Credit points: 15

This subject addresses La Trobe's Global Citizenship Essential. Global Citizenship is about learning to live in an interconnected world, including the social, environmental, political and economic challenges this brings.

Subject outline

This subject introduces students to the political ideas and institutions that are central to Australian politics. The first half of the subject focuses on key political ideas such as individual freedom, freedom of speech, democracy, and inequality, and it explores their relevance to recent debates in Australian Politics. In the second half of the semester, the focus shifts onto Australia's major political institutions, including the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the High Court and the Constitution, and to key players such as political parties and the media. The subject examines the interaction between these institutions and actors, and it analyses the way the design of the political system affects law, policy and democracy in Australia.

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorBec Strating

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions Core subject at first-year level for a Politics major in the Bachelor of Arts degree (ABA).

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsAustralian Political Institutions.RecommendedSingleton, G. Aitkin, D. Jinks, B. and Warhurst, J.10TH ED., PEARSON, 2013.
ReadingsGovernment and Politics in AustraliaRecommendedFenna, A., Robbins, J. and Summers, J.10TH EDN, PEARSON 2014
ReadingsThe Australian Political System in Action.RecommendedMiragliotta, N., Errington, W., Barry, N.2ND ED. OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2013

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Complete written work that demonstrates a broad evaluation of diverse positions/arguments regarding relevant topics in Australian Politics

Annotated Bibliography, Major essay; on-going LMS exercises
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Writing (Writing)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

02. Produce a sustained complex written argument in Australian Politics.

Essay Introduction and Plan; Major essay
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Writing (Writing)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)

03. Produce critical reviews that demonstrate a broad and critical knowledge of the multiple sources and perspectives available for studying Australian politics.

Annotated Bibliography; Major essay, ongoing LMS activities
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Writing (Writing)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2016, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorNicholas Barry

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.

Tutorial Week: 10 - 22
One 1.0 hours tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Major essay - 170045 01, 02, 03
On-going LMS/tutorial activities (equivalent to 1300 words)30 01, 03
Annotated bibliography (400 words)10 01, 02
Essay Introduction and Plan (equiv. 600 words)15 02