Security in an Age of Risk - 2016

This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

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
  • Assessment: Essay 1 - Minor Essay - Week 4 (20%) , Essay 2 - Major Essay - Week 12 (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit presents a conceptual framework for the security studies degree. It examines the different ways in which security can be conceptualised and the various levels of analysis used in security analysis.

The unit examines security politics and securitisation, the legal and political contexts in which security operates and the relationship between chaos, order and resilience in assessing systemic risk. The unit focuses on the confluence of risk factors in an increasingly interconnected world. It promotes an all-hazard approach to security planning and risk assessment.

The unit examines critical security issues and objections to dominant narratives of security. It then presents an overview of the impact of globalisation and interconnection on security issues and security impacts. It also introduces complexity and systemic approaches to security to examine national and international societal systems.

The unit concludes with questions about the diminishing returns of security investment in complex systems and how risk-based analysis can overcome stagnation in security actions.

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

  1. define the concept of security as it relates to the various levels of analysis used in security studies, including individual, group, national, regional, international and human security
  2. explain the key theories of Security Studies applicable to the contemporary security environment
  3. describe risk-based analysis of security issues, including system effects and security trade-offs in managing risk
  4. explain the process of securitisation in relation to political and security issues on the current international agenda
  5. describe the legal and political contexts in which security studies is situated
  6. appraise the utility of key risk analysis tools in responding to threats and managing vulnerabilities.
  • Essay 1 — Minor Essay - Week 4 (20%)
  • Essay 2 — Major Essay - Week 12 (40%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam — Week 13 (30%)
  • Participation — Ongoing (10%)

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

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Conceptualizing security
2The politics of security and securitization
3Risk and uncertainty in security analysis
4Security frameworks
5Risk analysis and management tools
6Security analysis
7Impact of globalization and interconnection
8Risk-based security planning

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • 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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