Foundations of Security Studies - 2016

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

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 1
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (10%) , Assignment 2 (50%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 3,120.00
International 3,370.00

This unit was previously known as PICX850 Security I.

This unit is a “gateway” unit into further study in Security Studies. It will introduce students to the theoretical foundations, essential concepts and central issues in the field of Security Studies. It will also further develop and refine students’ academic skills and literacy. This unit is structured around five “big questions”:

1) What am I doing here?

2) Is the state the greatest threat to, or best guarantor of, one’s security?

3) Will the United States and China go to war in our lifetime?

4) Why does the sole remaining Superpower keep losing? and

5) What are the greatest threats to humanity? These questions will be used as vehicles through which to survey the field of Security Studies more generally. At its conclusion, students will have acquired the necessary academic skills and conceptual knowledge to successfully pursue their postgraduate studies

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

  1. demonstrate a sound appreciation of the different aspects that comprise security in a liberal democracy
  2. comprehensively explain a range of contemporary and dynamic issues that can impact on security in Australia
  3. critically evaluate the role of policing and intelligence in contributing to a secure environment
  4. model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate its significance and relevance, sythesise material and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly
  5. demonstrate higher order communication skills including the ability to present sustained, persuasive & original written arguments cogently & coherently.
  • Assignment 1 (10%)
  • Assignment 2 (50%)
  • Assignment 3 (30%)
  • Participation (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.

1What is Security Studies?
2Academic Research
3Essay Writing
4The State and Society
5The State
6Competing IR Paradigms
7Strategy and Game Theory
9Civil Wars
10Intervention and Counterinsurgency
11Polity and US Decline
12Nuclear Weapons
13The Future of Security Studies

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • 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.

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

  • Security Studies

    By:Williams, Paul D.

    ISBN: 9780415782814


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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