• Offered by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Strategic Studies

This course analyses the application of military force to achieve strategic objectives. It explores the conduct of operations and related factors in all three operational environments (land, sea, and air) and the joint doctrine designed to guide these operations. Among the issues explored are the theoretical and historical underpinnings for the use of armed force, role of the military as a complement to whole of government and broader security capabilities, military decision-making processes, and political-military relationships. Of interest to seeking better understanding of with force as an implement of national policy, the course is particularly appropriate for students considering government service or other positions involving national and international security matters.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students should be able to:

1.       Identify the major trends in the conduct of military operations from 1800 to the present day and articulate the fundamentals of the major operational theories developed during this period;

2.       Articulate the relationship between strategy, operations and tactics;

3.       Analyse the conduct of military operations and identify the role which command practice, command systems, logistics, technology, geography, the political-military interface, and inter-service and coalition relationships play in determining their outcome;

4.       Conduct historical research and critically evaluate historical evidence;

5.       Express themselves clearly and eloquently in a variety of formats – verbal, written, digital; and

6.       Function effectively as part of a small group.

Indicative Assessment

This course will be assessed through a variety of means including written assignments, online discussions, classroom activities, and a scenario-based exercise:

·         Seminar and Exercise Participation (10%): Students are assessed on their contribution to discussion, review of colleague oral presentations, and exercise participation.  This assessment contributes to learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

·         Short Assignment (25%): Students will write a review essay of 2,000 words (exclusive of footnotes/endnotes and bibliography) substantiating or debating an assigned topic. 

·         Evaluation of Colleague Short Assignment Draft (5%): Each student will be responsible for providing a colleague a written evaluation of her/his short assignment.

·         Oral Presentations (20%): Students will be required to deliver a presentation of between 8-10 minutes once during the course. Presentations will be either individual or in pairs.

·         Research Essay (40%): Each student will write a research essay of 4,000 words (exclusive of footnotes/endnotes and bibliography), selecting one of several topics offered.


The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Students undertaking this course should expect a workload of 10 hours per week.  This is inclusive of actual contact hours for lectures and also out of class preparation time.

Prescribed Texts

Core reading materials will be available online.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2958
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4350
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4270 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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