• Class Number 7550
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic On Campus
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr James Mortensen
    • Dr James Mortensen
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

The course examines cyber and other emerging technologies as a domain where states project power and protect their interests. It considers the interaction of state and non-state actors, cyber enabled conflict and cooperation, as well as cyber-enhanced tools of statecraft including espionage and information operations. It also considers how states are adapting to the threats and opportunities in this new domain, including those presented by emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), drones and artificial intelligence. Throughout, it explores the future of cyberspace and emerging technologies and the potential to disrupt ideas of national security.


Incorporating insights from scholars and practitioners at the ANU Cyber Institute as well as the wider academic and policy communities, this course draws from security studies, comparative politics, international law, psychology, and computer science. The focus of readings, lectures, and assessments will be more strategic than technical, though there will be coverage of the necessary technical vocabulary with which national security scholars and practitioners must be conversant. Throughout, global case studies are utilised to help illuminate different conceptual and theoretical perspectives, with an eye towards responsive security policy formulation.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand the challenges and emerging technological trends states face in cyberspace
  2. Demonstrate a sophisticated appreciation of the emerging forces and technologies shaping the future of state and non-state interactions in cyberspace
  3. Communicate analysis and argument related to cyber and emerging technologies, including properly applying correct terminology in technical and national security policy contexts
  4. Demonstrate a good understanding of the measures, drivers and implications of cyberpower as well as the implications for cyber conflict and cyber cooperation
  5. Analyse comparative national security strategies in cyberspace and emerging technology through case studies

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 Introduction; Hope, hype and analysis
2 What makes us digital? Voltages, clouds and other abstractions
3 Hacking and cybersecurity
4 Artificial learning and machine intelligence
5 Supply, demand and production First assignment due end of week 5
6 Weaponised digital systems and military tech
7 The public/private divide
8 Social connectivity and information control
9 Intelligence gathering, surveillance and counter-intelligence
10 Deepfakes and other unrealities Second assignment due end of week 10
11 Quantum computers and the future of digital technology
12 The future of cyber policy Final assignment due in exam period (07/11)

Tutorial Registration

No registration required

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Short essay 20 % 29/08/2021 14/09/2021 1,2,3,4,5
Essay 1 50 % 17/10/2021 04/11/2021 1,2,3,4,5
Final assessment 30 % 07/11/2021 02/12/2021 1,2,3,4,5

* 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.


Participation is encouraged but will not be assessed.


No final exam

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 29/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 14/09/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Short essay

Due: Week 5

Length: 1,200 - 1,500

Weighting: 20%

A short essay. Students will choose one question from a list distributed in week one. Each question will pertain to a specific technological example taken from the first five weeks of the course. Use of course readings is encouraged, however please note that as per the marking rubric, to achieve the highest possible result, students will need to demonstrate initiative through engagement with wider sources.

 Students may request permission to do a question of their own choosing, however it will be subject to approval. In the case of questions referencing Australia, any other country may be substituted.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 17/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 04/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Essay 1

Due: Week 10

Length: 3,000

Weighting: 50%

Students will choose a single question of a list distributed in week one. Responses should be clear in their aims; they should have a concise statement of the intent of the piece, have clear and consistent relevance to the question, and make concrete claims as to the importance of the answer to the question addressed. Essays do not have to follow specific methodologies presented earlier in the class, however analytical rigor will be assessed in line with the rubric and students are encouraged to both think deeply on their approach, and to express that approach clearly in the text.

 Students may request permission to write on a question of their own design, however permission will be granted on the basis of; 1) the question relating to a concept or technology relevant to the course, and 2) on the basis of the question being clear and concise.






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 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 formatting, 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: 07/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final assessment

Due: 7 November 2021

Length: 800-1,000 wds

Weighting: 30%

Students will be tasked with recommending/arguing for a particular course of action in regards to cyber and critical technology; this may be something taken from the course material, or an issue found elsewhere. Students will be assessed on the quality of their analysis and their clarity and relevance of their justifications, more so than form or content. The written portion itself does not need to conform to a specific essay or report format, and can instead be framed as a short opinion piece or policy paper if students choose.

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


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 without an extension 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.

Returning Assignments

Work will be returned via turnitin/gradebook within 18 days of submission

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).
Dr James Mortensen

Research Interests

Dr James Mortensen

By Appointment
Dr James Mortensen
02 6125 0585

Research Interests

Dr James Mortensen

By Appointment

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