• Offered by ANU National Security College
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject National Security Policy
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Sue Thompson
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings

Contemporary policy issues often have long historical precedents. History can therefore provide policymakers with some perspective through the knowledge of past patterns, and when used responsibly, it can have a constructive influence on policy. Historical evidence can benefit policymakers as it provides not merely insight into the past, but also a basis for informed decisions, which can be drawn through the examination of continuity and change. 

This course looks at how history can be relied on to enhance an understanding of the present as well as raise awareness of the dangers of the negative abuse of history. It will encourage innovative ways to use historical knowledge to address present and future policy issues. Students will be encouraged to look at historical parallels, challenge existing paradigms and identify major paradigm shifts through a variety of historical case studies. This will be complemented by the perspectives of distinguished policy practitioners, who will reflect on their own experiences in historical context.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an awareness of historical perspectives to understand contemporary national security issues affecting Australia.
  2. Develop an understanding of national security policy within a long-term and complex context.
  3. Critically analyse the benefits of using history as evidence for policy implementation and development.
  4. Conduct independent research.
  5. Develop and communicate ideas, analysis, and argument in a range of forms for professional and scholarly audiences.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Historical Context Assignment (1,500) (25) [LO 1,2,5]
  2. Research Essay (3,000) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Reflective Paper (1,500) (25) [LO 1,2,3,5]

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.


Two-hour weekly seminars (24 hours).

Three two hour extra research skills seminars (6 hours).

Individual study approx. 8-10 hours per week (100-120 hours).

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts



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
2022 $4200
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $6000
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
On Campus
4129 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In Person View
4130 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 Online View

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