Subject details

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

  1. identify key decision-making processes in the formulation and implementation of national security policies and strategies
  2. explain the political and legal framework in which Australian national security policy is made
  3. identify key external stakeholders, such as the private sector, the media, think-tanks and lobby or interest groups, relevant to the Australian national security policy
  4.  critically analyze the concepts of business continuity and continuity of government in relation to national security contingency planning.
    • A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this subject will be provided in your study materials.
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
      • Streaming Multimedia
      • Web links
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links


Note: Level 2 subjects normally assume an introductory level of prior knowledge in this area, e.g. from studying related Level 1 subject or other relevant experience.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject critically examines how the Australian government formulates defence and national security policy. The subject explores the historical development of Australia’s defence policy by looking at the political, geographic and cultural factors that have shaped Australian perceptions of its own security requirements. The subject then discusses the current strategic challenges facing Australia, including the rise of China, the US ‘pivot’ to Asia, regional military modernisation, and the threats emanating from weak and failing states. The subject concludes by examining current Australian defence debates on how best to respond to these emerging security threats and challenges. By the end of this subject, students will possess a deep understanding of the issues involved with how Australia can and might use military force to pursue its strategic interests. The subject complements PICX112, which addresses Indo-Pacific security.

  • Assessment 1 (30%)
  • Assessment 2 (10%)
  • Assessment 3 (20%)
  • Assessment 4 (40%)

Textbooks are not required.

Textbook information is pending.

Related degrees

undergraduate MUR-STC-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Arts Security Terrorism and Counter-terrorism

  • Part I (Level 1) Core units - Major
  • PART II (Level 3) Core units - Major
  • PART II (Level 2) Core units - Major

undergraduate MAQ-ART-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Arts

  • Major in Ancient History
  • Major in English
  • Major in Modern History
  • Major in Philosophy
  • Major in Politics
  • Major in Society and Culture
  • Major in Sociology
  • Major in Creative Writing

undergraduate MUR-ART-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Arts

  • Major in Community Development
  • Major in International Aid and Development
  • Major in Security, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism
  • Major in Sustainable Development