Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Narelle Miragliotta; Dr Zareh Ghazarian


Previously coded PLT1020


This unit introduces foundational ideas associated with modern politics and governance. We begin the unit by examining some of the ideas that have shaped our understanding of the role and function of the modern state. We then explore how communities (groups and social movements) mobilize in order to engage with systems of government. We conclude the unit by examining how modern systems of government use institutions to facilitate and operationalize civil government. Students will be introduced to key ideas and concepts associated with modern political systems, such as 'liberalism', 'nationalism', 'socialism', 'democracy' and the 'state'.


  1. Familiarity with the foundational ideas and theories that have shaped modern political states and societies;
  2. An understanding of the ways in which social movements and groups mobilize and use ideas in support of their claims;
  3. An awareness of the role of the State and of the core political institutions that support it, such as constitutions and legislatures;
  4. An understanding of the importance of civil governance;
  5. Improved oral communication skills;
  6. Enhanced skills of team work and collaboration;
  7. Improved analytical and higher order critical thinking skills;
  8. Improved general academic literacy, as well as the ability to interpret information from social science texts.


Written work: 55% (2500 words)
Group project and presentation 15%
2 hour exam: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

3 hours (2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study