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Undergraduate | LTU-POL3CAP-2023

Politics, Power and Public Policy

Study method

100% online


100% online

Entry requirements

No ATAR needed

No prior study


12 weeks

Start dates

  • 27 Feb 2023

HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP available

About this subject

What you'll learn

  1. Analyse the major forces shaping the development of Australian public policy.
  2. Evaluate the major policies that are in place in a range of different areas of Australian public policy.
  3. Synthesise different theoretical perspectives on Australian public policy.
  4. Research and write clear and well structured essays at a third year level.
    • • Public policy.
    • • Power.
    • • Morality politics.
    • • Inequality.
    • • Neoliberalism.
  • This subject focuses on the political dynamics of contemporary Australian public policy, examining the major forces driving policy in a range of different areas, and exploring what this reveals about power in Australia. The subject begins by introducing students to the major theoretical perspectives on power and policy-making, along with the historical and structural factors that shape government in Australia. It then focuses in depth on a selection of policy issues that have been central to the political agenda in recent years, including topics such as inequality, welfare reform, voluntary euthanasia, gambling reform, industrial relations, environmental policy and media regulation. The aim is to illuminate the power dynamics that are central to understanding politics in Australia, and to give students a deeper understanding of contemporary policy debates. This subject is particularly recommended for students who are planning a career in the media, in government, or in NGOs, and for students who wish to research an Australian topic in their Honours year.

    • Online activities (equivalent to 200 words). Online activities (e.g. quizzes) will be used to test students' knowledge of a range of topics covered in the subject. (15%)
    • Essay 1 (equivalent to 1400 words in total). This assignment will require students to research and write an essay on a specific topic related to the subject material. (35%)
    • Essay 2: 2400 words. This assignment will require students to research and write an essay on a specific topic related to the subject material. (50%)
  • For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).

  • The third university established in Victoria, La Trobe University has a diverse community of more than 38,000 students and staff. Its commitment to excellence in teaching and research prepares students to make a bold and positive impact in today's global community. La Trobe provides Open Universities Australia with its core tenets, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

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    QS Ranking 2023: 20

    Times Higher Education Ranking 2023: 16

Entry requirements

No entry requirements


Past La Trobe University students who have previously completed POL2CAP (Contemporary Australian Politics and Public Policy) are ineligible to enrol in this subject.

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