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Australian National University

single degree

Master of Arts (Strategic Studies)

A single 1.5 year graduate degree offered by the Sch of International Political & Strategic Studies

  • Length 1.5 years full-time
  • Minimum 72 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.

If you are interested in starting your studies in 2015, please look at the 2015 programs on offer . Otherwise, this program is available for applications until spring session, 2014

This unique and highly regarded ANU graduate program opens the right doors for students seeking a successful career. Our program offers advanced coursework and research opportunities in strategic studies. 
You will develop strong analytical frameworks and practical skills for understanding the leading challenges in strategy and security policy. These approaches are explored in the context of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre's main research and teaching concentrations of Australian defence and security issues, Asia-Pacific security and global strategic issues. 

Career Options

Employment Opportunities

This program is recommended as preparation for PhD study in strategy and defence.

Our graduates are represented in an extensive range of professions including:

  • Defence Policy
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Intelligence
  • United Nations
  • Think Tanks
  • Treasury
  • Overseas Aid
  • Immigration
  • Law Enforcement
  • Private Sector
  • NGOs
  • Journalism

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) should normally have obtained at least a bachelor degree with second class honours, division A, (or equivalent) in a cognate area.


Applicants are required to submit a current Curriculum Vitae and the name and contact details of two academic referees with their application.


Students who have completed the Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies, or Master of Strategic Studies with a minimum grade of pass in each course and a 70% weighted average over all courses may be eligible for admission into the Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) with full credit for units already undertaken. 

Program Requirements

The Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) requires the completion of 72 units, which consists of:

A 48 unit coursework component
A 24 unit research component
The 48 unit coursework component requires:

24 units from the completion of the following compulsory courses:
STST8001 Strategic Studies
STST8002 Grand Strategies in the Asia-Pacific
24 units from completion of courses in the following list:
STST8004 Australian Defence and Strategic Policy
STST8013 China's Defence and Strategic Challenges
STST8017 Special Topic in Strategic Studies
STST8021 Intelligence and Security
STST8026 Nuclear Strategy in the Asian Century
STST8027 Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in an Age of Terror
STST8032 Why and How We Fight: Understanding War and Conflict
STST8033 Contemporary Issues in Australian Defence Policy
STST8051 Great and Powerful Friends: Strategic Alliances and Australia's Security
STST8052 Strategy in Action: The Development of the Operational Art
INTR8067 - U.S. Security Policy in the Asia-Pacific 
MEAS8112 - Dynamics of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 
MEAS8113 - The Gulf Strategic Environment 
NSPO8010 - Civil-Military Relations 
NSPO8013 - Disease, Security and Biological Weapons 
NSPO8014 - Ethics and Technologies of War
The 24 unit coursework component requires:
STST7001 Strategic Studies Sub-thesis Full-time or STST7002 Strategic Studies Sub-thesis Part-time - A 10,000-15,000 word sub-thesis, a literature review and seminar paper via the Strategic Studies Sub-thesis "pathway" 
STST7003 Strategic Studies Internship - A three month internship, a 7,000 - 8,000 word research report, a 2,000 word research proposal, a 3,000 word mid-term report, and an oral presentation of key research findings.

Candidates are required to undertake the 24 unit sub-thesis or internship once they have achieved a Distinction average in the coursework component of their degree with a minimum grade of Pass in any course undertaken. To graduate with the Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) candidates need to complete the sub-thesis or internship at a Distinction level or higher. Candidates not meeting this requirement may be eligible to transfer to graduate with the Master of Strategic Studies.

Elective Study

Once you have met the program requirements of your degree, you may have enough electives to complete an additional elective major,  minor or specialisation.

Indicative Fees

Annual indicative fee for international students


ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to current and future students to assist with the cost of their studies. The University is committed to enabling all students, regardless of their background, to achieve their best at ANU and realise their potential. 

Eligibility for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

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