Master of National Security Policy


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Further information

Program Coordinator

+61 2 6125 6261


+61 2 6125 6481

In a disrupted world, there has never been a more critical time to understand security.

Study on campus or online in 2022

In 2022, all courses offered by the Crawford School will be available for either online or on campus study. Online students are expected to attend live online sessions at a particular time each week for their courses. Crawford online courses are not ‘study at your own pace’.


Real-time interaction, discussion and debate between students and with convenors is a central part of the learning experience. Attendance at interactive classes is important for both on campus and online students.

About the program

The Master of National Security Policy degree offers a world-class and policy-oriented qualification in national security, in line with the vision of the National Security College (NSC) as a joint initiative between The Australian National University and the Australian Government.


Our students learn about policy analysis, policy making and policy leadership.

Core courses provide foundations in concepts and practical policy skills, with a focus on navigating the national security landscape in Australia and the wider world.

Electives examine the horizon of present and future risks, from pandemics, foreign interference, terrorism and cyber attacks through to Indo-Pacific geopolitics, US-China tensions, information warfare, technological disruption, energy and environmental concerns. To address these challenges, students may develop a policy grounding in security-related aspects of such areas as bureaucracy, politics, ethics, history, risk-management, leadership and civil-military relations.

In recognition of the multidisciplinary and dynamic nature of contemporary national security, we also allow a wide range of electives elsewhere at ANU: our students shape their own security journey.

This Master’s degree offers a signature teaching model: each course integrates academic expertise from NSC, the Crawford School and across ANU with the insights of leading policy practitioners from Australia and internationally, drawing on the NSC’s trusted networks. Scenario and simulation exercises apply your knowledge to real policy challenges. This policy-oriented teaching provides our students with direct access to the world of government, enabling informed career choices. Our students become part of a supportive community of national security alumni, with opportunities to get involved in the wider public policy activities of the National Security College in Australia’s capital.

This degree equips graduates for careers in government – across the full spectrum of policy departments and intelligence agencies. It also prepares students for the many other professional pathways – in academia, the private sector, international organisations, media and civil society - where it matters to understand 21st century security.

Application Deadlines

Please note application deadlines are different for domestic or international students.

Domestic students

This program is without pre-sessional (PSP) component for domestic students.

Apply by 31 January 2022 for Semester 1 2022 and by 30 June for Semester 2 2022.

International students

Find ANU’s general application and acceptance deadlines by visiting the timetable linked here.

Key application dates

• Semester 1 2023 intake:

Final closing date: 15 October 2022
Final acceptance date: 1 December 2022

Pre-sessional program (PSP) start date: mid January 2023

• Semester 2 2023 intake:

Final closing date: 15 March 2023
Final acceptance date: 1 June 2023*

Pre-sessional program (PSP) start date: mid June 2023

*Some students may need to accept well before this date to allow for visa processing times in their country.


Contact for inquiries.

Degree structure

Apply now

Further information

Program Coordinator

+61 2 6125 6261


+61 2 6125 6481

Admission Requirements

At a minimum, all applicants must meet program-specific academic/non-academic requirements, and English language requirements. Admission to most ANU programs is on a competitive basis. Therefore, meeting all admission requirements does not automatically guarantee entry.

Applicants are required to present a Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5.0/7.0. Or, find out alternative requirements by clicking the link here.

English Language Requirements Applications for Course Credit
  • Applicants with a Bachelor Degree, Bachelor degree with Honours, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in a cognate discipline may be eligible for up to 24 units

Program Requirements

The Master of National Security Policy requires the completion of 72 units which must consist of:

12 units from completion of the following compulsory courses:

NSPO8006 National Security Policymaking

NSPO8007 National Security: Concepts and Methods

A minimum of 18 units from completion of national security policy courses from the following list:

NSPO8008 Ethical Challenges for National Security

NSPO8009 Cyber and Emerging Technologies in National Security

NSPO8012 Leadership, Risk and National Security Crisis Management

NSPO8028 History for Policymakers

NSPO8032 Geoeconomics and National Security

NSPO8033 Climate, the Environment and National Security

NSPO8034 China, America and National Security

NSPO8035 Australia’s Strategic Environment and Future Security Challenges

NSPO8036 Australian National Security Law: An introduction for policymakers

A minimum of 6 units from completion of national security issues courses from the following list

NSPO8040 Gender and Security

NSPO8041 Borders, Migration and Security

NSPO8042 Civil Military-Relations

NSPO8043 Pandemics, Infectious Diseases and National Security

NSPO8044 Energy Security

NSPO8045 Propaganda and Information War

NSPO8046 Terrorism and National Security

NSPO8047 How Canberra Works: a guide for security policymakers

NSPO8048 The Future of Intelligence

NSPO8049 Security in the Indo-Pacific

A minimum of 6 units from the following experiential courses:

ANIP6503 Australian National Internships Program Internship A (Graduate)

POGO8140 Practice-Based Project

CRWF7000 Applied Policy Project

CRWF8019 Public Policy and Professional Internship

NSPO8037 Research Project

A maximum of 24 units from completion of security, strategy and policy courses from the following list:

