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 2016: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Assessment 1 (20%) , Assignment 2 - Assessment 2 (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 798.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,048.00

This unit introduces contemporary challenges to security in the twenty-first century. It provides the theoretical and conceptual foundations to grasp the mechanisms of order, instability and armed conflict in the modern international system and provides empirical examples throughout to illustrate. It addresses the role of the system, state and leader in complex conflict scenarios and addresses how students can estimate the relative importance of each and assess their interaction. The unit examines these dynamics with reference to the sources of threats posed by interstate and intrastate war, coercion, alliances, nuclear weapons, humanitarian intervention, terrorism and counterinsurgency. It also examines how these threats can be managed. It is a wide and appropriately deep 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. evaluate the importance of security challenges according to a variety of risk prioritisation methods
  6. 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.

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

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.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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