• Offered by School of Regulation and Global Governance
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Research
  • Course subject RegNet
  • Areas of interest Law, Social Research, Sociology, Asia Pacific Studies, Public Health
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Belinda Townsend
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course provides a survey of influential social thought and its applications to the study of governance. It focuses on the use of different ideas, analytical frameworks and paradigms to examine social phenomena related to governance. Students will learn about foundational and contemporary theories as well as how social scientists have applied and refined theoretical concepts through empirical inquiry. In addition, this course aids in developing critical reading and analytical skills necessary for interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary engagement. To do so, it requires students to read written texts, engage on-line resources and participate in structured peer-learning activities. Two sections comprise the course. The first part focuses on social thought in a broad sense by critically examining ideas that are considered integral to the development of the social sciences. The second part examines specific advances in social theory and its applications in domains of governance and regulation. This course includes PhD and Masters students in the same class.

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. Communicate expert knowledge about a range of ideas that inform historical and contemporary approaches and debates in the social sciences.
  2. Critically analyse and compare concepts used in a range of social theories.
  3. Appraise established concepts from a number of different schools of social thought to understand new ideas in an area of regulation, justice or governance
  4. Evaluate a case for the utility and limitations of a particular social theory in relation to a given research problem

Indicative Assessment

This course will be assessed pass/fail, with students required to pass each assessment item in order to receive a passing mark for the course.
  1. In class participation and electronic submission of two questions for each session a day prior to class (10%)
  2. 1,000 word precis on a selected reading with an in-class presentation of 10-15 minutes (30%)
  3. Research and writing plan and outline for major essay - 1,000 words (20%)
  4. Major essay (or methods section of thesis proposal review - 3,000-word (40%)

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


This course will require 30 hours contact and 130 hours workload in total.


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
2020 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
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.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5587 22 May 2020 22 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 10 Jul 2020 In Person View

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