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VCE Humanities

Australian Politics Unit 4: Australian Public Policy


Australian Politics Unit 3: Evaluating Australian Democracy.

Course Description

This unit focusses on Australian federal public policy formulation and implementation. Students examine domestic policy which concerns Australian society and affects people living in Australia, by investigating a contemporary Australian domestic policy issue and considering the policy response of the Australian Government to that issue. Students analyse the major influences on the formulation of the policy and the factors affecting the success of its implementation. Students consider contemporary Australian foreign policy by examining the major objectives, instruments and key challenges facing contemporary Australian foreign policy.

Areas of Study

Domestic Policy

  • The role of government institutions in public policy formulation and implementation: the executive, the bureaucracy, parliament and judiciary.
  • The role and significance of ministerial advisers.
  • The significance of elections and electoral mandate.
  • The contribution of the opposition and minor political parties and independents in public policy formulation.
  • Elements outside the formal institutions of government that influence public policy: opinion polls, the media and interest groups.
  • The nature and context of a contemporary policy issue and government response.

Foreign Policy

  • The nature of contemporary Australian foreign policy formulation and implementation.
  • Key objectives of contemporary Australian foreign policy.
  • Key instruments of contemporary Australian foreign policy.
  • Key challenges facing contemporary Australian foreign policy.


Outcomes Assessment Tasks Marks Allocated
(school-assessed coursework)
Explain how Australian federal domestic public policy is formulated and implemented, analyse the factors which affect these processes and critically evaluate a selected contemporary domestic policy issue. Test and/or essay. 50
Analyse the nature, objectives and instruments of contemporary Australian foreign policy, and evaluate two key challenges facing Australian foreign policy. Essay and/or short answer questions. 50
Total Marks 100

Overall Final Assessment

Graded Assessment Title Assessment Exam Duration Contribution to Study Score (%)
1 Unit 3 Coursework School-assessed   25
2 Unit 4 Coursework School-assessed   25
3 Written Examination November 2 hours 50


Reproduced by permission of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: