POLIS 2140 - Australia's Foreign Policy in the Indo-Pacific

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

This course introduces students to Australia's foreign and security policies and the key domestic and international debates that shape them. It focuses on Australia's interests in its primary area of geostrategic focus, the Indo-Pacific, which bridges the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Using theoretical approaches from both International Relations and Foreign Policy Analysis, this course aims to equip students to critically analyse the challenges and opportunities open to Australia when pursuing its foreign and security interests in this region. Students will examine the concept of the Indo-Pacific, considering whether it describes a coherent strategic, economic and cultural region and questioning why Australia has chosen to focus its strategic policy on this region. They will then consider the interests of key regional powers, including the United States, China, Japan, India and Indonesia, as well as key regions, the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia, and evaluate how these affect Australia?s interests. The non-traditional and transnational dimensions of security will also be examined, including terrorism, piracy, transnational crime, human security and environmental challenges. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to critically examine how Australian foreign and security policy is made and how Australia pursues its interests in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2140
    Course Australia's Foreign Policy in the Indo-Pacific
    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
    Prerequisites 12 units of Level I courses
    Assumed Knowledge A basic knowledge of the Australian political system
    Assessment Tutorial participation, Op-ed, Policy recommendation, Exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Edson Ziso

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of Australia’s security policies and the key domestic and international debates that shape them.
    2. Understand and use theoretical approaches from both International Relations and Foreign Policy Analysis.
    3. Analyse Australia’s security in its primary area of geostrategic interest, the Indo-Pacific. 
    4. Critically evaluate how Australian security policy is made.
    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.

    1, 2

    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.

    3, 4

    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.

    3, 4

    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.

    3, 4

    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.

    1, 3

    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.

    3, 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Readings will be provided via MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended resources such as additional readings, essay writing information, referencing guidelines, and a wide range of information regarding student support services will be available in the course webpage located on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be utilised to upload additional resources (e.g. links to news items for tutorial discussion). Lectures will be be pre-recorded and available on MyUni.
  • 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

    No information currently available.

    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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