Master of National Security Policy

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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.

Degree structure

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Further information

Program Coordinator

+61 2 6125 6261


+61 2 6125 6481

Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5.0/7.0.
  • Admission to most ANU programs is on a competitive basis. Therefore, meeting all admission requirements does not automatically guarantee entry.
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


The Master of National Security Policy requires the completion of 72 units and 1.5 years of full-time study

View full degree details.


The NSC offers the following courses:

NSPO8006 National Security Policymaking

NSPO8007 National Security: Concepts and Methods

NSPO8008 Ethical Challenges for National Security

NSPO8009 Cyber-intelligence and security

NSPO8010 Civil-Military Relations

NSPO8012 National Security and Crisis Management

NSPO8013 Disease, Security and Biological Weapons

NSPO8014 Ethics and Technologies of War

NSPO8017 Malicious Networks: Transnational Terrorism and Crime

NSPO8018 The Evolution of National Security Policy since 1945

NSPO8020 Research Methods in National Security Policy

NSPO8021 Statecraft and National Security in Cyberspace

NSPO8022 Selected Topic in National Security Policy

NSPO8023 National Security in the Indo-Pacific

NSPO8024 American National Security Policy

NSPO8025 Terrorism and National Security

NSPO8026 Energy and National Security

NSPO8027 Propaganda, Information War and National Security

NSPO8028 History and Policymaking

NSPO8030 Coercion and National Security

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 Clarke's picture

Michael Clarke

Associate Professor, National Security College

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Michael Cohen's picture

Michael Cohen

Senior Lecturer; HDR/PhD Convenor

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Adam Henschke

Senior Lecturer

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Phone: +61 2 6125 5201

Room: Room: 2.141

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Jennifer Hunt

Lecturer, National Security College

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Rory Medcalf's picture

Rory Medcalf

Head of College, National Security College

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Sue Thompson

Academic Convener and Senior Lecturer

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Scholarships and fees

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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.

Updated:  16 August 2020/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team