• Class Number 7601
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Rory Medcalf
    • Prof Rory Medcalf
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
    • Kevin Robb
SELT Survey Results

This course examines the structures, processes, actors and norms of Australia's national security policymaking system. The central subject matter of the course includes: the purposes of national security policymaking; Australia’s national security policymaking architecture; actors and interests in the national security community; practical aspects of national security policymaking including strategy and implementation; the role of the private sector, interest groups, the media and academia/think tanks in national security policymaking; leadership in the national security community; national security policymaking in comparable benchmark countries; and the future of national security policymaking in Australia.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically analyse Australia’s national security community
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary issues concerning policymaking processes in the national security community
  3. Analyse concepts related to planning and implementation in a national security context
  4. Conduct independent research and understand aspects of professional practice within national security agencies
  5. Acquire highly developed oral and written communication skills

Research-Led Teaching


Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

various texts to be provided to students via Wattle site

Students are asked to read widely on current issues in Australian national security and international affairs, eg. media, blogs, journals.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lecture - Week 1: From concepts to policy: translating national interests, values and identity into national security policymaking
2 Lecture - Week 2: Politics, parliament and the law
3 Lecture - Week 3: The policy cycle, departments and agencies
4 Lecture - Week 4: The policy-intelligence nexus
5 First assessment item due: recorded spoken policy presentation: framing a policy problem Recorded policy presentation due 5pm Monday 24 August 2020
6 Lecture - Week 5: external influences: private sector, interest groups, media, academia, think tanks, civil society.
7 Lecture - Week 6: Australian case studies (counter-terrorism and/or foreign interference)
8 Mid Semester Break
9 Lecture - Week 7: Strategy, planning and implementation
10 Second assessment item due: research essay Research essay due: 5pm Monday 28 September
11 Lecture - Week 8: Leadership, crisis and risk
12 Lecture - Week 9: Scenario - whole-of-government decision making
13 Lecture - Week 10: Technology and national security policy
14 Third assessment item: policy brief Policy brief due 5pm Monday 19 October
15 Lecture - Week 11: national security policy in comparative perspective (US, UK, India)
16 Lecture - Week 12: emerging issues in national security policymaking (eg. geoeconomics) and prospects for reform

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Spoken presentation on framing a policy problem 20 % 24/08/2020 07/09/2020 1, 2, 3, 5
Research Essay 50 % 28/09/2020 12/10/2020 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Policy brief 30 % 22/10/2020 04/12/2020 1, 2, 3, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are encourage to participate in seminars and tutorials. Participation will be especially beneficial in preparing for the first and third assessment items.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 24/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 07/09/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5

Spoken presentation on framing a policy problem

Due 24 August 2020 at 11.55pm

Length: 5 to 10 minutes

Students will be asked to record a video presentation of 5-10 minutes framing a national security policy problem. Full details including rubric will be provided in week 1.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 28/09/2020
Return of Assessment: 12/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Research Essay

Due 28 September at 11.55pm

Length: 3,000 words




Is constructed in a way that enhances the argument made, methodology is thoughtful, clear and followed by the text

Clearly and persuasively makes a novel and insightful argument

Lucid, easily readable and well presented text, clearly worded and articulate, free from obvious typos or formatting errors

Judiciously referenced, uses a wide variety of reputable sources, critically analyses evidence to support wider claims


Is constructed in a way that makes the argument clear, methodology is suitable and followed by the text

Clearly and persuasively makes an argument

Well written text presented clearly, few typos or formatting errors

Well referenced, uses a variety of reputable sources, some good analysis of evidence


Is constructed in a way that attempts to make the argument clear, methodology is suitable and is largely followed by the text

Attempts to make a clear argument

Understandable text, basic presentation, a handful of textual or format errors

Adequately referenced, uses a variety of sources, displays some awareness of suitability of sources chosen


Is constructed in a way that attempts to make the argument, methodology attempts to be coherent but is not always followed by the text

Attempts to make an appreciable argument

Sometimes confusing textual style, inconsistent formatting, somewhat regular textual or formatting errors

Minimal referencing, few sources chosen beyond course material, little critical engagement with sources


Claims to have a structure but is largely incoherent, methodology consistently ill-applied or absent

Claims to make an argument that is not appreciably attempted, or makes no argument at all

Confusing textual style, poor formating, regular errors in text

Barely referenced, heavily reliant on a small number of sources, no critical engagement with sources used

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 22/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 04/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5

Policy brief

Students will be asked to provide a policy brief providing recommendations for a government to address a national security problem. Full details, examples of previous high-scoring work, and a rubric will be provided by week 6. Due 22 October at 11.55pm. Word length 1500.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof Rory Medcalf

Research Interests

Australian national security, foreign policy, defence, China, India, Indo-Pacific, maritime security, nuclear issues, foreign interference, futures analysis.

Prof Rory Medcalf

By Appointment
Prof Rory Medcalf

Research Interests

Prof Rory Medcalf

By Appointment
Kevin Robb

Research Interests

Kevin Robb

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions