This unit introduces students to Australian foreign policy, exploring the regional and international context in which Australia pursues its national and security interests, and how those interests have changed over time. It covers Australia's relationship with the USA and other international and regional actors and organisations, and explores key foreign policy issues in the context of the globalised world, such as terrorism, asylum and migration, global economics, foreign aid, climate change and human rights. It also assesses Australia's place in the world, and what sort of international actor it has been, and aims to be.


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:

  • Articulate the pre- and post-colonial legacies on Australian foreign policy
  • Evaluate the major developments in Australian foreign policy, and their relationship to domestic politics and identity
  • Identify the problems of alliance, multilateralism, and unilateralism in Australian foreign policy
  • Evaluate Australia’s place in global and regional politics and relevant emerging foreign policy issues, individually and with others
  • Critically analyse Australian foreign policy in relation to key concepts and foreign policy approaches and theories

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
Literature ReviewIndividual 20% 1,2,3,4,5 
Major EssayIndividual 50% 1,2,3,4,5 
Tutorial PaperIndividual 30% 1,2,3,4,5 


  • Australia in the domestic and international context: foreign policy and national identity, legacies and continuing challenges
  • Key relationships at the international and regional level
  • Australian foreign policy in the context of globalisation
  • Australia's place in international and regional politics

Study resources

Reading materials

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