VCE Australian and Global Politics is a dynamic and exciting subject in which students consider contemporary power at both national and global levels. Students explore, explain, analyse, and evaluate key national and global issues and events to form a critical understanding of the world in which they live. As a result, students will also develop their skills of critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, and argument. The course provides knowledge and skills that prepare students for formal study at the tertiary level and leads to opportunities in a range of careers, including academia, management, government, journalism, and law. In addition, students will become informed citizens, voters and participants in their local, national and international communities.

There are no pre-requisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Year 11 students who decide to study Global Politics Units 1 and 2 will have an excellent opportunity to build foundational political knowledge and skills to help them excel in Global Politics Units 3 and 4 in Year 12. Some Year 11 students may choose to study the Unit 3 and 4 course if they meet the academic requirements.

Unit 1: Semester 1

Ideas, actors and power

In this unit students are introduced to the key ideas relating to the exercise of political power. They analyse and evaluate different approaches to governmental power by comparing Australian democracy with a non-democratic political system. Students will investigate case studies of political parties, interest groups and media issues to analyse the importance of these forms of participation in the Australian political system. They will also explore the ways social media and the 24-hour news cycle influence political debate.

1. Coursework (60%)
2. Examination (40%)

Unit 2: Semester 2

Global connections

This unit introduces students to the global community and the global actors that are part of this community. In Area of Study 1 students explore the myriad ways lives have been affected by the increased interconnectedness – the global links – of the world through the process of globalisation. These links include a study of the roles of NGOs, global corporations and social media. Students will also evaluate Australia’s participation in the global community. In Area of Study 2, students consider the extent to which global actors cooperate and share visions and goals as part of the global community. They investigate the concept of a global community through considering contemporary case studies of global cooperation and conflict.

1. Coursework (60%)
2. Examination (40%)

Unit 3 Semester 1

Global actors

Students investigate the key global actors in twenty-first century global politics, including states, intergovernmental organisations, non-state actors and transnational cooperations. They use contemporary evidence to analyse the key global actors and their aims, roles and power. This helps them to develop an understanding of the key actors through an in-depth examination of the concepts of national interest and power as they relate to the state. Students will also analyse and evaluate the way in which one Asia-Pacific state uses power within the region to achieve its objectives.

Unit 4 Semester 2

Global challenges

In this unit students investigate key global challenges facing the international community in the twenty-first century. They examine and analyse the debates surrounding two ethical issues, which are underpinned by international law. Students will evaluate the effectiveness of responses to two ethical issues that are selected from the following: human rights, people movement, development (e.g. global poverty) and arms control. Students also explore the context and causes of global crises and consider the varying effectiveness of responses and challenges to solving them. Two global crises are selected from the following: climate change, armed conflict, terrorism, and economic instability.

1. Coursework – Unit 3 (25%)
2. Coursework – Unit 4 (25%)
3. Examination – (50%)