In a disrupted world, there has never been a more critical time to understand security.
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.
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 must present a Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5.0/7.0English Language Requirements
- All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students
- 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
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:
LAWS8035 Cyber Warfare Law
LAWS8077 Cyber Law
SOCY6064 Surveillance and Society
SOCY6066 Social Science of the Internet
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
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.
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.
Scholarships and fees
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.
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.
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 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.