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 considers the contributions of political philosophers and theorists to three centrally important issues: justice, liberty, and democracy. It also considers the application of these contributions to a series of real-world controversies, including the rights of the disabled, redistributive taxation, poverty, efficiency, freedom of speech, gender equality, pornography, and voting.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics; Human Rights major sequences
  • Level 3 option in the Philosophy major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) independently interpret complex texts

; (2) demonstrate an understanding of complex arguments and positions in contemporary political theory; (3) evaluate complex positions and arguments in contemporary political theory; (4) construct persuasive arguments concerning difficult issues in contemporary political theory; (5) demonstrate advanced written communication and research skills; and (6) demonstrate the importance of normative ideas in public policy, and analyse the influence of normative ideas in debates about public policy.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay; (2) in-tutorial assessment; and (3) examination. 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 Lachlan Umbers
Unit rules
Successful completion of
any one level 2 Unit(s)
POLS2227 Contemporary Political Theory.
POLS3327 Contemporary Political Theory
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.