POLIS 1105 - Introduction to Politics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

Do you want to better understand what is at stake when people debate the question of what is a good society? Do you want to have a deeper knowledge of why people disagree about how society should be organised? The aim of this course is to enable students to better understand public debates about the distribution of power in democratic societies like Australia, and hence be able to reflect upon their own views. These public debates rest upon a number of key concepts employed in socio-political thought today. Such key concepts are very widely employed not only in the work of a range of scholars and other analysts but by media commentators, politicians and public policymakers. They are crucial to understanding what is going on in debates on problems as varied as human nature, power, individual freedom, national identity, censorship, human rights, equality, social justice and group marginalisation, community, citizenship, work/life dilemmas, colonialism, civil liberties and social protest, amongst many others. This course will consider liberal-democratic societies and their major actors and institutions in order to develop a concrete and practical understanding of key concepts in socio-political analysis.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 1105
    Course Introduction to Politics
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible POLIS 1101, POLIS 1103
    Assessment SGDE and participation 30%, Tutorial workbook (1200 words) 30%, Essay (1500 words) 40%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Emerita Professor Christine Beasley

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    After completing this course students will be able to:

    1. understand the major concepts encountered in political science.
    2. contribute to debates concerning the status and future of democracies including Australia.
    3. analyse a range of approaches to the topics under discussion.
    4.  engage critically with academic texts.
    5.  express oral arguments with tolerance for other points of view.
    6. undertake independent research in the field of political science.
    7. produce analytically sophisticated, well substantiated and cogently argued written material.

    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)
    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
    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
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    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
    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
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • 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
    Task Style % Learning Outcomes
    SGDE and Participation Summative and Formative 30% 1-5
    Tutorial Workbook Summative and Formative 30% 1,3,4
    Essay Summative 40% 1,2,3,4,6,7

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    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.

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