Cyber Studies

LAWS8035 Cyber Warfare Law

LAWS8077 Cyber Law

SOCY6064 Surveillance and Society

SOCY6066 Social Science of the Internet

Global Security

DIPL8006 Diplomacy, Politics and the United Nations

INTR8062 Humanitarianism in World Politics

INTR8065 Writing International Relations

INTR8067 U.S. Security Policy in the Asia-Pacific

MEAS8115 Islam in World Politics

REGN8007 Violence Against Women in Australia, Asia and the Pacific

STST8002 The New Power Politics of Asia

Public Policy

IDEC8021 The Chinese Economy

INTR8017 Issues in Australian Foreign Policy

INTR8068 Foreign Policy Analysis

POGO8402 Political and Institutional Architecture of Public Policy

POGO8401 Foundations in Public Policy

POGO8136 Participating in Public Policy: Citizen Engagement and Public Talk

POGO8083 Policy Advocacy

POGO8076 Corruption and Anti-Corruption

POGO8045 International Policymaking in the Shadow of the Future

POGO8138 Science, Technology and Public Policy

POGO8235 Engaging China: Working with Policymakers in the PRC

POGO8233 Policy Tools & Mixes

POGO8234 Unpacking Policy Capacity

POGO8231 Leading in Public Administration

POGO8021 Public Sector Ethics

POGO8062 Public Sector Management

REGN8052 Regulation and Governance

Strategy and Defence

STST8001 Strategic Studies

STST8004 Australian Strategic and Defence Policy

STST8013 China’s Defence and Strategic Challenges

STST8021 Intelligence and Security

STST8026 Nuclear Strategy in the Asian Century

STST8027 Insurgency & Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare

STST8056 Strategy and Southeast Asia: Defence and Security Dynamics

STST8068 Asian Strategy and Security: History, Theory, and Practice

Resources and the Environment

EMDV8009 Asia Pacific Environmental Conflicts: Causes and Solutions

EMDV8079 Water Politics on a Modified Planet

EMDV8080 International Climate Change Policy and Economics

EMDV8081 Domestic Climate Change Policy and Economics

EMDV8124 Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

IDEC8089 Energy Economics

A maximum of 24 units from completion of a research thesis:

NSPO8031 Thesis (24 units)

As a flexible and multi-disciplinary degree, the Master of National Security Policy also enables you to study a range of quality elective courses from similar fields across the ANU campus. Please consult the full program guide for more information about elective courses and internships available to you.

Your career

Apply now

Further information

Program Coordinator

+61 2 6125 6261


+61 2 6125 6481

Your career

Whether your career aspirations lie in government, the private sector, international organisations or the media, a degree from the NSC can help you achieve them. The NSC’s graduate programs will give you both a strong theoretical underpinning and a practical understanding of the national, regional and global security challenges that will shape the 21st century. You’ll be taught by leaders in their fields and gain access to top Australian and overseas officials from government and the private sector.

At the National Security College, you’ll be part of a new generation of professionals from across Australia and around the world who are engaging with applied national security policymaking in Australia’s capital. You’ll gain an internationally respected qualification in national security with a focus on the dynamic Indo-Pacific region and develop the skills and networks you’ll need to further your career.


David Brewster's picture

David Brewster

Senior Research Fellow, NSC

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Michael Cohen's picture

Michael Cohen

Senior Lecturer; HDR/PhD Convenor

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Duncan Lewis's picture

Duncan Lewis

Professor in the Practice of National Security

Katherine Mansted's picture

Katherine Mansted

Senior Fellow in the Practice of National Security

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Rory Medcalf AM's picture

Rory Medcalf AM

Head of College, National Security College

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Heather Smith's picture

Heather Smith


Sue Thompson's picture

Sue Thompson

Associate Professor and Academic Convenor

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Dirk Van Der Kley's picture

Dirk Van Der Kley

Research Fellow

Johanna Weaver's picture

Johanna Weaver

Director | Tech Policy Design Centre | Australian National University


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Scholarships and fees

Apply now

Further information

Program Coordinator

+61 2 6125 6261


+61 2 6125 6481

Office of National Intelligence and National Security College Scholarship for Women

The objectives of the Scholarship are to foster the talent of Australian women interested in national security and pursuing a career in the national intelligence community, to showcase the College’s programs for high achievers, and to provide an opportunity to a standout woman who may otherwise be unable to undertake a Master of National Security Policy degree due to financial constraints.

Funding for this award has been provided by the Office of National Intelligence.

Find out more about this scholarship

National Security College Entry Scholarship for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Students

The ANU NSC Scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students offers a partial fee grant to a new applicant from an Indigenous community who has received an offer to join either program.

Each year the National Security College may award a partial tuition scholarship known as the National Security College Entry Scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Students.

Find out more about this scholarship.

National Security College HDR Travel Grant

The National Security College HDR Travel Grant provides additional research funding for new or existing domestic higher degree by research students from the College to undertake fieldwork or attend conferences.

ANU scholarships

ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to students to assist with the cost of their studies.

Eligibility to apply for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are. Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

Further information

Find out more about scholarships and support that may be available to you for a postgraduate qualification at ANU.

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‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

Updated:  10 August 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator