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Historical and Political Studies Major


History and Politics address some of the most important and contentious issues facing humanity. In this major, students will examine the ideas, structures and processes that drive society at both the national and international level.

One of the primary focuses of this course is the historical and political processes and patterns that have structured the relationship between individuals and communities. The unit explores the nature of contemporary political challenges and the role of leadership, the media, corporate interests, public opinion and grassroots political movements in framing and addressing these challenges. In addition there is a focus on the role understanding our history can play in informing solutions to these issues. While the focus is global, thematic and interdisciplinary, specialist units are offered in Australian, European and Chinese politics.The major offers students the opportunity to build links between pressing contemporary issues that are impacting on global politics and international relations. These are contextualised through a historical lens that situates the discipline as a rigorous, evidence-based approach among multiple narratives that helps frame our understanding of politics and history.

Why ECU?

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Unit set overview



Availability & Campus

JO - Joondalup BU - South West ML - Mount Lawley OL - Online



Students must complete eight (8) units totalling 120 credit points:

Year 1 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
HIS1107Australian History: Colonisation, Nationalism and Identity 15
Year 1 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
POL1106Ideas that have Shaped the Modern World15
Year 2 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
POL2105Australian Government: The Challenges of a Modern Democracy15
Year 2 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
POL3124Hitler and Stalin: Studies in Power, Ideology and Propaganda15
Year 3 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
HIS3107Currents of Modernity: Challenges and Transitions in Europe and America15
HIS3108Leadership and Strategy: Studies in the Exercise of Power 15
Year 3 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
POL3111Political Violence: From the French Revolution to Modern Terrorism15
HIS3180Modern China: The Rise of a Superpower15

For more detailed unit information for this Major take a look at our Handbook. To organise your life for next semester visit the Semester timetable.

Student handbook


Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply broad discipline knowledge to a range of historical and political events.
  2. Communicate historical and political knowledge and ideas clearly, coherently and with independence.
  3. Demonstrate a global outlook with respect for cultural diversity, including Indigenous cultural competence.
  4. Demonstrate autonomy, accountability and judgement for own learning, scholarship and professional practice.
  5. Generate creative solutions that respond to historical and political issues.
  6. Think critically to conceptualise and synthesise complex historical and political events.
  7. Use digital technologies to access, evaluate and synthesise relevant historical and political sources.
  8. Work collaboratively and demonstrate initiative to implement social, sustainable, and ethical values through critical analysis of archival material.

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities

This major is useful for a wide range of careers including the public service, journalism, policy/research positions with political parties, and with national and international non-government agencies.

Possible future job titles

Research/Policy Officer, Journalist, State/Federal Member of Parliament Employee, Diplomatic Servant, Historian, Researcher, Politician, Public Servant, Policy Analyst, Political Staffer, Consultant, Mining Company Analyst, Historical Film Advisor, Heritage Consultant, Teacher

This Major can be studied in the following courses

Need some help deciding what to study?

Our future student events include a mix of on-campus and online sessions designed to help you decide what to study at ECU.

Become World Ready

Explore your options

Meet students from our History, Politics, Media and Writing courses who are studying at ECU Mount Lawley.

Student stories

Tim Clifford

Tim Clifford MLC

ECU Arts graduate

"It's a real privilege to be elected to parliament, and I have to pinch myself because I didn't plan to be here"

Back in high school, I didn't want to be a politician – I thought politicians were these elites. My Mum used to work in a bar called The Albany Club, and I would go in there to see her after school and I'd see politicians and business owners. They were the big wigs in town: they made the big decisions and they made more money than us. I just never thought I would end up in parliament. Parliament was up on the hill and I was down here in state housing.

I chose the degree – and that was a life-changing choice. There are a lot of people who say 'don't do this or that', but it's usually the people who put themselves out who get to where they want eventually. Education is so important, because it offers direction to people. Follow what you like doing, throw yourself into it and be passionate about it – that's the main thing.