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


This unit examines the fundamental principles and concepts of law and government in Australia (including the role of international law) in historical and political context. It studies the principle sources of law in Australia and the key aspects of the relevant areas of law. The unit explores the concept of ‘good governance' and key theories and debates associated with the law and governance. These concepts provide context for policy processes.

6 points

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the (a) fundamental concepts, principles and sources of Australian law; (b) role and nature of state and commonwealth government institutions and constitutional sources of authority; and (c) principles of good governance; (2) demonstrate a developing understanding of the position of the Australian legal and constitutional system within the world legal order, and compared and contrasted with other governmental frameworks and alternative government accountability mechanisms; (3) apply principles of law and governance to a variety of factual situations and explain interrelationships and limitations of particular principles and available courses of action; generate and evaluate alternative responses to legal issues; and demonstrate cognitive and creative skills in addressing complex law and government issues; (4) demonstrate an ability to use legal research skills in developing a persuasive argument, responding to a hypothetical legal problem; evaluate and critique the relevance of secondary sources; (5) communicate both orally and in writing conclusions and opinions, evaluations of prospects in hypothetical scenarios, critical assessments of the state of the law, and can present research and analysis in both academic and policy oriented formats; (6) undertake enquiry-based learning and original research; and (7) recognise and critique the obligations attending public sector operations and the broader social, moral and political dynamics that accompany legal practice in this field.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quiz

; (2) research essay; and (3) participation. 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 Fiona McGaughey and Associate Professor Jani McCutcheon
Unit rules
Advisable prior study
LAWS1111 Law, Conflict and Change, LAWS2227 Law in Action
Contact hours
This unit runs twice per year in February and again in July. The unit runs in ‘flipped' mode, through 10 online modules to be completed in advance of two face-to-face sessions 9am-12.30pm on 20 and 21 February and 25 and 26 July 2019.
Students must attend the face-to-face sessions.
  • 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.