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About the major

Politics is the study of the nature of government, and the distribution of power at the domestic level. The major in Politics gives students the knowledge, theoretical understandings, and practical skills that underpin a successful career that engages with politics at the domestic level. You will focus on how individuals engage with politics, and how governing bodies that shape peoples’ lives make decisions.

You will compare key elements of political systems, including government institutions, political parties, interest groups, elections, patterns of political participation, and social movements. At the end of the major students will be equipped with the key concepts, theories and methods used across the discipline of political science.

Key research and teaching areas include:

  • comparative politics: looking at the way politics is conducted in different nations, and the impact of different political systems and structure on the distribution of power in society;
  • politics at a domestic level: the study of Australian politics, including the role of political parties and elections, interest groups and social movements, and the position of Australia in its region;
  • the policy-making process and the way governments create and implement public policy, and;
  • key issues; elections, political protest, environmental politics, leadership, state economies, constitutions and differing political systems.

Graduates from this major will have the skills desired by public, private and non-profit organisations, domestically and in different political contexts across the world.

Requirements for completion

The Politics major and minor requirements are listed in the Politics unit of study table.

Advanced coursework

Requirements and units of study for advanced coursework can be found on the advanced coursework units of study page.


The Discipline of Government and International Relations offers systematic and extended study in key areas of politics and international relations. The GIR Honours is a long-established program that has produced graduates who go on to great success. The honours year is more intense, challenging and rewarding than any year in the Undergraduate degree. The program is well recognised in Australia and has benefits in obtaining employment. Expectations are high, with work continuing throughout the year. 

To be eligible to apply for the GIR Honours program, applicants would have to meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of a 3-year degree program with at least 6 senior units in Government and International Relations (2000 and/or 3000 level) and a grade of 75 or above across those 6 units of study
  • Capacity to undertake 48 credit points in the honours years
  • Capacity for the Discipline to provide supervision

The GIR Honours program is a year-long program starting in semester 1 of each academic year. The honours components include two coursework units, a literature review and a 18,000-word thesis. Students are required to take a research design unit that prepares them for the research they will complete in the extended dissertation. Students then also have an option to choose one of the two units focusing either on the philosophy of social science research or conceptualising society. The content of the honours thesis is to be negotiated with a dedicated project supervisor, who will be a member of the academic staff with expertise in the chosen area.

Honours admission requirements

Admission to honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies or Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and requires the completion of a major in Politics with an average of 70 percent or above.

Prior to commencing honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and, where undertaking a Bachelor of Advanced Studies, a second major.

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the Politics honours units of study page.

Contacts and further information