• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies, Cultural Studies, Asian Studies, Security Studies, Asia Pacific Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

In this intensive course, conducted mostly on the ground in Southeast Asia, motivated students will rapidly build field research skills and awareness of complex borderland issues. They will explore topics including international relations, transnational security, regional trade and ethnic minority group experiences. Actively engaging with informants and communities from Canberra to Bangkok to the borderlands of Northern Thailand, students will learn from richly diverse sources: migrant workers, policy makers, NGOs, law enforcement officials, and many others. Throughout the course, students will also build cultural awareness and basic language skills (in Thai and other languages as appropriate), as tools to facilitate deeper access and engagement.Students' knowledge and analytical skills will be tested and refined during four weeks of field engagements, training and group seminars. Following their in-country experience, students will write a substantial research paper on a topic of their interest, incorporating some of their insights and primary information sources from the field.Placements will be subject to availability and security assessment. Students are advised that due to circumstances beyond the University's control (for example: the onset of specific international security concerns, or international health crises) it may not be possible for this program to run or it may be terminated at short notice or without notice.

Learning Outcomes

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

Students who satisfy the requirements of this course will have the knowledge and skills to:

-         Execute a multidisciplinary research project in a field environment;

-         Communicate appropriately in a wide-range of situations encountered along the Thailand-Burma border;

-         Analyse contemporary political and economic change in a frontier zone;

-         Locate the Thailand-Burma borderlands within academic, journalistic and policy literatures;

-         Explain the social and cultural dynamics of Thailand and Burma in transnational perspective;

-         Reflect critically on field research as a key component of academic output.

Other Information

Please note that this is an in country study tour course, and there will only run if there are a minimum of eight students enrolled. Enrolment in this course will be through the terradotta studio abroad site (https://anu-au-sa.terradotta.com/) as a Short Program. Students are required to register on the system in order to apply for the course. There are a number of scholarships and grants available for student who undertake this course in order to assist them to go. Please contact the CAP student centre  (cap.student@anu.edu.au) for  more information.

The course will complement the following existing courses: Thai 1A and 1B, Thai 2A and 2B, Thai 3A; Burmese 1A; Security and Strategic Studies A and B; Individual and Society in Asia A and B; Burma/Myanmar: A Country in Crisis.

This is a co-taught course. Any cap on enrolments in one course applies to both courses combined.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment is comprised of the following components: 
10% active and constructive participation
- evidence of preparation for activities
- positive representation of self, group and ANU
- punctuality
- quality of input and questions
- contribution to success of peers
- respectful, ethical engagement with sources
- engagement in community-based activities
- demonstrated cultural sensitivity
20% foreign language development efforts to communicate in foreign language(s)
- proactive foreign language learning
- advancement of foreign language skills
- contribution to language development of peers

10% Seminar discussion 
- preparatory notes
- in-field note taking
- post-activity reflections
- short research papers

40% main research paper (4000 words)
- quality of argument/depth of analysis
- effective use of information from field
- effective use of quality secondary sources
- adherence to referencing standards

20% Daily notes & Research 

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


This intensive course is the equivalent of two semester-long ANU courses conducted over 4 weeks in winter session.The first week of the course is an intensive preparation held at ANU in Canberra.Students will conduct field study and researchin Thailand and the border area following.

Requisite and Incompatibility

This course is incompatible with ASIA3014.

You will need to contact the School of Culture History and Language to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

Chachavalapongpun, Parvin, A Plastic Nation: The Curse of Thainess in Thai-Burmese Relations, Lanham, University Press of America, 2005.

Fink, Christina, Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule, Bangkok, White Lotus, 2001.

Lang, Hazel, Fear and Sanctury: Burmese Refugees in Thailand, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2002.

Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker, History of Thailand, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

South, Ashley, Mon Nationalism and Civil War in Burma, London, Routledge Curzon, 2003.


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:
12 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.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $7140
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $10920
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.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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