Political Thought in Action - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Assessment: Essay - Research Essay (60%) , Participation - Workshop & Discussion (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 798.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,048.00

This unit was previously known as PLT390 Political Thought in Action.

This unit is required for all students undertaking a politics major but is available to other students who have completed Level 1 and 2 Politics/International Relations units, and preferably 1 Level 3 unit. The unit builds on the diversity of earlier units in politics and international relations by requiring students to propose and develop a research project based on their prior study of politics and to produce a substantial piece of written work in response to that project under the guidance of an academic in the Department. Emphasis will be placed on the ability to provide reasoned arguments and to present findings in a way that would satisfy a critical audience. All students will be required to propose a viable research question and make both formal and informal written arguments in support of that proposal. They will engage in workshopping their ideas, contribute to the work of other students by engaging in constructive discussion, and formally report on their progress as they work through the research process.

At the completion of this unit students will have:

  1. identified a potential research area and developed a proposal to engage in this research
  2. undertaken independent learning and research throughout the study period
  3. worked with other students enrolled in the unit to offer critical yet constructive comments on the work of others considered in the workshop components of the unit
  4. analysed various sources in the light of a chosen research topic
  5. used a wide range of digital and written resources related to the chosen essay topic and appropriately acknowledge these resources
  6. produced a major Research Essay reporting on the research undertaken and providing a well-supported argument for the student's perspective
  7. engaged constructively in workshops related to the development of research skills.
  • Essay — Research Essay (60%)
  • Participation — Workshop & Discussion (10%)
  • Proposal — Research Proposal (10%)
  • Report — Work in Progress Report (20%)

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:

  • PLT390 — Political Thought in Action

POIX399 is a capstone unit and should be one of the last units taken for a major in this field of study.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.
  • Other special requirement — Students need to be ready to start this course from Week 1 with a research topic already identified. This topic should be one that builds on a topic area from a previous course. Students are expected to locate their own sources and documentary material.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Identification of a research area
2Formulation of a research question
3Engaging in Research
5Formulating a Research Proposal
6Presentation of a Research Proposal
7Discussion on writing skills
8Preparation of a Work in Progress Report
9Submission of a draft essay and the incorporation of feedback

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Blogs
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Interactive Games
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation 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.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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