• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Francis Bongiorno
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course examines Australian politics from a historical perspective, beginning with the autocracy of the colonial governors and extending to the present day.  It explores the foundation and working of democracy, the formation of the party system, and the relationship of politics to broader transformations in society. The first part follows a chronological structure, while the second examines a range of themes including federalism, state government, rural politics, Indigenous politics, the media and the role of emotions in political mobilisation. The aim is to provide students with a historical grounding in the main political trends, personalities, and ideologies since 1788.

Learning Outcomes

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

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. explain the origins and development of institutions, practices and ideologies in Australian politics
  2. identify change and continuity in Australian politics across more than two centuries
  3. analyse the relationship between political stability and change, and broader transformations in Australian society and culture
  4. appreciate the capacity of historical approaches to generate insights into the political past and present
  5. locate and interpret primary sources, and use them in constructing coherent and persuasive historical questions and answers
  6. locate and evaluate secondary authorities, and use them to construct coherent and persuasive historical questions and answers

Indicative Assessment

1st Essay 2000 words (40%): Assesses learning outcomes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6

2nd Essay 2500 words (50%): Assesses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6

Tutorial participation (10%): Assesses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 4.

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.


One two-hour lecture and one one-hour tutorial per week. Students will be expected to spend an average of seven hours per week outside these contact hours to prepare for tutorials, research and write the essays.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of ANU courses towards a degree, or with the permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST6236.

Prescribed Texts

tutorial readings will be made available to students via WATTLE




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
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
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
4306 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions