Politics considers questions that are fundamental to understanding any human community. You will be engaged in studying the contest for, and exercise of, power. Politics is a large and vibrant program at Monash University and has a proud scholarly tradition. Our staff are active researchers and participate frequently in major debates on political issues in all spheres of the media and key forums. You will be learning from staff who are committed to teaching and who engage readily with students.

Available as a major or minor.

What is it?

The study of Politics enables you to make sense of the ways in which people live within (or are motivated to change) society at local, national and international levels.  In essence, politics is concerned with questions of power. What has it? Who should have it?

Answering these questions requires us to think about key issues such as how societies are organised, their institutions (government, parliament, parties and much more) and the competing values that vie for supremacy in human communities: freedom versus order, democracy versus authority, equality versus hierarchy, and individuality versus community.

You will learn to evaluate different political systems and institutions and the processes of policy development. You will encounter these questions through both contemporary case studies and historical events. Politics offers you a way of engaging in vital questions about the nature of power and authority, about how people govern their communities, and about the relationship between ideas and practice.

How to Study

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Click here for fees, entry requirements and intake information for domestic and international students.

Major: 8 units (48 points) taken over 3 years. This is the area of study you choose to specialise in.

Minor: 4 units (24 points) taken from an area of study that is different to your major.

You must complete 48 credit points (8 units) of your course before you are eligible to go on exchange. Usually this means waiting until your second or third year of study to go on exchange.

We consider you an international student if you are not:

  • an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or
  • an Australian permanent resident.

Note: We consider Australian and New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents as local students.

Find out more information on how to apply as an international student

An extended major made up of 12 units (96 points) taken over three years.


Study Areas

During your studies, you will cover three broad fields which include:

  • Australian Politics and the World
  • International relations and global politics
  • Political theory and Philosophy

You can specialise in one or more of these areas but we encourage you to explore all of the different approaches to the study of politics.

Study Overseas

As a Monash student, you have the option to make your course an international one. One option is studying at a Monash campus abroad, and you’ll have Malaysia, South Africa or Prato to choose from. You can do an exchange at a Partner University, or, Study Abroad  at a university of your choice. You choose where you want to go and we’ll help you get there.


Politics at Monash University is an academic partner in the Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program. This offers you the unique opportunity to undertake an internship with a member of the Parliament of Victoria during your third year of studies. It provides you with real life experience of public policy research and writing, as well as first-hand exposure to the operation of the parliamentary system.