PAIS101 Beyond Lies and Spin: Why Politics Matters

Updated: 01 November 2018
Credit Points 6
Responsible Campus Teaching Period Mode of Study
Armidale Trimester 1 Online
Armidale Trimester 1 On Campus
Intensive School(s) None
Supervised Exam There is no supervised examination.
Pre-requisites None
Co-requisites None
Restrictions POLS100 or POLS101
Notes None
Combined Units None
Coordinator(s) Tim Battin (
Unit Description

Politics is not what is presented on the television news. This unit encourages students to reflect on the fundamental importance of politics for understanding and dealing with the pressing challenges of our times. Students will be introduced to key ideas such as power, the state, participation and conflict. Through these and other concepts and their practical application to topics such as inequality and disadvantage, environmental destruction, war and social justice, students will be assisted to think politically about contemporary dilemmas that impact on all our lives. Illustrative material will be drawn from Australia as well as other regions around the world.

Prescribed Material


Note: Students are expected to purchase prescribed material. Please note that textbook requirements may vary from one teaching period to the next.


ISBN: 9780230363380
Heywood, A., Palgrave Macmillan 4th ed. 2013

Text refers to: Trimester 1, On Campus and Online

Disclaimer Unit information may be subject to change prior to commencement of the teaching period.
Title Exam Length Weight Mode No. Words
Compulsory Assessment 1 20% 1000
Assessment Notes

Online Quiz 1, Selected Response Questions

Relates to Learning Outcomes (LO)

LO: 2, 3, 5

Compulsory Assessment 2 20% 1000
Assessment Notes

Online Quiz 2, Selected Response Question

Relates to Learning Outcomes (LO)

LO: 1, 2, 4

Compulsory Assessment 3 60% 2000
Assessment Notes

Major essay

Relates to Learning Outcomes (LO)

LO: 1-6

Learning Outcomes (LO) Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an understanding that there are different approaches to political studies and provide a meaningful and coherent answer to the question ?What is Politics??;
  2. apply an understanding of key concepts used in the analysis of politics including power, authority, legitimacy and the state;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of disciplinary standards in political science, especially ethical standards of conduct used in the analysis of politics;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the significance of politics for dealing with local, regional and global problems and issues;
  5. evaluate and synthesise evidence from a range of sources to analyse various political problems and issues; and
  6. display analytical and written communication skills through the planning and execution of a written assignment in which they apply key concepts to the analysis of a political problem.