• Class Number 2607
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr John Blaxland
    • Dr John Blaxland
  • 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


This course provides a detailed investigation into the history, working and challenges experienced by Australia’s security and intelligence organisations. The course is designed to examine and contrast the varying roles and functions of the various agencies as part of Australia’s national security apparatus in the context of its engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. The course considers how the various intelligence and security functions and organisations have evolved and how they have interacted with society and how they have helped shape Australia’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the components of the Australian Intelligence Community
  2. Explain how and why the AIC came to be configured as it is
  3. Explain the role of the AIC in Australia’s national security community and national security strategy
  4. Critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the AIC
  5. Evaluate the significance of the AIC for Australia as an Asia-Pacific power

Field Trips

Visit to the National Archives of Australia in Barton, with an interactive viewing of classified documents and briefings from archives personnel followed by a virtual "Spy Tour of Canberra" -looking at selected espionage-related sites around inner Canberra

Additional Course Costs


Required Resources


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 What is intelligence? Student’s overall performance in tutorials throughout the semester; the quality of the student’s reading journals (expected to take an analytical, rather than a descriptive approach to the readings); a written intelligence assessment; preparation of a short brief describing the student’s particular role in the Crisis Simulation; the student’s performance in the Crisis Simulation.
2 Intelligence collection
3 Intelligence processing and dissemination
4 Intelligence analysis, including the effect of diversity and inclusion (or their absence).  Take-home assessment task.Students will be taught to write an intelligence assessment.
5 Reviews of the Australian Intelligence Community, including the 2024 Independent Intelligence Review. 
6 Research skills - National Archives of Australia visit Exhibition & virtual tour of sites
7 Ethics, Oversight, accountability of the intelligence community, including aspects of diversity and inclusion.  In-class discussion
8 National Intelligence Community & Home Affairs. Students to write a short brief describing their assigned role in the Crisis Simulation.
9 Defence intelligence.
10 Intelligence in the post--9/11 world.
11 Cyber Security & Future of secret intelligence. In-class discussion
12 Interactive  Crisis Simulation  Filmed exercise of a crisis featuring the role of intelligence in government. Students play roles assigned to them at the beginning of the semester and are assessed on their performance in the crisis.  

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class Participation 10 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Brief on your designated role in the Crisis Simulation 10 % 09/04/2024 23/04/2024
Intelligence Assessment 30 % 25/04/2024 24/05/2024 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Final crisis simulation 20 % 28/05/2024 24/06/2023 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Weekly reading journals (weeks 2-11) 30 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

* 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.


The course revolves around two-hour interactive classes followed by one hour of tutorial for which attendance is necessary to complete assigned tasks.


The final crisis simulation is scheduled during the exam period. Make sure to keep your diary free for this mission-critical activity.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Class Participation

Your attendance at class (via zoom) and participation in interactive exercises, including discussion and debate in tutorials, is expected. You are required to have read the essential readings for each week. You will be marked based on the quality of your individual contributions to class. Be aware that non-attendance at class will significantly detract from this interactive learning experience.

10 marks are for participation in class, especially tutorials, throughout the semester.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 09/04/2024
Return of Assessment: 23/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 

Brief on your designated role in the Crisis Simulation

Describe the organisation to which you are assigned and the nature of the role your appointment would be expected to perform in a crisis -- and which you will be asked to play in the final week crisis simulation activity.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 25/04/2024
Return of Assessment: 24/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Intelligence Assessment

Write a 2500 word essay in the form of an intelligence assessment on a contemporary security challenge with the key judgements, or 'bottom line', up front. This task follows the format taught in week 4 - intelligence analysis and techniques. Essays will be marked according to the students’: breadth and depth of research; ability to summarise the key literature; development of a clear and well substantiated argument based on critical, analytical thinking; clarity of writing style; and ability to meet key scholarly conventions such as referencing, spelling and grammar and word count. Your bibliography or footnotes are not included in the 2500 word limit for this assignment. All essays which receive below 50% or greater than 79% mark will be second marked by the course convenor. Essay due date is Tuesday 16 April 2023 at 2359pm.

the essay topic will be posted on Wattle after the week 4 lecture on analysis techniques (5 March).

Marks and feedback will be returned before the end of term exam

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 28/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 24/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Final crisis simulation

An end of semester three-hour, online crisis simulation activity in which students will be expected to role play the appointments assigned early on in the semester. Students will face a rolling series of crises, briefing notes, and crisis meetings to attend and contribute, making suggestions of what is happening what this might mean and how to respond. Participation is critical to a successful completion of the course. It is worth 20 % of your final score. Your contribution will be recorded for audit and accountability purposes.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Weekly reading journals (weeks 2-11)

Students are expected to have read the essential readings. From week 2, write a 400-word reflection on one-or-more items in the essential readings list. Outline key judgements, make some observations and points of criticism. This is worth 3 points per week (for 10 assessed tutorial weeks)

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 John Blaxland

Research Interests

Dr John Blaxland

Wednesday 10:00 12:00
Dr John Blaxland

Research Interests

Dr John Blaxland

Wednesday 10:00 12:00

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