Warning! This course has recently undergone a major change and several units are re-titled.

Warning! This course has been withdrawn and is no longer available for new applicants. Students who are already working towards this degree can continue to enrol in units.

Degree structure

Degree details

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

  1. identify contemporary and emerging security threats, whilst applying critical thinking skills in conceptualising risk and threat assessment.
  2. explore a range of research principles and methodologies that are utilised to underpin independent research within the field of International Security Studies (ISS).
  3. analyse a significant and contemporary body of literature related to key concepts that underpin the field of International Security Studies and which identify key theoretical and thematic concepts, as well as traditional and emerging security threats.
  4. communicate acquired knowledge and skills effectively to a range of professional audiences.
  5. present informed, considered and logical judgements supporting and contradicting the arguments of others, in a professional manner, and within a relevant contextual framework applicable to graduate employment opportunities.
  6. critically evaluate academic scholarship and literature pertinent to professional practice parallel to the production of documentation relevant to graduate employment opportunities in a variety of related fields.
  7. model research skills, specifically the ability to select and integrate knowledge from a diverse range of relevant sources; critically evaluate significance and relevance; and synthesise findings in a coherent, rational and sustained academic argument.
  8. synthesise theoretical, thematic and practical positions in relation to International Security Studies which evidence sustained engagement throughout the duration of the degree and permit graduates to present positions on contemporary security scholarship and practice necessary for employment in directly related fields
  9. apply ethical principles that manifest a global outlook built on interdisciplinary and international engagement.

Graduates may find employment with, defence forces, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement. There are also opportunities with NGOs and in the private sector including consulting, insurance and banking, and in the in the private security industry and the cyber security sector.

Higher education

Australian level 7 bachelor qualification or recognised equivalent in relevant field: Natural and Physical Sciences (FOE code 01), Information Technology (FOE code 02), Health (FOE code 06), Banking, Finance and Related Fields (FOE code 0811), Society and Culture (FOE code 09), Communication and Media Studies (FOE code 1007), 0801 Accounting, 080101 Accounting, 0803 Business and Management, 080301 Business Management, 080303 Human Resource Management, 080307 Organisation Management, 080309 Industrial Relations, 080311 International Business, 080313 Public and Health Care Administration; AND GPA of 4.0 out of 7.0


Australian Graduate Certificate or recognised equivalent in a related discipline, including from the humanities, social sciences, economics, business and some hard sciences. See the Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) Plan on the PICT website for details • GPA of not less than 4.0 out of 7.0

VET studies

Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent AND Diploma or recognized equivalent in a field deemed by PICT to relate to security studies, GPA of not less than 4.0 out of 7.0

Work and Life

Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent, GPA of not less than 4.0 out of 7.0; AND Work experience at an appropriate level of seniority and of at least 3 years' duration (full-time equivalent) in a field deemed by PICT to relate to security

English Proficiency Requirements

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

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. Applicants should contact the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (PICT) at Macquarie University for information about eligibility for credit and RPL procedures via https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-admin-services.

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: The double degree will no longer be offered by Macquarie . This degree will not be taking further applications in 2018. Relevant OUA subject offerings will still be available to allow all current students to complete the award requirements.

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

The International Security Studies (ISS) degrees cover a broad spectrum of traditional and non-traditional security issues examined from a regional and global context. International security studies is no longer limited to traditional security challenges such as military threats, terrorism and law enforcement. It also includes non-traditional challenges to human, societal, economic and environmental security. This postgraduate program examines the theoretical and practical frameworks that serve to critically explain and evaluate the security landscape in the ‘Asian Century’.

Recommended Study Pattern

Master of International Security Studies students must complete twelve subjects per the degree structure at the time of admission.

Please note: It is not recommended to enrol in more than 2 subjects per Session

Award Requirements

To qualify for the award of Master of International Security Studies students must complete twelve subjects as indicated in the degree structure at the time of admission.

On completion of admission you are bound by the University Terms and Conditions and must comply with present and future By-laws, Rules, Codes, and Policies, Procedures and Schedules of Macquarie University.

A student who is taking an unduly long time to complete a program of study may be excluded from further enrolment. An unduly long period of time is considered to be effective enrolment longer than 7 years for this Masters degree.

Exit Points

Exit award means an approved lesser award that a student may elect to qualify with provided the requirements of the exit award have been met. Some exit awards are exit qualifications only and are not offered for admission. (This means that the student must meet the requirements of the year they were admitted into the program and not the current years requirements). For further information please contact Macquarie at https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-admin-services.

Choose your subjects


All students in the Master of International Security Studies must complete the following compulsory units.

  • Compulsory Units (five units)
  • Compulsory 800 or 900 Series Units (seven units)

Changes in 2018:

PICX950 has replaced PICX851
PICX860 has replaced PICX901
PICX861 has replaced PICX913
PICX862 has replaced PICX841

The following units have been removed from offer:

Students who did not commence their program in the current year are required to follow the program structure provided to them at the time of admission.

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.