• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Gender Studies, International Relations, Political Sciences, Human Rights
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Zoe Robinson
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces students to theories, cases, policies, and debates in human rights. It examines the evolution of human rights in their philosophical, historical, and political contexts, focusing particularly on the Post World War 2 era. Topics include but are not limited to: international and domestic human rights regimes, enforcement and compliance, universalism vs. cultural relativism, the role(s) of the judiciary, social movements, humanitarian intervention, and the rights of indigenous persons. This class consists of two hours of lecture, followed immediately by one hour of a movie screening. The use of film is an integral part of the course, breathing life into concepts and experiences that are often abstract in written form.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. understand the key events and policy debates in the development of the international human rights regime;
  2. apply international relations theories and concepts to cases studies and issues of human rights;
  3. understand how the international human rights regime works in world politics; and
  4. think, write, and argue critically and logically about human rights issues from a political science perspective.

Other Information

This course relies in part on the showing of videos about human rights -- including human rights abuses. These are an integral part of the learning experience, as described earlier. Some students may find these confronting. We encourage students to engage with the films. Students who find films about human rights abuses too confronting need to be advised that the film content is assessable. We will make every effort to advise students of the particular topics to be shown, but we are unable to provide 'trigger warnings' throughout the film, as this would undermine the viewing.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Midterm examination -- 90 minutes, including reading time (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Essay -- 2500 words (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Final examination -- 135 minutes, including reading time (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Tutorial participation (10) [LO 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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 48 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, 12 hours of tutorials, and 12 hours of film screenings; and
b) 82 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level Political Science (POLS) courses, or with permission of the convener.

Prescribed Texts

Emilie M. Hafner-Burton, Making Human Rights a Reality.

Preliminary Reading

Additional readings to be provided via Wattle

Assumed Knowledge

Familiarity with basic concepts and theories in requisite 1000-level POLS courses




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
2019 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5160
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8279 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person View

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