Warning! This degree has recently undergone a major change. Please refer to the transition arrangements for more information.

Degree structure

Degree details

By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:


Identify contemporary and emerging security threats.

Apply critical thinking skills in evaluating risk and threat assessment pertinent to the field of Security Studies.

Explore a range of theoretical principles that are necessary to contextualise traditional and non-traditional security threats.


Present informed, considered and logical judgements within a framework relevant to a dynamic security environment. Demonstrate ethical principles that manifest a global outlook through engagement with interdisciplinary and international issues; evidenced through balanced and clearly considered written and oral communication.

Communicate acquired knowledge and skills effectively to a range of professional audiences. Present informed, considered and logical judgements within a framework relevant to a dynamic security environment.


Evidence creative and innovative solutions to contemporary security challenges through means of case based assessment and subject participation.

Analyse theoretical, thematic and practical positions pertinent to professional practice in the field of security studies, in preparation for graduate employment and career based professional development.

Select and integrate source based knowledge from a diverse range of positions relevant to the field of security studies, which demonstrate social responsibility and appreciate of diversity in the application of relevant policy and professional positions

The Bachelor of Security Studies has been designed to meet the needs of public and private sector employers in the security field. It is ideal for prospective students who want to enter the workforce as a security analyst in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors.

The core content of the program is designed to give graduates a strong knowledge and skill base to make them attractive candidates for government graduate programs, entry into commercial enterprises with large operations, private consultancies, non-governmental organisations, statute authorities or any organisation which regularly deals with actors in the security field.

Higher education via OUA

  • 4 OUA Undergraduate subjects at pass level from any OUA provider; OR
  • 2 OUA Undergraduate subjects at credit grade level from any OUA provider; OR

Higher education

Detailed information regarding Macquarie Admissions can be found here:

Secondary education

A competitive ATAR of 75, a Selection Rank of 75 or equivalent  OP of 12.

English Proficiency Requirements

IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent

Special requirements

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University and OUA offer a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others.

 All unit materials are delivered fully online. Students with special needs can apply for alternative assessment arrangements. Contact us at https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-admin-services

Macquarie University recognises formal, informal and non-formal learning to support an individual's lifelong learning goals. An application for RPL will need the following support:

Evidence for formal learning

1. Official Academic transcript including all grades, on an institution letterhead. If your supporting documents are in a language other than English, this must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

2. Subject/Subject outlines 

You need to supply a copy of the subject outline to support your request for exemption of subjects at Macquarie University.

Evidence for informal and non-formal learning

Suitable portfolio items e.g. Certificates from accredited degrees, results from other non-credited degrees, certificates and statements from employer degrees or professional bodies, employment history and position descriptions, employers verifying your knowledge, skill and experience, details of community activities involving significant responsibilities, on-the-job assessment record, performance management reports etc.

You will need to complete an application for credit form and send to the OUA Program Manager at Macquarie University. There is no charge for students. 

To request for a prerequisite waiver, please refer to Macquarie's website at https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/non_award

Please note: All Macquarie subjects are now available in Semesters. Please refer to the Key Dates page for further information.

The program focuses on security, risks and policy responses in today’s society. It includes risk analysis, strategic planning, intelligence, emergency response and national resilience. The curriculum has been designed in consultation with major industry stakeholders from the public and private sectors. It combines academic conceptual skills with vocational skills in security analysis. Core subjects focus on security concepts and issues and applying analytical tools to contemporary policy challenges.

The Bachelor of Security Studies is structured around three key themes: the contemporary security environment, the range of options available to governments and businesses to manage and respond to security challenges, and emerging and ongoing challenges to security. The program emphasises both analytical skills and creativity in responding to new and complex challenges.

