Political Science

Political Science

Political science is the systematic study of social and political ideas, institutions, practices, events, and methods. This includes, but is not limited to the analysis of government, people, organisations, policies, states, and nations. As a social science it examines human behaviour and interactions, but elements from the humanities also provide the cultural and historical background essential for studying politics.  Major areas include domestic politics, international relations, comparative politics, political theory and political philosophy, public policy and administration, political behaviour, and political methodology. Political science is interdisciplinary, overlapping with fields such as philosophy, history, sociology, law, psychology, economics, geography, and anthropology.

Politics affects almost every aspect of life and the social world. People who study political science gain a deeper understanding of the powerful forces affecting all of our lives. Studying political science will give you the knowledge and intellectual skills necessary to critically analyse important issues. It is invaluable for any citizen and essential in many careers today. Studying political science promotes skills related to developing and critiquing arguments, assessing and solving problems, public speaking and effective communication, relating to people with differing beliefs, and understanding community needs.

Career opportunities

Studying political science provides skills for multiple career paths in the public sector as well as private for-profit and non-profit organizations. Employers value the critical thinking, analytical, problem solving, and communications skills that students of political science develop.  Political science students often pursue careers in government, law, business, journalism, international organizations, finance, public relations, campaign management, non-governmental organizations, and education.  The following are some more examples.

  • Foreign service officer
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Diplomat
  • Public service worker
  • Politician
  • Political aid
  • Social advocate
  • Industrial relations specialist
  • Lobbyist
  • Journalist
  • Investment or financial advisor
  • Political consultant
  • Campaign coordinator
  • Legislative or legal assistant
  • Judicial or litigation officer
  • Policy or political analyst
  • Research officer
  • Public relations specialist
  • Educator
  • Consultant

Study options

You can study political science at the undergraduate level as the Bachelor of Arts program, which can extend into studying Honours.  You could undertake a political science internship at the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly as part of your course and there are great independent study opportunities.  At the postgraduate level, you can study a Master by Research or a Doctor of Philosophy, both of which allow you to choose your own research topics in conjunction with a supervisor.

Current units

POL101     Introduction to Australian Politics
POL149     Foundations of Western Civilisation
POL214     Political Ideas
POL220     International Relations
POL221     Comparative Politics of South East Asia
POL312     Northern Territory Politics Internship Program
POL315     Politics in Indonesia
POL316     Politics in China


More information

For general information about applying or registering at CDU, enrolling in units, and the different study options please visit the Study at CDU page. For more specific information about studying political science at CDU please contact:

Wayne Cristaudo
Professor of Political Science
Email: wayne.cristaudo@cdu.edu.au
Phone: 08 8946 6026

Andrew James Klassen
Lecturer in Political Science
Email: andrew.klassen@cdu.edu.au
Phone: 08 8946 7045