• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject National Security Policy
  • Areas of interest Security Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person

On-campus & remote (online) learning available. Students participate in interactive, real-time classes. 2024 class dates: 2, 9 & 16 September.

Knowledge is integral to security, but the value of intelligence — the process by which information is acquired, analysed and disseminated for unique insights — is under challenge. In an era of disruption, complexity and information saturation, the changing role of intelligence is a central concern for national security policymakers and analysts. This course provides students with sufficient foundational awareness of intelligence issues to enable them to critically evaluate the utility of 21st century espionage and thus anticipate its evolution. The course will focus on future-oriented intelligence issues, notably the rise of open source intelligence and big data analytics, the democratisation of signals intelligence and geospatial-intelligence capabilities once monopolised by the state, the ubiquity of cyber, the collapsing distinction between domestic and foreign intelligence, growing public transparency expectations, and the challenge to 20th century intelligence-sharing alignments, especially the Five Eyes. In line with the NSC signature pedagogy and drawing on the NSC’s network of senior former intelligence officials, practitioner perspectives will be integrated throughout where possible, with the academic convener connecting their insights to the growing scholarly literature on 21st century spying. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary intelligence and the factors impacting intelligence.
  2. Critically analyse and contribute to policy debates on intelligence issues.
  3. Develop and communicate ideas, analysis, and argument related to 21st century intelligence issues in a range of forms for professional and scholarly audiences.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Short introductory quiz (450 words) (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Analytical Essay (2000 words) (50) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Report (1000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3]

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.


The standard workload for a 3 unit course is 65 hours including class time and independent study.


Prescribed Texts

Mark Lowenthal, The Future of Intelligence, Boston: Polity Press, 2017.

 Michael L’Estrange and Stephen Merchant, Independent Intelligence Review, Commonwealth of Australia, 2017.

Preliminary Reading

Christopher Andrew, The Secret World: A History of Intelligence, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018. Conclusion: ‘Twenty-First-Century Intelligence in Long-Term Perspective’.

 Daniel Baldino and Caroline Milligan, ‘Optimising open-source intelligence in the information age’, in Intelligence and the Function of Government, ed. Daniel Baldino and Rhys Crawley, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2018.

 James Clapper, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence. (New York: Viking Press, 2018), Chapter 8-- “Snowden” pp. 214-249

Mark Lowenthal, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy, (8thth edition). Washington, DC: CQ Press.

Siobhan Martin, ‘Spying in a transparent world: ethics and intelligence in the 21st century’, GCSP Geneva Paper, November 2019.

Jennifer Sims, ‘Foreign Intelligence Liaison: Devils, Deals, and Details,’ International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Vol. 19, No. 2 (2006), pp. 195-217


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:
3 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.

3.00 0.06250
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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