• Offered by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Strategic Studies
  • Areas of interest Neuroscience
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Jean Bou
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

'Strategy' has many modern definitions and uses, from national defence and foreign policy to the business world, but its ancient Greek origins (strategia) alludes to the art of the military leader, or general, in war. This course echoes this ancient and enduring conception to analyse the use of military power to achieve strategic objectives, with a focus on the links between political intent and military action. It explores the nature and character of war, the characteristics of land, sea and air power, and how they might be used to achieve policy ends. In doing so it will examine the pitfalls and risks of military endeavour, the possible benefits, and what military forces can and cannot do. It will also consider the relationship between strategy, operations and tactics, the challenge of political-military relationships, military command systems and how militaries plan operations. Of interest to those seeking better understanding of force as an implement of national policy, the course is particularly appropriate for students considering government service or other positions involving national and international security matters.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the theoretical distinctions between the nature and character of war, and articulate the characteristics of land, sea and air power, with reference to selected military theories.
  2. Articulate the relationship between strategy, operations and tactics.
  3. Analyse the conduct of military operations and identify the role which command practice, command systems, logistics, technology, geography, the political-military interface, and inter-service and coalition relationships play in determining their outcome.
  4. Conduct historical research and critically evaluate historical evidence.
  5. Communicate clearly and persuasively on national and international security matters, in a variety of modes

Indicative Assessment

  1. Seminar and Exercise Participation: Students are assessed on their contribution to discussion in seminars or tutorials, and participation in a war gamed planning activity. (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Reflection Journal: students will maintain a journal that gives consideration to the matters examined in selected weeks of the course. The journal's total word count is 2000 words (exclusive of footnotes/endnotes and bibliography). (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Operational Plan group activity: Following a day spent planning a military operation, students will be required to prepare, in small groups, a 3000-word outline operational plan that reflects their decisions about how to conduct that operation. (20) [LO 3,4,5]
  4. Research Essay: Each student will write a research essay of 3000-words (exclusive of footnotes/endnotes and bibliography), selecting one of several topics offered. (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


Students undertaking this course should expect a workload of 10 hours per week.  This is inclusive of actual contact hours for lectures and also out of class preparation time.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Core reading materials will be available online.

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate degree in security studies or related field


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
2023 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6180
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5797 24 Jul 2023 31 Jul 2023 31 Aug 2023 27 Oct 2023 In Person View

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