Global Politics Units 3 and 4


Other than impressing your family and friends with your knowledge of world events, it’s never been a better time to enrol in VCE Global Politics at VSV. Donald Trump has changed the world – and some people will understand it better than others. Studying VCE Global Politics is a pathway to tertiary study and building a rewarding career.

Global Politics is a fun and very contemporary subject taught by highly enthusiastic and experienced teachers who live and breathe global affairs. The subject gives you the knowledge about and an understanding of how the world works and the many major global challenges we face, such as climate change, war, terrorism, poverty, and inequality. All the things that you probably talk about daily.

In Unit 3, students investigate the aims, roles and power of the key global actors in contemporary global politics (the state, intergovernmental organisations such as the UN, non-state actors, and transnational corporations). They also develop an understanding of the concept of national interest through an examination and analysis of how a specific Asia-Pacific state (our focus is the USA), uses its various forms of power to pursue national interest objectives.

In Unit 4, students investigate the key global challenges we face as members of the international community in the twenty-first century. This involves an examination and analysis of the debates surrounding ethical issues, human rights (China and Saudi Arabia) and people movement (asylum seekers and refugees). Students also examine and analyse two major global crises, armed conflict and terrorism, in terms of their causes, challenges to achieving effective resolutions.

Who is it for?

This subject is for students who are interested in and enjoy staying abreast of contemporary world events. A high level of written expression is required in order to examine and analyse in detail the various political concepts and ethical debates that are raised in this subject.

It develops many highly sought after skills that are valuable in the pursuit of an interesting career. Many students who have completed this subject have gone on to do further studies in international relations, law, arts, history, teaching, diplomacy, international aid and journalism at university.

What do you do?

Students will be required to complete a variety of weekly learning tasks. These include, but are not limited to, written responses to set questions and activities on required reading, online quizzes, reports, research assignments, participation in online discussion forums, online lessons, multimedia presentations and essay writing.

We strongly recommend that all students attend our Global Politics day-long SAC revision seminars that are run each term at the VSV in Thornbury. They offer great opportunities to share ideas and interests, and make new friends.

Students also attend Global Politics revision lectures throughout the year run by Social Education Victoria.

What skills do you need?

Units 1 and 2 of Global Politics are not a prerequisite for Units 3 and 4. A suitable level of written expression is required for this subject. Students are expected to stay abreast of contemporary world news and current events and be able to articulate and identify various influential international global actors.

A high degree of organisation is required in order for students to keep up with the demands of reading and independent research that is required. Access to a reliable high bandwidth of internet is essential for all students as the course is online and a high degree of independent research will be required.

While it is not essential, students should be prepared to share their opinions and ideas with their classmates and be prepared to justify their contentions with specific evidence.

What skills do you develop?

Global Politics is highly regarded as a subject that develops students’ analytical, observational, and critical thinking skills. It allows students to develop their awareness of the nature of power, its influence, and to become informed and active global citizens. This subject will develop the skills and attributes that today’s employers need. They include reading, interpreting and analysis, the ability to evaluate and argue, form independent views, and a high level of written communication.




You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

The purchase of the following textbook will also be required: Global Politics VCE Units 3 & 4 (1st ed.) published by Social Education Victoria, 2017). This is the current edition of the coursebook.

Things to think about

Students need to come to the subject with a broad understanding of world news and events. A strong grasp of the world’s geopolitical structure and cultural demographics are also highly recommended. Key terminology and subject-specific language is developed during Units 3 and 4, however a familiarity with the language of the global political arena will certainly help students to “hit the ground running”.

Past students have remarked in their feedback that they really loved the contemporary nature of the topics discussed and learned a lot about how the political world is connected, but that there is a high demand on students to keep up to date with the required reading and additional resources links provided each week.

A realistic weekly time management plan and regular teacher contact is paramount for students to achieve good results in this subject

Things you can do now

Start building a daily diet of global news and current affairs into your life.

Read the world news section from a variety of newspapers. Similarly, start to watch reputable world news and global current affairs programs as often as you can.

Here is a really useful world news website from a variety of global news outlets that helps organise topics into subject areas. The red boxes are for world politics.

Print out a large copy of a political world map and display it in your room or in an area where you study as a source of reference.
Start to familiarise yourself with current world leaders – test yourself. Do some advance reading for the two Unit 3 topics by purchasing the Global Politics VCE Units 3 & 4 (1st ed.) textbook published by Social Education Victoria, 2017.
There are many documentaries and films that will help students to understand some of our key concept understandings. Some of these include (although certainly not limited to):

Charlie Wilson’s War; The Hurt Locker; Homeland (Series); No End In Sight; Syriana; Zero Dark Thirty; The Honourable Woman (Series); Eye in the Sky; A Mighty Heart; Jarhead; The West Wing (series); The Kite Runner; The Promise (SBS Series); Battle for Haditha; Green Zone; Taxi to the Dark Side; 13 Hours; Grace Is Gone; The Whistle-blower; Four Lions; Heavy Metal in Baghdad (documentary); Iraq in Fragments (documentary); The War Tapes (documentary); Baghdad ER (documentary); VICE Special Report: Fighting ISIS (documentary); Last Men in Aleppo (documentary); “Under the Sun” (documentary); Fahrenheit 11/9 (documentary).

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.




Things to have a look at

Denton Global Politics

View these series of short videos presented in a very entertaining way by a past Global Politics student on the Unit 3 & 4 VCE Global Politics topics.

GR Global Politics

A VCE Global Politics student resource containing news site links and a range of videos covering all Units 3-4 topics.