• Offered by ANU National Security College
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject National Security Policy
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Law, Information Technology, Security Studies, Strategic Studies

The course examines the changing role of intelligence in the cyber age, and the profound national security policy implications that flow from that. It explores new and emerging sources of intelligence emanating from the interactions of people, machines and the environment as these interactions increasingly occur in cyberspace. It examines the new ways in which traditional intelligence is being merged with cyber-intelligence using big data technologies. The role and future of secret intelligence in a world awash with open source information is also analysed. As a course explicitly focusing on a challenge occurring at the nexus of domestic and international policy, this course offers an analytical window into the security challenges of the very near future.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Evaluate the dynamics of intelligence in the age of cyber.
2. Synthesise a body of knowledge of the role of intelligence in the age of cyber and its impact on national security.
3. Analyse the technical, social and political drivers of cyber-intelligence.
4. Demonstrate a good understanding of the interaction of these drivers through the application of theoretical constructs to practical case studies.
5. Demonstrate a sophisticated appreciation of the emerging forces shaping the future of cyber-intelligence  through written and oral work.
6. Demonstrate an enhanced capacity to conduct independent research through written and oral work.

Indicative Assessment

Preliminary essay (1000 words) 20%
Research essay (3000 words) 50%
Examination (1000 words) 20%
Contribution to seminars 10%

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. 

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One two-hour seminar per week (over 12 weeks) with the expectation of a further eight hours per week of independent study

Preliminary Reading

Brown GD (2016) Spying and fighting in cyberspace: What is which? Journal of National Security Law and Policy 8
Cotton-Barratt O, Farquhar S, Halstead J, Schubert S, Snyder-Beattie A (2016) Global catastrophic risks 2016, Global Challenges Foundation & Global Priorities Project, Stockholm
Feakin T (2013) Enter the Cyber Dragon: Understanding Chinese intelligence agencies’ cyber capabilities, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Canberra
Nye JS (2015) International norms in cyberspace Project Syndicate
The Economist (2015) A new age of espionage The Economist, London (1 August 2015)
The Economist (2015) What laws in the jungle? The Economist, London (1 August 2015)
Walsh PF, Miller S (2016) Rethinking ‘Five Eyes’ security: Intelligence collection policies and practice post Snowden. Intelligence and National Security 31:345-368

Cornish P (2015) Governing cyberspace through constructive ambiguity. Survival 57:153-176
Gartzke E, Lindsay JR (2015) Weaving tangled webs: Offense, defense, and deception in cyberspace. Security Studies 24:316-348
Inkster N (2013) Chinese intelligence in the cyber age. Survival 55:45-66
Krekel B, Adams P, Bakos G (2012) Occupying the information high ground: Chinese capabilities for computer network operations and cyber espionage, US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Washington, DC
Lindsay JR (2015) The impact of China on cybersecurity: Fiction and friction. International Security 39

Assumed Knowledge

Students enrolled in this course are assumed to have some knowledge of international politics and current affairs
Required skills: Analytical skills and written and oral communication skills of a high order.
Recommended courses: National Security Policy-making (NSPO8006) and National Security Concepts and Challenges (NSPO8007


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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
7550 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View
7570 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 Online View

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