare the various institutions, processes and beliefs that societies have developed to settle conflict, order priorities and distribute wealth.

You'll learn how power is used in different systems of government, how states relate to one another in the international system and how local, national and global relationships operate.

You'll analyse and debate competing accounts of what happened… and what ought to happen.

Join the conversation. Shape your opinion. Have your say.

To view the variety of subjects available in this discipline see the 2017 Handbook.

Where can Politics take me?

La Trobe is recognised internationally as one of Australia's leading centres for the study of politics and international relations. Our graduates include high-level government officials from Sri Lanka and Malaysia as well as Australian MPs Matthew Guy, Jacinta Collins and Mary Delahunty.

Their passion for politics took them into direct electoral representation but that's just one of many potential career paths for our graduates.

Politics prepares you for a career in a range of fields including government and non-government, journalism, media, public relations, education, health and welfare, business administration, corporate-government relations, think tanks and research institutes.

Why La Trobe?

  • We are equal first in Victoria for research in Political Science (ERA Rankings 2015)
  • Lead the way: La Trobe is widely recognised as one of Australia's leading centres for the study of politics and international relations.
  • Benefit from our expertise in a wide range of political topics including Australian politics, the international relations of the Asia-Pacific, political theory, nationalism, democracy and democratisation, the politics of modern China and politics in Southeast Asia.
  • Learn from academics who are engaged in public life and have outstanding publication records.
  • Join an active student body in the La Trobe International Relations Association (LIRA).
  • Get involved in international student delegations including the Model UN Conference.

Further study options

If you're an undergraduate with a politics major and a strong academic record, your Honours year awaits. Combine coursework and research in your specialised area of study.

Complete the Honours program with high grades to qualify for entry into the Masters by Research program or direct entry into the PhD program.

Get to know our staff

View all the staff in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences or focus on Politics.

How to apply

Apply through VTAC or UAC if you're a current Year 12 student or if you're applying to more than one institution. If you're not in Year 12 and applying only to La Trobe, you can apply direct.

Key dates

Direct applications normally close in February for entry in semester 1, and July for entry in semester 2. For more details visit our apply direct page.

Apply through VTAC or UAC if you're currently in Year 12 or you're applying for more than one course  or institution. If you're only applying for one La Trobe course and not considering study at  another institution, you can apply  direct until applications close in December.

Prerequisites

VCE Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or at least 20 in English other than EAL.

Contact details