• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Political science generally examines relationships among ideas, institutions, and interests. This course focuses on Australian political ideas about institutions and interests. The aim is to understand the nature of political and policy argument in Australia by examining debate over central themes in Australian politics. The course asks what is distinctive about political argument in Australia, what are the driving ideas in Australian politics, and how do these ideas compare with global norms such as deliberative democracy. The course tracks the role of ideas (including ideas about the value of material interests) in defining the institutions and policies characteristic of Australian national politics. Sources include writings of leading political actors and influential policy analysts, including contributors to the development of political science in Australia.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

1. compare the core ideas influencing Australian politics

2. explain relationships between ideas and political institutions and policy processes

3. apply analytical frameworks to political ideas in the Australian context

4. assess the role of political ideas in contemporary policy debates

5. argue with evidence over the place of ideas in Australian policy and politics

Indicative Assessment

Critical Review Paper (20%) of 1000 words (Outcomes 1, 2)

Research Paper (40%) of 3000 words (Outcomes 2, 3, and 4)

Examination (30%) with three questions (Outcomes, 4, 5)

Tutorial participation (10%) (Outcomes 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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and, b) 94 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

James Walter, What were they thinking? The politics of ideas in Australia. UNSW Press 2010.

R A W Rhodes, Editor. The Australian Study of Politics. Palgrave Macmillan and APSA 2009.

Additional readings available on-line from beginning of the course.




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

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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