• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies, Politics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof John Uhr
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2018
    See Future Offerings

This course examines the intellectual origins and analytical foundations of Western political thinking, from classical Greece through to the early modern period, focusing on selected thinkers from Homer to Aristotle. The course blends normative and analytical thinking in reconstructing the political concepts at the core of some of the greatest texts in the Western political tradition. The aim of the course is to provide students with first-hand knowledge of the foundations of Western political thinking, including such normative concepts as rule, power, law, self-interest, the good society, the political regime, tyranny, justice, virtue and the good life.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. compare core ideas in the history of political thought from classical Greece through to the early modern period;
  2. explain key themes in the history of political thought from classical Greece through to the early modern period;
  3. interpret core texts and relate texts to their historical contexts;
  4. apply historical political thinking to contemporary political issues; and
  5. argue with evidence about the intellectual and analytical foundations of political theory.

Other Information

The intensive dates for 2018 are:

10am-3pm on the following six days

Tuesday 26 and Thursday 28 June

Tuesday 3 and Thursday 5 July

Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 July

Indicative Assessment

Examination: take home examination distributed on last day of six day winter intensive (50%) (LO 1-5)
Research Paper: 3000 word paper to be submitted three weeks after last day of class (50%) (LO 1-5)

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.


96 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 24 hours of contact: 4 contact hours each day over six teaching days (Tuesdays and Thursdays over three weeks); and,
b) 72 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed12 units of 1000 level POLS courses; or permission of the convenor

Prescribed Texts

P J Steinberger, Editor. Readings in Classical Political Thought. Hackett Publishing 2000.




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
2018 $3420
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4860
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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6594 01 Jul 2018 20 Jul 2018 20 Jul 2018 30 Sep 2018 In Person N/A

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