• Class Number 6540
  • Term Code 3270
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 3 units
  • Topic On Campus
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Katherine Mansted
    • Katherine Mansted
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 10/10/2022
  • Class End Date 25/11/2022
  • Census Date 21/10/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 10/10/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course examines a theme frequently identified as a difficult security challenge for policymakers: the rise of propaganda, populism, and information war, especially in the digital age. The course draws from the interdisciplinary nature of writing on this topic in order to provide students with the conceptual and empirical knowledge to make informed policy-focused assessments and analyses of the subject material.


Innovative assessment approaches (like identifying ‘fake’ news stories and deconstructing them) underscore the national security policy relevance of the material. Case studies on groups like the ‘alt-right’, and a comparative exercise on the national security challenges for democratic states provides students with the opportunity to study current and evolving events as they occur. Students will have the opportunity to combine conceptual understanding with policy awareness. The course will involve discussions with policy practitioners experiences in monitoring propaganda and information operations, who will present their insights on combatting these challenges in an Australian context.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand concepts related to propaganda and information war, with the ability to critically analyse them in a national security context
  2. Evaluate contemporary local, regional, and global challenges relating to propaganda and information war
  3. Critically analyse the responsiveness of security agencies to the security challenges posed by propaganda and information war
  4. Conduct independent research that demonstrates scholarly and practitioner-focused engagement with the subject matter, developing ideas and analysis for both audiences

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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 Monday, October 10
2 Monday, October 17 Assessment 1: Risk Mapping Due
3 Monday, October 24 Assessment 2: Information Campaign Case Study - in class (6 students)
4 Monday, October 31 Assessment 2: Information Campaign Case Study - in class (6 students)
5 Monday, November 7 Assessment 2: Information Campaign Case Study - in class (6 students)
6 Monday, November 14 Assessment 3: Reflective Journal Due (Assessment 4 due after teaching concludes)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Risk Mapping Exercise (Small Task) 20 % 21/10/2022 04/11/2022 1,2
Information Campaign Case Study - Slide Deck and Brief (Medium Task) 25 % 07/11/2022 21/11/2022 1,2
Reflective Journal (Tiny Task) 15 % 14/11/2022 24/11/2022 2,3
Policy Options Paper (Bigger Task) 40 % 25/11/2022 09/12/2022 1,2,3,4

* 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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: 20 %
Due Date: 21/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 04/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Risk Mapping Exercise (Small Task)

KEY INFO: This is worth 20% of your grade. It's due by 11:55pm, Friday 21 October 2022. It will be 1-2 pages.

YOUR TASK: Identify and rank 4-6 risks to Australian national security related to information warfare and propaganda. The risk ranking should be based on evidence-backed assessments about their likelihood and impact (based on factors such as the intent and capability of key threat actors and vulnerability and criticality of Australian systems and institutions). Use of at least one graphic to conceptualise your analysis is encouraged, for example a risk matrix. For text, use of bullet points, headings and subheadings is also encouraged. This Exercise will help frame your thinking for Assessments 3 and 4.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 07/11/2022
Return of Assessment: 21/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Information Campaign Case Study - Slide Deck and Brief (Medium Task)

KEY INFO: This is worth 25% of your grade. You will submit a short slide deck (7-10 slides) and provide a 10 minute brief to your peers. Submission will be in Week 3, 4 or 5 of the course, depending on which week you choose.

YOUR TASK: The goal of this exercise is peer learning and to give you a chance to practice your briefing skills. Each student will choose a different example of an information campaign, and prepare a case study analysis to share with the class. You must sign up to a date and a topic on the sign-on sheet. Each case study will contain 3 sections:

> Background: A short summary of your case (e.g. type of information campaign, when it happened, key players, important context) [~2 minutes]

> Analysis: Analysis about: why the campaign occurred and its likely objectives, how the campaign tried to achieve those objectives (tools, techniques etc), the extent to which objectives were achieved (using qualitative and/or quantitative measures), and any other relevant impacts or outcomes [~6 minutes]

> Implications for Australia: 1-2 lessons Australian policymakers and national security professionals could draw from this case study [~2 minutes]

You should consult between 8 and 10 sources to prepare your case study. Sources should be listed on a separate References slide (using your own preferred style guide) and are not included in the 10 slide maximum.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 14/11/2022
Return of Assessment: 24/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Reflective Journal (Tiny Task)

KEY INFO: This is worth 15% of your grade. It's due by 11:55pm, Monday 14 November 2022. It's only 500 words!

YOUR TASK: Choose one of the cross-cutting questions we've explored across the course, and examine it. There's no set format, but questions you may wish to reflect on include:

  • What have you learnt over the course regarding this question? What surprised you? What challenged you most? What new questions do you have?
  • Do you feel closer to being able to answer this question -- or knowing what evidence and analysis you would need to look for to answer it?
  • How has this question or theme informed your thinking about your current job (if relevant) or how you think you might approach your future work or study?

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 25/11/2022
Return of Assessment: 09/12/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Policy Options Paper (Bigger Task)

KEY INFO: This is worth 40% of your grade. It's due by 11:55pm, Friday 25 November 2022. It's 2,000 words.

YOUR TASK: Write a Policy Options Paper, in the style of the National Security College flagship publication. You'll receive more instruction and training about this.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

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 permitted. 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 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. Extensions may be granted 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).

Katherine Mansted

Research Interests

Katherine Mansted

By Appointment
Katherine Mansted

Research Interests

Katherine Mansted

By Appointment

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