POLIS 1106 - Introduction to Australian Politics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

Politics affect you every day - the conditions you live and work under, your identity, your security, the values and fears you possess, and ultimately your expectations as a citizen and your place in the world. This course will provide an introduction to the Australian political system in its social and economic context. Students will also be introduced to relevant theoretical debates in a range of areas. Topics covered include: power, national identity, political parties, interest groups, environmental issues, the media, class, gender, race, ethnicity, technology, the impact of economic globalisation, political institutions, democracy and elections. The course will address the major forces that are influencing and shaping the Australian political environment. There is a particular emphasis on the applied and practical aspects of how and why government policies are brought into being as well as the social, political and economic factors that enable or constrain their introduction.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 1106
    Course Introduction to Australian Politics
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible POLIS 1101, POLIS 1105
    Assessment Tutorial Work 25%, Weekly Online Quizzes 10%, Major Essay 40%, Key Concepts Test 25%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Kirsty Whitman

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1 Critically analyse some of the key concepts in Australian political science.
    2 Participate in group discussions about contested concepts with confidence and with tolerance for other points of view. 
    3 Evaluate subjective claims about Australian politics. 
    4 Argue in written and oral formats about these claims using the basic terminology of social science. 
    5 Navigate the large amounts of research material available in this subject through both traditional academic sources and through the use of information technology. 
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Recommended Resources
    See MyUni for details. 
    Online Learning
    Lecture recordings, reading and major assignment submission will be available on MyUni. 
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    1 hour lecture which will be recorded and 1 2-hour tutorial per week. Both will have online options.

    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

    Assignment Task Type
    % Weighting of Final Grade Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Tutorial work  Formative and summative 25% 1-4
    Weekly quiz Formative and summative 10% 1
    Small Group Discovery Formative and summative 25% 1, 4
    Essay Summative 40% 1, 3, 5

    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.

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.