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Politics and Policy

What is the Politics and Policy program about?

Ideas and ideologies have framed politics in the past and shape it today. They inform how governments develop and implement policies to achieve competing public goals — for example, governments must balance promoting economic development, protecting the environment and responding to threats.

Understanding how governments operate is critical in influencing the development and implementation of effective economic, environmental and security policies at all levels from small, local communities to the regional, national and international context.

The study of Politics and Policy investigates the major ideas that drive the modern world; democracy, liberty, justice and authority, and the relationships between governments, institutions, the private sector, non-government organisations and individual within the Asian-Pacific region.

Why study Politics and Policy with us?

Your studies in Politics and Policy will provide essential skills in research, reasoned argument, and in written and verbal communication, and real world professional experience through our public sector and parliamentary internships.

With a strong reputation in Politics and Policy Relations research, we offer a variety of postgraduate research courses that will develop your advanced research knowledge and skills, helping you understand issues associated with Politics and Policy theory and practice.

What careers relate to Politics and Policy?

Our Graduates will typically find employment in areas of social and market research, policy development and analysis, social welfare administration, human resource management, industrial relations, and public administration and management in commonwealth, state and local government sectors.

  • Public sector organisations (commonwealth, state and local government)
  • Community and non-government organisations
  • Private companies, including policy-oriented think tanks
  • Lobby groups
  • Media groups
  • Public relations firms
  • Schools
  • Police forces
  • Unions and employer groups

Dr Helen Szoke | NGO CEO

A University of Tasmania alumnus, Helen has served as Australia’s Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner and as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner. She is now CEO at OXFAM Australia.

Read more about Helen

How can I learn about Politics and Policy?

Students can choose to study Politics and Policy as a major through the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Social Science. Politics and Policy can be completed within other degree offerings, or as part of a Bachelor of Arts combine degree.

Interested in studying with us? Explore our course and research opportunities below.

Each course and unit is linked to its own page with more detailed information on the Courses & Units website.



Our Honours program provides students with an advanced exploration of Politics and Policy. Comprised of specialised core units and a research thesis or project, study at the honours level introduces skills and methods involved in independent research.

The Professional Honours course allows students to develop a body of knowledge in Public Sector Leadership and Management for personal, career or professional development. Students complete core units from their area of interest, and a selection of complementary units. This
course is intended for students who wish to further enhance their studies in a discipline, without progressing into higher research degrees.


With our Postgraduate Coursework programs you can develop your professional knowledge and expertise into a qualification. Study options are available both online and on campus, and part-time.

Your learning experience in Politics and Policy goes beyond the lecture and tutorials.

You will be taught by experts, and gain perspective from guest lecturers and forums; gain a competitive advantage with real-world experience prior to graduation; study abroad for a fortnight, a month, a semester or a year, as part of your degree; have options to complete your studies your way, whether on-campus, online, part-time or full-time;  pursue your passion or specialisation with a range of scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance programs, or meet your career goals with our pathway options.

Add real-world experience to your studies of Politics and Policy through our internship program with opportunities in the public sector, NGOs, and the Tasmanian Parliament.

The Politics and Policy internship program provides opportunities for high-achieving and self-directed students to put into practice the principles and theoretical knowledge that they have acquired in their studies of politics and policy.

Students are selected through a competitive application and interview process to undertake their internship part-time with the Parliament of Tasmania, public sector agency in the Tasmanian State Service or a Local Government Authority.

Students studying Politics and Policy have the opportunity to undertake internships at undergraduate or Honours Level with the Parliament of Tasmania. This involves a part-time placement with a Member of Parliament or a Parliamentary Committee and involves the intern undertaking a practical, research-orientate report. These internships provide credit towards the completion of a major or honours in Politics and Policy.

For more information on internships contact UConnect or the unit co-ordinator Professor Richard Herr.

The Public Sector Internship is offered as a research-based unit in the undergraduate Politics and Policy program and is also available at Honours and postgraduate levels. It involves a part-time placement in a public sector agency within the Tasmanian State Service, or within a Local Government Authority through the Local Government Association of Tasmania, or an NGO. This placement will see the intern undertake a practical, research-oriented report. This internship aims to give students experience in practical aspects of policy-making and analysis and public administration. Interns also gain an introduction the public sector.

For more information on internships contact UConnect, or the unit co-ordinator Dr Joanna Vince.

The College of Arts, Law and Education, including the School of Social Sciences, and Politics and Policy (postgraduate) offers a growing collection of units that are available to be completed either wholly or partially online to enable flexible study.

* The online availability for each unit is indicated on each individual unit page under ‘Availability’, then ‘Attendance options’ by the ‘Off-Campus’ icon .

Read more about Online Study available in Arts

We provide access to a variety of scholarships and bursaries at a University, College and Discipline level. The main application period begins in August, and closes on the 31st October the year prior to study commencing.

Browse Scholarships

Don't meet the traditional entry requirements? The School of Social Sciences offers an alternative entry pathway into our undergraduate programs. The Arts pathway is a great introduction into university study, and can assist you in gaining the qualifications and experience you need for your chosen career. This foundation year of study provides students with the skills and knowledge related to studying the arts and social sciences, with additional support and guidance to help you succeed.

Whether you intend to study a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Science or Bachelor of Social Work, completing this year of foundation study in Diploma of University Studies (Arts Specialisation) (21A) will assist you in achieving your goals.

Pathway Programs at the University

An overseas study program gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures, study languages, undertake work placement or internships, make new friends and explore the world while receiving credit toward your degree and creating professional and life experiences. It provides a 'total immersion' experience in a variety of study areas and locations. You can choose a program length that suits you, from a 2-week fieldtrip, a short-term summer program to a full semester (or two).

Find out more about Overseas Study opportunities

Take your passion for ideas further than you ever imagined.

We offer a collegial, supportive environment, with experienced supervision, regular seminar series, research skills training, and many opportunities to work with peers and academics on your areas of interest. We supervise across a range of methodologies and conceptual/theoretical approaches, and encourage scholarship that draws on ideas from across diverse fields.

Choose a research topic that reflects your interests and identify a supervisor with the expertise to guide you in your research. Search for a discipline staff member via our staff profiles, or by an area or expertise.

The School of Social Sciences welcomes qualified applicants to undertake a research degree with us in any of our areas of research strengths and interests.

To find out about application procedures, entry requirements, and scholarships, refer to College of Arts, Law and Education Research Degrees.

Our research in Politics and Policy

Our research in Politics and Policy focuses on Australian Politics, Policy and Public Finance and Environmental, Oceans and Sustainability Governance.

Our work is published in leading journals and by top-tier academic presses, we have access to an international network of top-flight researchers, and members of our team have received prestigious research grants and fellowships.

We welcome proposals from qualified applicants to undertake research degrees in PhDs and Masters, and are pleased to discuss research proposals that cross disciplines, including law, science, business, economics, journalism, geography and environmental studies, education and health sciences.

Assoc Prof Kate Crowley

Featured Researcher | Assoc Prof Kate Crowley

Kate is widely published on green politics and environmental policy, and has chaired advisory councils such as the Tasmanian Environment Industry Council, the Tasmanian Climate Action Council and the University of Tasmania's Board of Graduate Research.

View Kate's full researcher profile Browse our academic staff profiles