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HIST19031 - Australia's Foreign Relations

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit examines the development of Australia's foreign policy and Australia's relations with other nations from Responsible Government to the present. After reflecting on the various approaches to the study of international affairs, and the domestic context, the unit considers the imperial relationship and the emergence of nascent foreign policies among the Australasian British colonies. In the context of domestic politics, trade and immigration policy, the unit then examines the history of Australia's diplomatic relations, especially in the Asia Pacific region. The focus is on changing relationships with Britain, the USA, Japan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. The unit concludes with a critical and historically informed analysis of Australia's current foreign policy positions.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites Prerequisite: Minimum of 18 credit points

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

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Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2016

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Term 1 - 2021 Profile
Term 1 - 2022 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 30%
2. Practical and Written Assessment 40%
3. Online Quiz(zes) 30%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.4 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 44.83% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student feedback form.
Some students advised that they preferred my own lectures to the guest lectures.
There will be fewer guest lectures in the future.
Action Taken
In response to this feedback I have removed some of the guest lectures.
Source: Moodle, emails, class
Students have expressed a high level of satisfaction with this unit and have highlighted the value of the online tutorials.
Student feedback has expressed a high level of satisfaction with this unit. In particular the optional online tutorials are valued as an opportunity to discuss the week's reading and lecture and raise questions. As a result, these will continue in future Terms.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a broad knowledge of the main theoretical approaches to and historical underpinnings of Australia's past and present foreign policy and the consequent evolving relationships with Great Britain, United States of America and selected nations of the Asia-Pacific region.
  2. demonstrate a preliminary understanding of the problems of historical evidence in both primary and secondary sources.
  3. demonstrate an understanding of how the construction and historical implementation of foreign policy pose questions of ethical action and social responsibility for both Australian governments and the nation in general.
  4. demonstrate the following generic skills: i. the ability to explain the significance of processes of, and approaches to, Australia's foreign policy making and the significance of historical events related to Australia's foreign relations; ii. the ability to critique theoretical and historical interpretations of Australia's foreign policy making and foreign relations, and their applications to contemporary issues; iii. the ability to understand and use the principle that ethical action and social responsibility are inherent in the study of history and its interpretations; iv. the ability to locate, retrieve, organise, analyse and synthesise historical evidence from both primary and secondary sources; v. the ability to develop and communicate cogent historical argument and knowledge in written and oral forms, employing the required referencing methods where necessary; vi. the ability to be self-directed and self-disciplined, and to show initiative.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Online Quiz(zes)
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Online Quiz(zes)