This unit aims to provide students with a critical introduction to the Australian political system; the institutions and actors that comprise it; and the ideas and values that underpin the practice of democratic politics. Students will examine the origins and evolution of these key actors and institutions and consider how they are being challenged and transformed by technological change; new forms of political engagement; and shifting ideas of representation.


Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the structure and dynamics of the Australian political system
  • Apply theoretical models to the analysis of political behaviour in Australia
  • Critically evaluate different perspectives on issues and problems
  • Perform logical analysis and develop well-informed arguments

Teaching methods

Swinburne Online

Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Live Online
1.00 4 weeks 4
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
12.17 12 weeks 146


Type Task Weighting ULO's
EssayIndividual 50% 1,2,3,4 
QuizIndividual 20% 1,3 
TestIndividual 30% 1,2,3,4 


  • Political ideologies
  • Constitutionalism and constitutional change
  • Federalism
  • Parliament and responsible government
  • Elections and electoral systems
  • Political parties and representation
  • Political leadership
  • Lobbying, interest groups and the media
  • Political behaviour and political culture

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.