Being a Macquarie student means you aren’t restricted to picking subjects from just one field. You’re encouraged to extend your educational scope. Students are required to complete a People and Planet subject to meet the requirement of their Macquarie degree. This holistic approach to education encourages you to take subjects out of interest and curiosity. In some cases these areas of study digress from your career path, but doing these subjects make things interesting. We provide a list of People and Planet subjects as a guide, which makes it easy for every student to choose outside of their required study plan. People subjects are specifically designed to focus on the social world and develop socio-cultural literacy. While Planet subjects are more focused on developing scientific literacy and an understanding of the physical world.

In 2016 the Macquarie subject codes have changed. All subjects previously studied under the old subject code will be recognized as equivalent.

Recommended Study Pattern

Minimum number of units for the degree: 24

  • Of your 24 units, complete a maximum of 10 units at 100 level
  • Minimum number of units at 200 level or above: 14
  • Minimum number of units at 300 level: 6

Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

Specific minimum requirements:

100 level

PICX110 - Introduction to Security Studies
PICX111 - Security in an Age of Risk
PICX112 - Strategy and Security in the Indo-Pacific
PICX113 - Terrorism in the 21st Century 

Required one of:
CCJ13 - Law, Government and Policy (Griffith University)
SCB160 - Outbreak: The Detection and Control of Infectious Disease (RMIT University)

200 level

PICX210 - Intelligence and Counter Intelligence  
PICX211 - National Security: Policy and Strategy 
PICX212 - Modern Warfare 
PICX213 - National Resilience: Crisis Response and Emergency Management 

Required one of:
POIX207 - Governance, Power and Public Policy
CCJ28 - Situational Crime Prevention and Security Management (Griffith University)
POL232 - Military Force and Counterterrorism (Murdoch University)

300 level

PICX320 - Ethical Practice in Security Studies and Criminology (C)
PICX310 - Insecurity and Development
PICX311 - Cyber Security in Practice
PICX313 - Strategies of Political Violence

Required one of:
CCJ38 - Crime Analysis and Investigation (Griffith University)
IBA312 - Management Strategy and Decision Making (Griffith University)
LAW30006 - Cyberlaw (Swinburne University)
POL335 - Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (Murdoch University)

Required: 9  Electives



Units marked with a 'C' are Capstone units.

Award Requirements

Students must complete 24 subjects of study, comprised of

  • 12 core subjects
  • 3 specified electives
  • 9 open electives from any OUA provider (including Macquarie). 4 of these 9 open elective subjects must come from Levels 2 or 3 units. The other 3 electives can come from any level


  • No more than 10 subjects at level 1
  • A minimum of 14 subjects at level 2 or above
  • A minimum of 6 subjects at level 3

The degree will normally be of three years duration for full-time students, but part-time students may take longer.

Choose your subjects


Current students who commenced their enrolled in Macquarie OUA programs are exempt from completing Planet unit requirements.


Four of these seven open elective subjects must come from levels 2 or 3 subjects. The other three electives can come from any level.

Students are eligible to register for this degree after successfully completing at least 2 subjects from the degree with a credit average, or passing four subjects from the degree. Registration is free for all students. If you are not eligible for CSP, please complete the non-CSP registration form (Application Form for Undergraduate Studies: Non-CSP and International Applicants).

Once registered you will receive the degree structure that you must follow to achieve the qualification.

Please contact us at https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-admin-services for further enquiries.


Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy will not be permitted to register in Macquarie University degrees offered through OUA. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.

All students registering in the Bachelor of Security Studies must complete the structure at the time of registration. Retired units that have been completed will be counted towards the degree. Please contact Macquarie University for further assistance at https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-admin-services.

Changes in 2019:


All students commencing the degree program from Session 1 2019 are exempt from the general undergraduate requirements of the completion of a People and a Planet unit .

  • Current students enrolled in Macquarie OUA programs are exempt from completing Planet unit requirements.
  • The following elective options have been removed from the elective stream:
    INF20003 - Requirements Analysis and Modelling
    INF30003 - Business Information Systems
  • PSYX130 - Organisational Behaviour has been removed from the Level 1 Specified Electives stream