Introduction to Global Politics - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2 , Sem3
  • Availability for 2018: Sem1
  • Assessment: Draft Plan - Draft Essay plan (10%) , Essay (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit was previously known as PLT120 Introduction to Global Politics.

Please note: This unit is available in Macquarie Semester 3. This is an intensive semester which spans only 9 weeks (including recess). Students are advised to enrol in only one or two units in Semester 3.

Global politics is often dramatic and contentious covering big picture dilemmas such as what are the causes of war and peace? How do we find solutions to shared global problems like climate change and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons? How do we make sense of persistent poverty and underdevelopment in some parts of the world but not others? Whose political ideas matter most and why? Finally, what have been the implications of globalisation for world politics? This unit equips students with the tools to understand the forces that shape the world we live in by introducing them to the key issues, institutions, ideas and actors involved in global politics. The first section of the unit outlines the historical context, key theories and concepts, and fundamental institutions of contemporary global politics. The second section covers important contemporary issues including security challenges, climate change, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, global inequality, the role of culture, religion and identity in global politics, great power rivalry, and globalisation. The unit gives students the foundations necessary for undertaking a major in International Relations or Politics.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. develop the capacity for critical analysis
  2. develop and apply research skills that enable students to provide evidence to support their arguments
  3. develop the skill to write cogently and to structure arguments in a logical order
  4. encourage students to become engaged with the key issues and challenges that are currently facing the world
  5. encourage students to see themselves as agents of positive change
  6. understand and explain the key concepts, theories, methods, and issues relevant to the study of International Relations at an introductory level
  7. identify and understand the defining debates in the field of Global Politics.
  • Draft Plan — Draft Essay plan (10%)
  • Essay (40%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (30%)
  • Participation (10%)
  • Quiz 1 (10%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PLT120 — Introduction to Global Politics

If you have no prior university experience, you should complete BAR100 Academic Learning Skills or COM10006 Academic Literacies: Learning and Communication Practice before starting this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1An introduction to the study of Global Politics
2Historical Context: Political Systems in World History
3Historical Context: International Relations in the Twentieth Century
4Theories of International Relations
5Security and Insecurity in Global Politics
6The Global Governance Challenge
7Essay Writing and Research Skills
8International Political Economy
9Religion, culture and Global Politics
10Great Power Competition
11Globalisation and Study of World Politics
12Agency in World Politics: what can we do to change the world?

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • International Relations 3rd ed

    By:Stephanie Lawson

    ISBN: 9781509508563


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Enquire online

    Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
    Make an online enquiry.

    Enquire now

    Ready to enrol?

    Start studying this unit now.


    Got a question?

    Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.