• Class Number 2232
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Andrew Carr
    • Dr Andrew Carr
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

Why do states go to war? What do terrorists hope to gain from harming civilians? And how do peaceful states justify, maintain and use their military to defend themselves? This course explores these questions as it introduces students to the study of Strategy.

The course breaks the concept of Strategy into 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 sub-field 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 + Case Study 1 This week looks at the how physical, geographic, temporal and external factors may shape strategic behavior.This week is also the first of our Case Study Weeks
6 Pain This week looks at the how physical, geographic, temporal and external factors may shape strategic behavior.
7 Limits + Case Study #2 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?This week will host the second of our Case Study Weeks
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 Strategy in Action + Case Study 3 This week examines how strategy is implemented, discussing ideas of grand strategy, emergent strategy, and the processes of writing White papers and Net Assessments.
This week hosts the final of our three Case Study Weeks
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 10 April due to holidays.

Tutorial Registration

1 Seminar for all students - Wednesday 5:00-7:00pm

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Research Essay 40 % 28/04/2024 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Case Studies 30 % * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Weekly Quiz 10 % * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
2 x Online Exam 10 % * 2, 3, 4
Class participation 10 % * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

* 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: 28/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Research Essay


1. 'Winning wars is more about a big economy than a good strategy' - Do you agree?

2. How should we define Strategy? Compare and contrast at least 3 major definitions and argue for one of them as superior.

3. What did Clausewitz mean when he said 'War is politics by other means'? Is this still true today?

4. Why is it important to understand your adversary? 

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 28 by 11.55pm. This deadline has been chosen carefully to ensure that you have covered the topics you will need as well as plenty of time, across the semester and teaching breaks to ensure that you can produce a high quality postgraduate essay.

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

Case Studies

As strategy is a practice, in STST8001 we will regularly seek to practice our strategic skills. In Weeks 5, 7 & 9 we will run formal case studies. There are two components to this assignment.

Part 1 - Case Study Participation - 15%

Students are required to attend and participate in the Case Study discussions in week 5, 7 and 9. These sessions will be filmed and a marking criteria for participation will be provided beforehand to discuss expectations. The aim is not to speak the most, but to provide substantive, thoughtful contributions that support the discussion and enable the class to collectively learn about the case study.

Part 2 - Case Study Reflective Journal - 15%

Following each case study, students are required to submit a 500 word reflective journal. These are due: 

Sunday 24th March - 500 words on Case Study 1

Sunday 21st April - 500 words on Case Study 2

Sunday 5th May - 500 words on Case Study 3

Each reflection journal should discuss how you initially thought about the issues, the key tensions and challenges that emerged during your reading, what you learned or changed your mind about from the class discussion, and your final assessment of what the decision maker should do in this specific case. Further details about the reflection journals will be provided in week 1.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Weekly Quiz

Each week we will have a short quiz related to the lecture and strategy videos. The pedagogic purpose and role of these quizzes will be discussed in the first tutorial. These quizzes can only be taken in-class. No make up quizzes will be offered. However students unable some weeks due to an approved exemption (such as a medical certificate) will not be penalized.

Assessment Task 4

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

2 x Online Exam

There are two online 'review' exams, which cover the material of the previous few weeks. These are conducted at your own time, during the set week, taking up to 1 hour to complete.

They will be held in:

Week 6 (25 - 31 March) Covering Weeks 1-5

 Week 11 (13-19 May) Covering Weeks 6-10

The exams will feature a mixture of short answer and multiple choice questions. Questions will be drawn from all course material, including lectures, tutorials and required readings (though not recommended readings)

Further details will be provided in the first week.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Class participation

As Strategy is a practice, participation in the small group assignments, problem-based learning, seminars and class events is an important element in building your skills as a strategist. This 10% relates to your contribution to weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10. (Participation in weeks 5, 7 & 9 for the case studies contributes to the Case Study assignment score)

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

Research Interests

Dr. Andrew Carr

Dr Andrew Carr

By Appointment
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Dr Andrew Carr

Research Interests

Dr. Andrew Carr

Dr Andrew Carr

By Appointment
By Appointment

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