Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject takes a comparative perspective and examines why elections matter and how they feature in democratic theory and practice. This includes using different country case studies to examine electoral administration, electoral law, voting systems and voter turnout, the role of political parties, the role of the media and the financing of election campaigns. Students will also explore election campaign strategies in the digital age, including aspects of political communication, and how campaigns are reported in the media and other forms of public reach such as political advertising, social media messaging and opinion polls. Students who complete this subject should have an understanding at its conclusion of the role of elections in democracies, typologies of electoral systems, electoral representation, avenues for electoral reform and strategic political communication.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorAndrea Carson

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesStudents are introduced to the political institutions and electoral processes in the seminars and required to critically evaluate these in their assessable work and class participation.Students are introduced to key terms in the seminars and required to define and critically evaluate these in their assessable work and class participation.Studies of different election case studies and country examples in seminars will provide students with the basis for extending their learnings in their assessable work.Students are introduced to different forms of free and paid-for campaigning using social media, mainstream media and other types of paid advertising. In class activities will enable students to compare and contrast these different forms of political communication.Students will be introduced to different theoretical approaches to democracy through the subject's set readings and classroom discussions.

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the political institutions and processes involved in elections and election campaigns.
02. Define key electoral terms and understand concept such as minority government and hung parliament and majoritarian government.
03. Critically analyse the relationships between the media and election processes.
04. Identify and evaluate different forms of political communication employed during an election campaign.
05. Demonstrate familiarity with theoretical approaches to democracy and democratic representation.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

City Campus, 2021, Winter semester, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAndrea Carson

Class requirements

Block ModeWeek: 27 - 28
Five 7.00 hours block mode per study period on weekdays during the day from week 27 to week 28 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Election Campaign Strategy (2000 words)Students will be required to design a campaign that includes developing key strategic goals necessary to win an election.

N/AOtherIndividualNo40 SILO3, SILO4, SILO5

Research Essay (3000 words)Students will be required to undertake research into a key issue relating to contemporary elections and election campaigns.

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo60 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5