Master of National Security Policy


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

Study in-person or online

In 2024, all graduate courses offered by the Crawford School will be available for either in-person or online study. All students are expected to attend live sessions at particular times each week for their courses. Crawford online courses are not ‘study at your own pace’. International students studying on an Australian student visa should enrol in in-person courses.


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 and international students.

Domestic students

This program is without Pre-Sessional Program (PSP) component for domestic students.

Apply by 31 Jan 2024 for Semester 1 2024 and by 31 May 2024 for Semester 2 2024.

International students

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

Key dates for application:

• Semester 2 2024 intake:

Final closing date: 15 April 2024
Final acceptance date: 1 June 2024*

Orientation and Pre-Sessional Program (PSP) are from 11 January to 9 February 2024 for S1 2024 and from 13 June to 12 July 2024 for S2 2024.

• Semester 1 2025 intake:

Final closing date: 15 October 2024
Final acceptance date: 1 December 2024*

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


Contact for inquiries.

Degree structure

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Program Coordinator



1-1.5 years full-time depending on credit.

Admission requirements

At a minimum, all applicants must meet program-specific academic/non-academic requirements, and English language requirements.

A Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5/7. Or, for alternative requirements, click the link here.


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 (one semester, four courses).

Cognate disciplines

If you have prior study in one of the following cognate disciplines, you may be eligible for credit towards your degree:

Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies, Development Studies, Governance, History, International Affairs, International Relations, Law, Non Language Asian Studies, Pacific Studies, Policy Studies, Public Administration, Political Communication, Political Sciences, Security Studies, Strategic Studies.

Program structure

The Master of National Security Policy degree offers a set of core compulsory courses combined with a range of electives so that you can design a degree program that best suits your career and educational goals.

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 degree program structure, admission requirements, and academic rules.

Your career

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Further information

Program Coordinator


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 ANU 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.


Jake Blight's picture

Jake Blight

Associate Professor

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Michael Cohen's picture

Michael Cohen

Senior Lecturer

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Danielle Ireland-Piper's picture

Danielle Ireland-Piper

Associate Professor and Academic Director of National Security College

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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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James Mortensen's picture

James Mortensen

Lecturer and HDR Program Coordinator

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Sue Thompson's picture

Sue Thompson

Associate Professor

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Scholarships and fees

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Program Coordinator


ANU National Security College scholarships

The College offers several scholarships, all of which are outlined here. For additional information and to apply, please contact

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

Updated:  19 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team