International Security - 2016

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 1 , Sess 3
  • Availability for 2017: Sem2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (50%) , Assignment 2 (25%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 3,120.00
International 3,370.00

This thought provoking unit provides a comprehensive overview of dominant theories about the nature and causes of international (in)security. Throughout this course we will go back in time to critically compare and contrast several different and overlapping approaches to understanding and grappling with international security issues. In particular, we will look at new and emerging security challenges that effect the 21st century, including pandemics, environmental change and the reemergence of religious conflict. Since the end of the Cold War an expanded concept of security has been unavoidable. Reasons for this include the perceived limitations of realism, the challenges that have accompanied rapid globalization and advances in technology, and the move to a uni-polar and now multi-polar international system. As a result, there has been growing concern about new sources of non-traditional insecurity that are transnational in scope. These new and poorly understood threats, coupled with ongoing traditional concerns such as the spectre of a return to state vs. state conflict in Europe and Asia, have significantly transformed the international security environment, and have challenged many assumptions. This unit examines this transformation and provides students the opportunity to explore and critically challenge the fundamentals of international security studies.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a comprehension of a range of theoretical constructs relevant to the field of international security, including their relationship to their original historical context
  2. articulate the various concepts that are an integral part of conceptualising international security, including ‘security’, ‘theory’, ‘globalisation’ and ‘securitisation’, with particular attention to their multiple and contested meanings
  3. explain in detail the relationship between the processes of globalisation and the emergence of new drivers of international insecurity
  4. demonstrate an appreciation of traditional and non-traditional security challenges and how these relate to the drivers of international insecurity
  5. display a high level of understanding of at least two theories of international security through in-depth critical analysis
  6. model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate its significance and relevance, synthesise material and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly
  7. showcase higher order communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently.
  • Assignment 1 (50%)
  • Assignment 2 (25%)
  • Assignment 3 (25%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PIC910 — International Security
  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Theories of international security
2New and transnational security challenges
3Non state focussed perspectives on international security
4Global themes in international security
5Environmental security
6Health security
7The role of religion

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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