Introduction to Security Studies - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Availability for 2018: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Assessment 1 (20%) , Assignment 2 - Assessment 2 (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit was previously known as PICX110 Contemporary Security Challenges.

This unit introduces students to security studies and contemporary security challenges. Using real-world examples, it provides students with the theoretical and conceptual knowledge to analyse security, instability and armed conflict in the modern international system. It addresses the role of the international system, states and leaders in complex conflict scenarios and teaches students to critically assess the relative importance of each. The unit covers a variety of pressing security issues, including interstate and intrastate war, coercive use of military power, alliances, nuclear weapons, humanitarian intervention, terrorism and counterinsurgency. It also examines how these threats and challenges can be managed. The unit provides an introduction to the field of security studies.

Upon fulfilling the requirements of this unit, students will have the skills and knowledge to:

  1. identify key security challenges in the contemporary national and international security field
  2. classify security issues as risks, threats or vulnerabilities using key national security concepts
  3. identify key stakeholders and actors in the field of security studies, such as states, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, non-state actors, commercial entities, media outlets and individuals
  4. evaluate contemporary debates about main national and international security issues
  5. differentiate between traditional and emergent threats.
  • Assignment 1 — Assessment 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Assessment 2 (10%)
  • Assignment 3 — Assessment 3 (40%)
  • Assignment 4 — Assessment 4 (30%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this unit will be provided in your study materials.

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 is an approved elective 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.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Essential Readings in World Politics

    By:Mingst & Snyder

    ISBN: 9780393283662


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Security Studies

    By:Williams, Paul D.

    ISBN: 9780415782814


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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