Courses & Units

Antarctic Governance and Policy in the 21st Century KSM715


Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are a unique biophysical region of the planet and similarly have unique governance arrangements. This unit provides an advanced analysis of the institutions, rules and power structures which govern the Antarctic region. The unit closely examines the Antarctic Treaty System, but also other important institutions that play a governance role in the region, including the International Whaling Commission and International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. Drawing on theories of law, governance and geopolitics, this unit explores the following thematic challenges relating to human activity in the Antarctic region: Antarctic Resources, Antarctic Science, Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics, Strategic issues in Antarctica, Environmental Protection, and Climate Change. The unit explores the interactions between nation states, non-state actors and international organisations and the intersection of interests, rights and rules in the development of Antarctic governance institutions. Completing the unit will equip students from a wide variety of academic disciplines with the ability to view governance of Antarctica from a more holistic perspective. This will assist students to understand and critically assess the basis for international policy decisions relating to Antarctic and the Southern Ocean, a region of key national interest for Australia, and of vital importance for global ecosystems and the international political system.


Unit name Antarctic Governance and Policy in the 21st Century
Unit code KSM715
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
Discipline Oceans and Cryosphere
Coordinator Associate Professor Jeffrey McGee
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Online Semester 1 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyse the Antarctic Treaty System from historical, legal, geopolitical and scientific perspectives.
  • Analyse the intersections between the Antarctic Treaty System and other governance institutions in the area to further policy choices
  • Appraise the effectiveness of Antarctic governance institutions to inform policy debate and choice
  • Critically assess the key challenges for Antarctic governance in the early 21st century
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
090909 $1,892.00 $1,482.00 not applicable $1,919.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

Students in this unit will participate in a weekly 2 hour lectures (1 hour pre-recorded + 1 hour online synchronous) through Zoom Conferencing in MyLo. These lectures will be common with the undegraduate cohort in KSA201 Governing Antarctica.

Students will also attend a weekly Masters level seminar, which will be face to face for Hobart students, and synchonous online through Zoom Conferencing for students outside Hobart.

AssessmentMultiple Choice Test (20%)|Group Report: Drafting and Presenting an Antarctic Policy Document (40%)|Critical Analysis of Antarctic Literature (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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