• 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
  • Course convener
    • Prof Ian McAllister
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

Why do Australians vote the way they do? Why are young people more likely to support minor parties? What would happen if voting were not compulsory? How important is the environment to most people? Do Australians want the government to play a larger or smaller role in our lives? The answers to these questions have very important implications for Australian democracy. This course will examine how the dimensions of political behaviour and public opinion have been changing over time and the implications of this for the future of Australian politics.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. critically analyse academic surveys and public opinion polls;
  2. evaluate the contribution surveys and opinion polls makes to our understanding of Australian politics;
  3. critically assess and present arguments based on empirical evidence and theoretical models based on the voter behaviour literature;
  4. assess the most important post-1945 elections and the events and issues driving electoral outcomes;
  5. develop analytical and writing skills through the research essay and exam; and
  6. discuss and reasses central ideas in collegical class environment.

Other Information

Expected Classes 2024:

Monday 1 July 9.30 to 12.30 and 1.30 to 5pm

Wednesday 3 July 9.30 to 12.30 and 1.30 to 5pm

Friday 5 July 9.30 to 12.30 and 1.30 to 3.30pm

Monday 8 July: 9.30 to 12.30 and 1.30 to 5pm

Wednesday 10 July: 9.30 to 12.30 and 1.30 to 5pm

Friday 12 July: 9.30 to 1pm

How to enrol into a course offered in a non-standard session (Summer Session, Autumn Session, Winter Session, Spring Session):

  1. Complete Permission Code Request Form (including the Course Code, Class number and Session).
  2. Submit your request as early as possible prior to the commencement of the relevant Session, allowing up to 3 weeks for processing.
  3. Please take note of the Overload Policy, which may apply if you are enrolling in a non-standard session.

If you have questions, please contacts the CASS Student Office a students.cass@anu.edu.au.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Research Essay (2,000 words) (40) [LO null]
  2. Exam (3 essay question responses) (40) [LO null]
  3. Tutorial attendance/participation (10) [LO null]
  4. Tutorial presentation (10) [LO null]

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 10 days: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of Political Science (POLS) courses; or with permission of the convenor.

You will need to contact the School of Politics and International Relations to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

A reading brick will be available.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
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
6455 01 Jul 2024 03 Jul 2024 12 Jul 2024 09 Aug 2024 In Person View

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