• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest American Studies, Australian Studies, Contemporary Europe, Development Studies, International Relations More...
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Andrew Banfield
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

The first aim of this course is to introduce students to some of the key concepts in the discipline of Political Science: power, influence, authority, legitimacy, coercion, conflict, interests, policy-making, bureaucracy, political communication, accountability and democracy.

The second aim is to use these and other concepts to examine the major institutions of Australian politics, often in a comparative perspective. Students will explore the Constitution, Federalism, Parliament, Cabinet, the Public Service, the Electoral System, the High Court, Political Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements and the Media.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse some of the key concepts in political science – presented in lectures and re-enforced through participation in tutorials.
  2. Participate in-group discussions about contested concepts with confidence and with tolerance for other points of view.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the nature and significance of politics and governance.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of differences in political systems and the contexts in which they operate.
  5. Apply concepts and theories used in the study of political science to the analysis of interests, institutions and behaviour.
  6. Demonstrate the capacity to use different research methods used to investigate political phenomena.
  7. Demonstrate the capacity to develop evidence-based argument and evaluation.
  8. Gather, organise and use a variety of evidence from a variety of primary and secondary sources.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial Participation: 10% of final grade [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Mid-Term Examination (1 hour, during the mid-semester examination period): 20% of final grade [Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 5, 7]

Essay (1500-2000 words): 30% of final grade -[Learning Outcomes 6, 7, 8]

Final examination (2 hours): 40% of final grade - [Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 5, 7]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two lectures and one tutorial a week. Students are expected to commit up to 10 hours per week (contact plus non-contact).  Lectures will be recorded.

Preliminary Reading

Regular reading of any one of The Canberra Times, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age or The Australian Financial Review.

Eccleston, R., Williams, P. and Hollander, R. Foundations of Australian Politics, (Pearson, 2006).

Josep M. Colomer, The Science of Politics: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Areas of Interest

  • American Studies
  • Australian Studies
  • Contemporary Europe
  • Development Studies
  • International Relations
  • Political Sciences




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1087 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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