• Class Number 2587
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr John Blaxland
    • Dr John Blaxland
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course will provide a thorough understanding of the contribution that intelligence can make to national and international security. Its main aim is to provide students with a sound understanding of the way in which intelligence is collected and analysed, and how it contributes to national decision-making. To that end the course will examine the structure and oversight of intelligence agencies in the Australian context, identify and analyse cases of intelligence success and intelligence failure, examine both the historical and contemporary use of intelligence (eg in the Cold War and in dealing with international terrorism) and the relationship between science, psychology and intelligence.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. On satisfying the requirements for this course, students will have a sound understanding of the way in which intelligence is collected and analysed, and how it contributes to national decision making. To this end, the course aims to provide students with a good understanding of the structure of the Australian intelligence agencies and the legislation and oversight that underpins their operations; human psychology and how that influences the collection and interpretation of information; historical instances of intelligence successes and failures; intelligence in a military context; intelligence and terrorism.

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 23 February Introduction: what is intelligence and what is the National Intelligence Community?
2 2 March Intelligence Collection - categories and methods
3 9 March Intelligence Processing and Dissemination
4 16 March Analysis Techniques
5 23 March ASIO, ASIS and 20th Century Intelligence reviews
6 30 March Defence Intelligence
7 20 April IGIS and Oversight
8 27 April Scientific Intelligence and WMD programs The ethics of intelligence collection
9 4 May Post 9-11 Intelligence
10 11 May International partnerships
11 18 May Cyber espionage and cyber security operations The future of secret intelligence
12 25 May Crisis Simulation

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Short Assignment - intelligence assessment 30 % 02/04/2023 04/05/2023 1
Essay 40 % 07/05/2023 24/05/2023 1
Exam - Crisis Simulation Role play and brief 25 May 20 % 24/05/2023 22/06/2023 1
In class quiz: multiple choice on material covered in first three weeks 10 % 23/03/2023 23/03/2023 1

* 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.


Students are strongly encouraged to attend the lecture sessions, and to participate in class discussions. Guest lectures will not be recorded and will be conducted as strictly off the record discussions.

Students should anticipate having to speak confidently and eloquently on the basis of the appointment they hold and the situation at hand in the crisis simulation activity in week 12.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 02/04/2023
Return of Assessment: 04/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1

Short Assignment - intelligence assessment

11:59pm Sunday 2 April via Turnitin 

The assignment will be an intelligence assessment brief suitable for high-level decision maker. The exercise is based on open source material. This assignment requires an executive summary but not a bibliography. 1,000 words maximum.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 07/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 24/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1


11:59pm Sunday 7 May via Turnitin 

Write an essay of length 3000 words, inclusive of a 200 word executive summary, on one of the following three topics:

1.   Evaluate this proposition: the biggest players today in information access and analysis are corporations such as Google, so state-based intelligence collection and analysis of data is of diminishing value to government.

2.   How can the intelligence agencies of liberal democracies compete with those of less open states given the differences in state control of information and access to it?

 3.   How does the four-stage intelligence cycle apply in the context of the NIC. To what extent is it fit for purpose?

The executive summary of 200 words should communicate the key points of the essay in clear language suitable for a non-academic and policy focused audience.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 24/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 22/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1

Exam - Crisis Simulation Role play and brief 25 May

To be held in last class of the semester, Thursday 25 May Briefing notes to be uploaded on Turnitin

Explain your (designated) role in the NIC. What role does and could this appointment play in the lead up to and conduct of an IDETF, SCNS, NSC and HIAM? Justify your explanation in the context of your appointment and its relationship to other NIC components. (20%)

Brief counterparts in meetings and engage in crisis meeting discussions (20%)

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 23/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 23/03/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1

In class quiz: multiple choice on material covered in first three weeks

To be held in class on Thursday 23 March:

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.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be marked and returned as soon as possible, no later than the dates indicated on Turnitin.

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 John Blaxland

Research Interests

International Security and Intelligence Studies

Dr John Blaxland

By Appointment
Dr John Blaxland

Research Interests

Dr John Blaxland

By Appointment

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