Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Today we live in an increasingly global and interconnected world. An ability to understand and think critically about global issues is a key skill for university study. Knowledge of the increasing connectedness of people, processes, systems and environments is essential in order to build shared positive values, attitudes and skills. 

This unit explores the changing and developing social, cultural, environmental, economic and political relationships and interrelationships throughout the world. The unit content provides students with the knowledge, analysis and approaches which encourage a global perspective in the study of other cultures and societies. Global issues, communities, challenges and change are discussed and explored. 

The unit aims to equip students with the skills to be able to understand, analyse and respond to global challenges and opportunities. It considers the interdependent and dynamic nature of globalisation, the importance of valuing identity and cultural diversity, and the need for environmental responsibility. It also aims to highlight the importance of human rights and social justice in global relationships and interactions. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe the world’s physical, human and ecological environments and systems with reference to the interconnectedness of the “Global Village” (GA1, GA2, GA5) 

LO2 - Describe Australia’s past and contemporary history of interaction and interdependence both locally and internationally (GA5, GA6) 

LO3 - Discuss aspects of global diversity and difference, and reflect upon personal values, attitudes and beliefs (GA1, GA4) 

LO4 - Analyse and respond to violations of human rights, economic rights and environmental degradation and exploitation (GA2, GA4, GA6, GA8) 

LO5 - Demonstrate effective individual and collaborative research and communication skills in the context of formulating and expressing views based on informed knowledge, analysis, dialogue and equity principles (GA7, GA9). 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include: 


  • The interdisciplinary nature of Global Studies 
  • The Global Physical and Human Environment.  
  • Global Political Systems.  
  • Global Economic Systems.  
  • Global Social and Cultural Systems.  
  • Popular Culture and Cultural Traffic 
  • Global Issues and Responses 
  • Australia and the World Community 
  • Current and Future Global Trends 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode for International Students: Attendance on campus: 5 hours per week 

Mode for Domestic Students: Multi-mode: attendance on campus: 3 hours per week plus 2 hours online learning.  


Duration: 10-week Term 


This unit will introduce key themes in global studies. This will include a mix of lectures and teacher-guided experiential learning where students can analyse a global issue, formulate a response, participate in discussion of the responses and come to an understanding and conclusion about the topic of study. The classes will involve group work where students will be allocated a learning task or an opportunity to work on a group research project.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks will prepare students for the kinds of assessments encountered in undergraduate humanities and social science courses as well as in the ACU Core Curriculum. 

The assessment tasks are designed to scaffold student learning toward the achievement of the learning outcomes. In the first task students will be presented with a case study that describes Australia’s response to a global issue, in groups they will critically analyse the response and present their thoughts to the class. The second task allows the student to critically reflect upon their own values and attitudes in relation to difference and diversity throughout the world. The third task brings together unit knowledge and understanding, challenging the student to be clear and concise in demonstrating their knowledge, understanding and opinion about the world in which they live and interact. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Group Case Study Presentation 

Groups will analyse a case study of Australia’s response to a political, social or environmental global situation. In the presentation students must describe why Australia has taken/took the response, whether they agree with it and how the response could be/could have been improved. 


LO1, LO2, LO5 

GA1, GA2, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9 

Research Essay 

Students will describe and evaluate two alternate approaches to a global issue (e.g. Human Rights Abuses; Conflict Resolution; Sharing Scarce Resources).   

1000 -1300 words. 


LO3, LO5 

GA1, GA4, GA9 


5 short answer questions which are based upon knowledge and understanding of material covered during the unit. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Baylis, J., Smith, S., & Owens, P. (2016). The globalisation of world politics (7th ed). Oxford, U.K: Oxford University Press. 

Dixon, T., & O’Mahoney, J. (2018). Australia in the global economy. Melbourne, Vic: Pearson Australia. 

Fitzgerald, J. (1999) The cold war and beyond. Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.  

Leonard, M. (2005). Why Europe will run the 21st century. New York, NY: Public Affairs.  

Lidstone, J. (Ed). (2005). Cultural issues of our time. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press. 

Maaka, R. (Ed). (2006). The Indigenous experience: Global perspectives. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press. 

Murphey R. (2016). A history of Asia (7th ed). New York, NY: Routledge. 

Pollock, A. (2001). Vietnam conflict and change in Indo-China. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.  

Wasserstrom, J.N. (2007). China’s brave new world – And other tales for global times. Indiana: Indiana University Press 

Woodward, D., Parkin, A., & Summers, J. (Eds). (2009). Government, politics, power and policy in Australia (9th ed.)French Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.  

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