POLS1102 Understanding Global Politics

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Political Science and International Relations; International Cybersecurity major sequences
  • Level 1 elective
This unit enables students to understand the nature of international politics. It looks at the structure of the international system, its evolution, current international political configuration, the role of developing states, and the emergence of various non-state actors in international politics. The ideas of order and justice, and the role of the United Nations, are explored with reference to a range of issues which may include alliances, regionalism, international law, environmental problems, human trafficking, nuclear proliferation, human rights, religion, ethnicity and terrorism. The unit aims to make students familiar with various approaches to the study of international relations and also to give students an appreciation of the complexity of decision making in the current world order. Overall, the unit provides the conceptual and methodological foundations that allows students to begin thinking like an international relations analyst.
Students are able to (1) identify elements of continuity and change in contemporary world politics; (2) identify the types of actors participating in the contemporary international system and describe their characteristics; (3) demonstrate a basic understanding of how the interaction between these actors is regulated (or not regulated) by international norms and institutions; (4) demonstrate a basic understanding of the concepts, theoretical frameworks and discourse conventions of the academic field of international relations; (5) conduct research and analyse evidence from a range of relevant sources, and construct a logical and persuasive argument; (6) develop appropriate interpersonal and oral presentation skills; and (7) develop skills to undertake group projects.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignment; (2) tutorial participation and presentation; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Samina Yasmeen
Contact hours
3 hours 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.