Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Human rights have become a central issue in international politics, observable in the increasing number of political claims for human rights that have been advanced in recent decades. This unit examines the theory and politics of human rights in a global context. It first considers different normative approaches to conceptualising human rights, and their contested philosophical foundations. It then analyses the politics of human rights through a range of empirical cases, which may include refugees, security, citizenship, development justice, and climate change.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate understanding of the development of the human rights discourse and its significance in international politics; (2) demonstrate intermediate understanding of the key normative and philosophical approaches to human rights and their strengths and weaknesses; (3) demonstrate intermediate understanding of debates regarding human rights in global politics; and (4) communicate arguments in written and oral assessments that employ the conventions of the discipline, at an intermediate level.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar preparation and participation; (2) a research essay; and (3) analytical assignments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ky Gentry
Unit rules
Successful completion of
POLS1102 Understanding Global Politics
POLS5686 International Norms, Ethics and Human Rights
Contact hours
1 x 2 hour online lecture per week.
1 x 1 hour tutorial per week.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.