VCE Australian and Global Politics offers students the opportunity to engage with key political, social and economic issues, and to become informed citizens, voters and participants in their local, national and international communities. Global Politics provides students with an insight into the political, social, cultural and economic forces that shape our rapidly changing world.

Students develop a critical understanding of the world in which they live and of contemporary global issues. In doing so, students are provided with the opportunity to develop the awareness and the critical thinking skills that underpin active citizenship and an ability to more deeply appreciate and contextualise the global environment in which they live. Global Politics provides knowledge and skills that prepare students for formal study at the tertiary level or in vocational education and training settings. It also leads to opportunities in a range of careers, including academia, management and government. Students may also pursue occupations in corporate and private enterprises in fields such as journalism, education, law, research and politics.

Units of Study

Unit 1:

Ideas, Actors & Power

In this unit students are introduced to the key ideas relating to the exercise of political power. They explore how these ideas shape political systems and in particular the characteristics of liberalism. They consider the nature of power in Australian democracy and in a non-democratic political system. They also explore the nature and influence of key political actors in Australia: political parties, interest groups and the media. All these forms of participation in Australian democracy influence the political agenda.

Unit 2:

Global Connections

This unit introduces students to the global community and the global actors that are part of this community. In Area of Study 1 students explore the myriad ways lives have been affected by the increased interconnectedness – the global links – of the world through the process of globalisation. In Area of Study 2, students consider the extent to which global actors cooperate and share visions and goals as part of the global community. They investigate the ability of the global community to manage areas of global cooperation and to respond to issues of global conflict and instability.

Unit 3:

Global Actors

In this unit students investigate the key global actors of contemporary global politics. They use evidence to analyse the key global actors and their aims, roles and power. They develop an understanding of the key actors through an in-depth examination of the concepts of national interests and power as they relate to the state, and the way in which ONE Asia-Pacific state uses power to achieve its objectives.

Unit 4:

Global Challenges

In this unit students investigate key global challenges facing the international community in the 21st century. They examine and analyse the debates surrounding TWO ethical issues that are underpinned by international law. They then evaluate the effectiveness of responses to these issues. Students also explore the context and causes of global crises and consider the varying effectiveness of responses and challenges to resolving them.

Example pathways
  • Campaign Adviser
  • Education
  • Federal Government
  • International Aid Worker
  • Journalist
  • Local Government
  • Political Adviser
  • Political Analyst
  • Politician
  • State Government

This is a guide only, please see the careers team for pathway planning advice.


There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 and Unit 4 as a sequence.

Unit 3 and 4 Assessment

Percentage contributions to the study score in VCE Global Politics are as follows:

  • Unit 3 School-assessed Coursework: 25 per cent.
  • Unit 4 School-assessed Coursework: 25 per cent.
  • End-of-year examination: 50 per cent.