• Offered by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Strategic Studies
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences, Physics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Stephan Fruehling
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

All inquiries for this course should be directed to the lecturer: Mansoor.Ahmed@anu.edu.au

This course examines the theory and practice of nuclear strategy, with a particular focus on nuclear deterrence in the Indo-Pacific. While the end of the Cold War raised international hopes for the ultimate abolishment of nuclear weapons, the acquisition of nuclear weapons by India and Pakistan from 1998, followed by North Korea demonstrated their continuing attractiveness for at least some countries in the Indo-Pacific. As great power competition has intensified since 2014, the role of nuclear weapons in great power conflict has also experienced a resurgence, where many stratgic questions of the Cold War about deterrence credibility, strategic stability, the role of arms control pose themselves in a new form.

This course reviews the development and current state of nuclear weapons technology, and how nuclear weapons have enabled various deterrence and warfighting strategies during and after the Cold War. The United States, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and India are all discussed with a particular emphasis on the interplay and relationship between the political goals, available technology, and employment strategies, before the course concludes with a session on Australia's nuclear policy in past, present and future.

The course includes three 3-hour long debate sessions where the whole class will form teams to prepare and argue major questions of nuclear strategy.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of nuclear weapons technology as well as theories of deterrence for nuclear strategy;
  2. Place ideas and policies relating to nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy into their historical context
  3. Analyze the factors underlying nuclear strategies of countries in the Asia-Pacific; and
  4. Conduct research and communicate clearly about nuclear weapons related issues to academic and non-academic audiences.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Short written assignment (20) [LO 1,4]
  2. Essay (40) [LO 1,3,4]
  3. Examination (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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.


130 hours throughout the semester.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed texts


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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2566 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

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