Faculty of Arts

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitNational Centre For Australian Studies
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Tony Moore


Previously coded AUS4170


This unit is designed for students with little or no knowledge of Australian politics or the Australian political system. Beginning with the struggle for democracy in the colonial period and climaxing in Federation, it provides an overview of the democratic system of national government created in 1901 and traces its evolution over the twentieth century. It explores present day debates about republicanism, media freedom, multiculturalism and the rights of indigenous Australians. The unit also explores the early development of an egalitarian social democracy, the role of women and migrants, Australia's relationship with Britain, the region and the world, and what it means to be a citizen.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Have an overview and understanding of the history and development of the Australian political system, parties and movements;
  2. Understand the role of politics and political reform in changing the conditions of life for Australians;
  3. Have an understanding of Australia's non-governmental political organisations, and their role in a pluralist democratic system;
  4. Have an understanding of Australia's changing relationship with Britain, the region and the world;
  5. Have an overview of Western and Westminster parliamentary democracy;
  6. Be able to analyse and make informed arguments about contemporary Australian politics;
  7. Understand criticisms about Australian political systems and culture, particularly from those who feel excluded;
  8. Be able to conduct and present research on Australian Studies at post-graduate level.


Tutorial participation and presentation: 10%
Short essay (1500 words): 15%
Key word concepts exercise (2500 words): 25%
Major essay (5000 words): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 3-hour combined lecture/seminar per week


APG4333 and PLM4320