Strategic studies

“We aim to prepare and educate the next generation of strategic leaders — military, civilian and academic — in Australia and the Asia–Pacific region by providing internationally-recognised graduate and undergraduate programs in strategic and defence studies.”

-Dr Andrew Carr, Convener, Master of Strategic Studies

With an Asia transformed by the rise of China and India, and a world preoccupied with security issues, the current century has been defined by global strategic challenges. At the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC), you can acquire the analytical frameworks you need to understand the complexity of this contemporary strategic environment, and Australia’s place in it.

Our programs

The Centre’s programs allows students to investigate areas such as Asia’s strategic transformation the conduct of operations across the spectrum of conflict, including counter insurgency global security issues such as the use of terrorism by extremist group strategic policy options for Australia and the region the allocation of defence and intelligence resources in responding to these issues.

The SDSC offers two Masters programs:

Master of Strategic Studies

The Master of Strategic Studies combines the theoretical and practical expertise of leading academics and policymakers to deliver Australia’s foremost strategic studies program. This unique and highly regarded ANU graduate program opens the right doors for students seeking a successful career in strategic and security policy.

The program is designed for graduates who are seeking to launch or advance their careers in defence policy, foreign affairs, security, intelligence, academia and journalism. Graduates will develop skills relevant to organisations such as non-governmental organisations, think tanks, militaries and foreign ministries.

You will develop strong analytical frameworks and practical skills for understanding the leading challenges in strategy and security. These approaches are explored in the context of the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre’s main research and teaching concentrations of Australian defence and security issues, Asia–Pacific security and global strategic issues.

Learn more about the program structure and courses.

Master of Strategic Studies (Advanced)

The Master of Strategic Studies (Advanced) offers outstanding graduate level students the opportunity to develop their research skills and produce a sub-thesis which contributes to the body of strategic studies knowledge.

This program provides a pathway to doctoral programs that have a research thesis as a prerequisite. It comprises two parts: a coursework component and a research thesis.

Students will work closely with a supervisor from the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre. Students wishing to pursue or leave open the possibility of further research work or PhD study are strongly encouraged to complete the Master of Strategic Studies (Advanced).

Learn more about the program structure and courses.

Internships

Strategic studies internships are available to outstanding students, and offers the opportunity to undertake an internship with organisations such as the International Institute for Strategic Studies-Asia (Singapore); the Australian Strategic Policy Institute; the Chair of the Defence sub-committee for the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Senator David Fawcett; or the Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon David Feeney MP.

Class profile

At the Bell School, students are encouraged to actively participate in classes. The class sizes are usually small and intimate, which boosts the scope for discussions and debates amongst students. The classes comprise of students from diverse backgrounds, stimulating an environment of shared experiences. The Centre’s programs are designed to accommodate the needs of full-time professionals looking to advance their careers, with flexible scheduling for part-time study and intensive teaching sessions. Therefore, classes are usually held after work hours.

Additionally, the Centre has an active events schedule hosting various seminars, public lectures, book launches and networking events throughout each semester. High profile speakers and guests for recent events include Dennis Richardson AO (Secretary, Dept. of Defence), the Hon Marise Payne (Defence Minister), Ambassador Charles Ries, and US General (Retd) Jim Mattis.

The Centre’s programs allow students to investigate areas such as:

  • Asia's strategic transformation
  • The conduct of operations across the spectrum of conflict, including counter insurgency
  • Global security issues such as the use of terrorism by extremist group
  • Strategic policy options for Australia and the region
  • The allocation of defence and intelligence resources in responding to these issues.

SDSC is uniquely positioned to strike the right balance between theory and practice as our teaching faculty includes leading academics and shapers of strategic policy, including:

Career scope

A Master of Strategic Studies will equip you with the professional skills to advance your career in defence policy, foreign affairs, security, intelligence academia and journalism. Graduates have gone on to positions with the Department of Defence, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and other foreign ministries, private security and defence companies, and to work in international corporations, non-government organisations and academia.

Our Master of Strategic Studies will prepare you with the necessary skills to advance your career in a wide range of professions such as:

  • Consultancies
  • Diplomatic / Foreign service
  • Foreign affairs
  • Government and public service
  • Intergovernmental agencies
  • International trade and business
  • International development and aid
  • Journalism
  • Multinational corporations
  • Private not for profit
  • University teaching and research
  • Think tanks, policy institutes, and research centres

Enquire now to find out more

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Graduate profile

Meet Rohana Prince

Meet Rohana Prince

I chose to do the Master of Strategic Studies program in order to study with Australia’s leading strategic thinkers.

» read more

Anna Samson

The big picture

"It gives you insights, and challenges the ways in which you’ve looked at these sorts of problems. I could have done a lot of other courses which reinforced what I already knew, but what strategic studies offers is that big picture analysis that allows you to start asking and answering some really big questions."

» read more

Meet Esther Sainsbury

Meet Esther Sainsbury

I did my Masters in the evening while working full time at the Department of Defence. It was manageable because the Centre’s programs are designed to accommodate the needs of full-time professionals looking to advance their careers. What I learned in my evening classes I applied in my professional life, which was a great way to mix theory and practice in my early career.

» read more

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team