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Master of National Security Policy

  • Masters (Coursework)

Commencing in 2021, all courses offered by the Crawford School will be available for either online or on campus study. The online and in person learning modes will assist you to secure an un-interrupted study experience in an uncertain world.

Key details

Degree Type
Masters (Coursework)
Course Code

About this course

Commencing in 2021, all courses offered by the Crawford School will be available for either online or on campus study. The online and in person learning modes will assist you to secure an un-interrupted study experience in an uncertain world.

The Master of National Security Policy degree offers a world-class and policy-oriented qualification in national security, in line with the vision of the National Security College (NSC) as a joint initiative between The Australian National University and the Australian Government.

Our students learn about policy analysis, policy making and policy leadership.

Core courses provide foundations in concepts and practical policy skills, with a focus on navigating the national security landscape in Australia and the wider world.

Electives examine the horizon of present and future risks, from pandemics, foreign interference, terrorism and cyber attacks through to Indo-Pacific geopolitics, US-China tensions, information warfare, technological disruption, energy and environmental concerns. To address these challenges, students may develop a policy grounding in security-related aspects of such areas as bureaucracy, politics, ethics, history, risk-management, leadership and civil-military relations.

In recognition of the multidisciplinary and dynamic nature of contemporary national security, we also allow a wide range of electives elsewhere at ANU: our students shape their own security journey.

This Master’s degree offers a signature teaching model: each course integrates academic expertise from NSC, the Crawford School and across ANU with the insights of leading policy practitioners from Australia and internationally, drawing on the NSC’s trusted networks. Scenario and simulation exercises apply your knowledge to real policy challenges. This policy-oriented teaching provides our students with direct access to the world of government, enabling informed career choices. Our students become part of a supportive community of national security alumni, with opportunities to get involved in the wider public policy activities of the National Security College in Australia’s capital.

This degree equips graduates for careers in government – across the full spectrum of policy departments and intelligence agencies. It also prepares students for the many other professional pathways – in academia, the private sector, international organisations, media and civil society - where it matters to understand 21st century security.

TEQSA Provider ID: PRV12002 (Australian University) | CRICOS Provider Code: 00120C

Study locations


Course structure

The Master of National Security Policy requires the completion of 72 units which must consist of:

12 units from completion of the following compulsory courses:

NSPO8006 National Security Policymaking

NSPO8007 National Security: Concepts and Methods

A minimum of 18 units from completion of national security policy courses from the following list:

NSPO8008 Ethical Challenges for National Security

NSPO8009 Cyber and Emerging Technologies in National Security

NSPO8012 Leadership, Risk and National Security Crisis Management

NSPO8028 History for Policymakers

NSPO8032 Geoeconomics and National Security

NSPO8033 Climate, the Environment and National Security

NSPO8034 China, America and National Security

NSPO8035 Australia’s Strategic Environment and Future Security Challenges

NSPO8036 Australian National Security Law: An introduction for policymakers

A minimum of 6 units from completion of national security issues courses from the following list

NSPO8040 Gender and Security

NSPO8041 Borders, Migration and Security

NSPO8042 Civil Military-Relations

NSPO8043 Pandemics, Infectious Diseases and National Security

NSPO8044 Energy Security

NSPO8045 Propaganda and Information War

NSPO8046 Terrorism and National Security

NSPO8047 How Canberra Works: a guide for security policymakers

NSPO8048 The Future of Intelligence

NSPO8049 Security in the Indo-Pacific

A minimum of 6 units from the following experiential courses:

ANIP6503 Australian National Internships Program Internship A (Graduate)

POGO8140 Practice-Based Project

CRWF7000 Applied Policy Project

CRWF8019 Public Policy and Professional Internship

NSPO8037 Research Project

A maximum of 24 units from completion of security, strategy and policy courses from the following list:

Cyber Studies

LAWS8035 Cyber Warfare Law

LAWS8077 Cyber Law

SOCY6064 Surveillance and Society

SOCY6066 Social Science of the Internet

Global Security

DIPL8006 Diplomacy, Politics and the United Nations

INTR8062 Humanitarianism in World Politics

INTR8065 Writing International Relations

INTR8067 U.S. Security Policy in the Asia-Pacific

MEAS8115 Islam in World Politics

REGN8007 Violence Against Women in Australia, Asia and the Pacific

STST8002 The New Power Politics of Asia

Public Policy

IDEC8021 The Chinese Economy

INTR8017 Issues in Australian Foreign Policy

INTR8068 Foreign Policy Analysis

POGO8402 Political and Institutional Architecture of Public Policy

POGO8401 Foundations in Public Policy

POGO8136 Participating in Public Policy: Citizen Engagement and Public Talk

POGO8083 Policy Advocacy

POGO8076 Corruption and Anti-Corruption

POGO8045 International Policymaking in the Shadow of the Future

POGO8138 Science, Technology and Public Policy

POGO8235 Engaging China: Working with Policymakers in the PRC

POGO8233 Policy Tools & Mixes

POGO8234 Unpacking Policy Capacity

POGO8231 Leading in Public Administration

POGO8021 Public Sector Ethics

POGO8062 Public Sector Management

REGN8052 Regulation and Governance

Strategy and Defence

STST8001 Strategic Studies

STST8004 Australian Strategic and Defence Policy

STST8013 China’s Defence and Strategic Challenges

STST8021 Intelligence and Security

STST8026 Nuclear Strategy in the Asian Century

STST8027 Insurgency & Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare

STST8056 Strategy and Southeast Asia: Defence and Security Dynamics

STST8068 Asian Strategy and Security: History, Theory, and Practice

Resources and the Environment

EMDV8009 Asia Pacific Environmental Conflicts: Causes and Solutions

EMDV8079 Water Politics on a Modified Planet

EMDV8080 International Climate Change Policy and Economics

EMDV8081 Domestic Climate Change Policy and Economics

EMDV8124 Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

IDEC8089 Energy Economics

A maximum of 24 units from completion of a research thesis:

NSPO8031 Thesis (24 units)