POLIS 2094 - Parties, Elections, Media

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

Political parties are the primary actors in political systems all over the world. This course compares the way that parties animate the Australian and comparable political systems. While leadership has become the focus of political contests, to what extent have democratic participation and the contest of ideas maintained their importance? As the power of traditional forms of mass media wanes, we examine the way that political actors adopt to new forms of political communication. Australian national elections, as well as American presidential elections and contests in new democracies in Asia provide the setting for the course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2094
    Course Parties, Elections, Media
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Studies
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Assumed Knowledge General knowledge of Australian politics assumed
    Course Description Political parties are the primary actors in political systems all over the world. This course compares the way that parties animate the Australian and comparable political systems. While leadership has become the focus of political contests, to what extent have democratic participation and the contest of ideas maintained their importance? As the power of traditional forms of mass media wanes, we examine the way that political actors adopt to new forms of political communication. Australian national elections, as well as American presidential elections and contests in new democracies in Asia provide the setting for the course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Wayne Errington

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    After this course you will be able to:
    1. understand the nature and roles of political parties, democratic elections and a free media.
    2. take part in discussions on controversial political issues in an informed and tolerant fashion.
    3. utilise information technology to research topics in political science.
    4. write and argue about social science concepts in a sophisticated way.
    5. critically analyse arguments about Australian and comparative politics.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,4,5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2,4,5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    2
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2,3
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There will be one two-hour seminar and one online lecture each week. 
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 1-hour lectures per week 12 hours per semester
    1 x 2-hour seminar per week 24 hours per semester
    6 hours reading per week 72 hours per semester
    2 hours research per week 24 hours per semester
    2 hours assignment preparation per week 24 hours per semester
    TOTAL = 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Program subject to change depending on proximity to elections.
    1 Introduction
    2 Parties and Leaders
    3 Party Types
    4 Electoral Systems
    5 Nascent Actors
    6 Traditional Media
    7 Social Media
    8 The permanent campaign
    9 Election campaigns
    10 Election campaigns
    11 Electoral reform
    12 Review
    Specific Course Requirements
    Seminar participation is compulsory. Student who miss more than one seminar without documenation cannot pass the course. 
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Seminars will involve group activities throughout the semester. 
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Seminar SGDE Formative and summative 25% 
    Essay preparation Formative and summative 10% 
    Review exercise summative 25% 
    Essay formative and summative 40% 
    Assessment Related Requirements
    None
    Assessment Detail
    See MyUni for details
    Submission
    See MyUni for details
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.