La Trobe University logo

Undergraduate | LTU-POL1SNS-2023

States, Security and International Relations

Enrol today with instant approval and no entry requirements

Study method

100% online


100% online

Entry requirements

No ATAR needed

No prior study


12 weeks

Start dates

  • 31 July 2023

Price from


Upfront cost


HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP available

About this subject

What you'll learn

Understand the main security issues in international relations and the global historical context in which they have developed.

Identify the conceptual building blocks of international relations and use them to analyse global challenges and obligations relating to security.

Recognise the diversity of perspectives on security across the globe and policy implications for traditional security issues that centre on inter-state relations and violent conflict.

Examine the new global challenges of security posed by complex interdependence.

    • • Evolution of International Relations and the modern states system.
    • • What is international security and the IR theory family tree.
    • • States and competition.
    • • Institutions and cooperation.
    • • International Relations as a social construct.
    • • International Relations driven by exploitation.
    • • Global IR.
  • This first-year subject is designed to introduce you to the main actors, concepts, institutions and debates of contemporary international relations. It will give you the basic tool-kit to develop your knowledge and understanding of the central security challenges we face in contemporary international relations. Our aim is to give you the theoretical understanding, the skills and the inclination to dig beyond superficial media representations and develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of of these issues. In POL1SNS we explore the historical context of international relations and the conceptual building blocks that underpin the international system, including key ideas like sovereignty and the nation-state. We examine both contemporary security issues and new challenges associated with human and environmental security. Through our journey in POL1SNS, students will develop a deep appreciation of how we live in an interconnected world, being able to recognize the global context of political issues, and act across cultures and boundaries in international relations.

    • Online quizzes (6 x 5% each, 6 x 200 word count equivalence) (30%)
    • Essay plan (600 words) (20%)
    • Research essay (2,000 words) (50%)
  • For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).

  • The third university established in Victoria, La Trobe University has a diverse community of more than 38,000 students and staff. Its commitment to excellence in teaching and research prepares students to make a bold and positive impact in today's global community. La Trobe provides Open Universities Australia with its core tenets, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

    Learn more about La Trobe.

    Explore La Trobe courses.

    QS Ranking 2023: 20

    Times Higher Education Ranking 2023: 16

Entry requirements

No entry requirements

Why study a single subject?

Bite sized study

Try studying a particular area to see if online study suits you, or upskill in just a few months with a single subject that you’re interested in.

Pursue a dream

With thousands of single subjects to choose from, you can find topics that get you on the path to your higher education goals fast.

Gain Uni credit

Most single subjects are part of a full degree. That means if you’re keen to keep learning, you can gain credit for the subjects you’ve successfully completed.

What to study next?

Once you’ve completed this subject it can be credited towards one of the following degrees

La Trobe University logo


Bachelor of Information Technology

La Trobe University logo


Bachelor of Business

La Trobe University logo


Bachelor of Arts

La Trobe University logo


Bachelor of Psychological Science

La Trobe University logo


Bachelor of Cybersecurity

Single subject FAQs

  • Single subjects are the individual components that make up a degree. With Open Universities Australia, you’re able to study many of them as stand-alone subjects, including postgraduate single subjects, without having to commit to a degree.

    Each of your subjects will be held over the course of a study term, and they’ll usually require 10 to 12 hours of study each week. Subjects are identified by a title and a code, for example, Developmental Psychology, PSY20007.

  • First, find the degree that you would like to study on our website.

    If that degree allows entry via undergraduate subjects, there will be information about this under the Entry Requirements section. You will find a list of 2-4 open enrolment subjects you need to successfully complete to qualify for admission into that qualification.

    Once you pass those subjects, you will satisfy the academic requirements for the degree, and you can apply for entry.

    Our student advisors are here to help you take that next step, so don’t hesitate to reach out when you’re ready! We’ve also made it easier to figure out the right way to get started on our pathways page.

  • Our student advisors are more than happy to help you plan your online study. Get in touch with an advisor by:

    - Booking a free one-on-one consultation

    - Calling, messaging or chatting with us today

  • You can pay up front with your credit card, or you may be eligible for a HELP loan from the Australian government depending on your citizenship status and where you’ll live during your studies.

    For more information about how to pay for your studies visit our fees page or contact a student advisor.

  • When you’ve made your choice, click ‘Enrol now’ on the relevant course page and follow the prompts to begin your enrolment. We’ll ask you to supply some supporting documentation, including proof of your identity, your tax file number, and a unique student identifier (USI) during this process.

    Your university will get in touch with you via email to confirm whether or not your application has been successful.

    If you get stuck at any time, reach out to us and we’ll talk you through it.

    You can also take a look at our online self-service enrolling instructions .

  • Close of enrolment times vary between universities and subjects. You can check the cut-off dates for upcoming study terms by visiting key dates.