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

This course will examine the origins of the drive for nuclear weapons, the history of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, and incentives and disincentives for nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation.  Students will analyze current nuclear weapons states, “threshold” states, and states that purposefully chose to forgo nuclear weapons development - as well as the importance of non-state actors who seek to influence these states.  The course will also explore the contemporary disarmament debate to shed light on the major obstacles to nuclear disarmament and possible paths around them.  Finally, students will evaluate future trends in nuclear politics, from the importance of regional efforts toward disarmament to the critical role civil society may play in influence the global nuclear future.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Conduct historically-informed analysis of the different nuclear postures of those states that possess nuclear weapons.
  2. Critically examine how policymakers might be influenced by incentives and disincentives for both proliferation and nonproliferation.
  3. Dissect debates surrounding nuclear arms control and disarmament including the contemporary and likely future prospects for both.
  4. Make informed arguments about the best ways to use policy to reduce nuclear proliferation and encourage nuclear restraint.
  5. Analyse and make informed arguments about about the role of new technological developments in challenging the global nuclear order.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation      10%                   
Mid-term quiz                20%                        
Research Essay              40%   
Final Examination          30%

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35 contact hours per semester
A 2-hour lecture session per week for 12 weeks and a 1-hour tutorial per week for 11 weeks of the semester.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 24 units of university courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed POLS2124 or INTR2024.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $3900
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
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
4296 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In-Person and Online View

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