• Class Number 2346
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In-Person and Online
    • Dr Andrew Carr
    • Dr Andrew Carr
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces students to the field of Strategic Studies. It examines what distinguishes strategic behaviour from other forms of human interaction such as diplomatic, social, economic etc. It identifies and examines seven constituent parts of a strategic situation - Adversaries, Why, Where, Interaction, Pain, Limits, Policy. It explores how strategy has been conducted over time, as well as the rise of the academic field of Strategic Studies. This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of what is strategy, how to think like a strategist, and the theory and methods foundations to take other STST8000 level courses.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the central questions that animate the subfield of Strategic Studies;
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of a selection of the key canonical texts in Strategic Studies;
  3. Develop their own answers in response to the questions identified in the course and/or posit new, original questions in Strategic Studies;
  4. Identify and evaluate the main methodological approaches of scholars of Strategic Studies; and
  5. Apply key Strategic Studies concepts and theories to historical and contemporary issues and cases.

Examination Material or equipment

Full details will be provided on Wattle.

All readings for this course will be provided via Wattle.

If you begin your studies early or read more widely, the following books would strongly support your studies

·        Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: A History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

·       Beatrice Heuser, The Evolution of Strategy: Thinking War from Antiquity to the Present, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

·       Elinor C. Sloan, Modern Military Strategy: An Introduction, New York: Routledge, 2016.

·        Nathan.K. Finney (ed.), On Strategy: A Primer, US Army Press, 2020.

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 Strategy Please see the "Full Course Outline and Reading Guide" on Wattle for a detailed description of the topic, reading list, and tutorial discussion questions for each week. Classes for this week will focus on what is Strategy and outline the course structure and assignments
2 Adversaries This week explores how groups perceive themselves and others, and why this leads them to reach for the tools of strategy to achieve their goals.
3 Why This week examines why strategy is necessary, including the causes of war
4 Interaction This week looks at Strategy as an interactive dynamic. How does the presence and purpose of another change what is good strategy and why.
5 Where This week looks at the how physical, geographic, temporal and external factors may shape strategic behavior.
6 Pain This week looks at the how physical, geographic, temporal and external factors may shape strategic behavior. Note: Final week for consultations about essays.
7 Limits This week looks at the limits of Strategy. What is it unable to achieve, why is it difficult to undertake, why might we struggle to think strategically?
8 Policy This week explores the link between Strategy and Policy. How do governments use and think about strategy, how do their policies and institutions help or hinder the practice of strategy.
9 Flipped Classroom: The 1991 Gulf War case study This week we will examine a single conflict in depth to see how the constituent parts of Strategy (Us, Them, Where, Why, Interaction, Pain, Limits etc) fit together and influence the outcome. Come prepared to provide answers and discuss the conflict in depth.
10 Future This week we will look at how Strategy may change in the future, and some of the big questions, including its timeless nature, whether art or science, whether machines can do strategy and can it be an ethical practice?
999 Mid-Semester break No classes on week of 11-16 April due to holidays. The STST8001 essay is due Sunday 17 April - 11:55pm via Turn-It-In

Tutorial Registration

Sign up via Wattle

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Research Essay 40 % 17/04/2022 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Strategy in Action Analysis 20 % 08/05/2022 2, 3, 4
3 x Online Exam 30 % * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Class participation 10 % * 2, 3, 4

* 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 17/04/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Research Essay

The Essay Questions will be provided via Wattle in week 1 of the course.

The essay is required to be 3000 words long (This word count does not include references/bibliography). Per Bell School policy a 10% leeway is allowed.

The essay must be submitted via Turn-It-In and is due on Sunday April 17 by 11.55pm. This deadline has been chosen carefully to ensure that you have covered the topics you will need as well as give you the teaching break to ensure that you have plenty of time to think about and integrate those topics.

The purpose of the essay is to develop your independent analytical skills and your confidence in your ability to make an original contribution to this field. This is an academic essay, so focus on using high-quality peer-reviewed academic journals and books published by university presses. You can make limited use of (non-peer reviewed) online materials, blog posts, think-tank reports, media articles etc. for empirical facts to support your argument, but you should not derive your argument per se from these types of sources.

In line with Bell School Policy, any referencing style may be adopted so long as it is done so consistently (ie Footnote or In-Text).

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 08/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4

Strategy in Action Analysis

Write a 1000 word analysis of one of the 7 constituent parts of strategy as applied to the Gulf War.

Week 9 of STST8001 involves a case study of the First Gulf War. This week we will flip the classroom and have the students prepare and present the material. 

Students will be assigned one of the 7 constituent parts of strategy by the course convener in week 2. These are Us & Them, Why, Where, Interaction, Pain, Limits, Policy. You will prepare a 1000 word analysis of how your constituent part applied to the First Gulf War. You may take any angle you wish (such as arguing it was or was not relevant, exploring one small part - a particular battle - or the entire campaign. The choice is up to you, and should reflect your view of what is most important in understanding whether and how your constituent part applied to the First Gulf War.

You should include full academic references for your claims about the conflict and its relationship to strategy. Footnotes are not counted in the word limit.

In the week 9 class, we will come together to discuss these analyses and explore their relationship to the conflict. The presentations in class are not assessed (only the 1000 word analysis). However, contributing in week 9 will be an excellent and nearly final chance to boost your class participation mark.

Due Sunday 8 May 11:55pm via Turn-It-In

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

3 x Online Exam

The examination for STST8001 will occur via 3 online exams, spread out over the course of the semester. In Week 4, Week 7 and Week 10 students will use a Wattle quiz to answer a series of short answer and multiple choice questions.

Each exam will take around 1 hour to complete and they are equally weighted.

Further details will be provided in week 1 of the course.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4

Class participation

The focus of the tutorials will be on providing you with the opportunity to engage with the subject material at an advanced level, rather than on simple content delivery. The aim is to teach you how to think about the complex questions covered by this subject, not what to think. This requires that you undertake sustained independent preparation for every class.

The required readings have been selected carefully with the aim of giving you precisely what you need to prepare for tutorials. You will be properly prepared if you have read the required readings carefully and critically.

The recommended readings are for those who would like to investigate specific aspects of each topic in greater detail, and to guide your preparation for writing the essay and for the exam. You do not need to read the recommended readings in preparation for classes, although you are strongly encouraged to read as much recommended material for each class as you can.

I will be looking for the quality and content of your preparation for tutorials. Note that the emphasis is quality, not quantity. We aim to encourage thoughtful, original, important contributions to class discussions, rather than to inspire a competition about who can say the most in class.

You should come to tutorial prepared to give a brief summary of the main ideas, concepts, or arguments contained in the readings and to critically engage with your fellow students about the topic. Most importantly, you should aim to develop a point of view on the topic for each week and use the classes as an opportunities to extend, deepen, or even change that point of view. You are also encouraged to prepare questions for classes about any material in the readings that is unclear to you or about which you wish to gain a deeper understanding.

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 is 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).
Dr Andrew Carr
02 6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr. Andrew Carr

Dr Andrew Carr

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Andrew Carr
02 6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Andrew Carr

By Appointment
By Appointment

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