Our world today has an ever-increasing range of security challenges. On top of traditional security concerns, human, societal and economic security issues have added considerable complexity to our understanding of security and stability. To face these challenges, governments and international organisations increasingly need leaders who have the knowledge, skills and experience to understand complex security and defence issues and the ability to engineer solutions.  

Degree type

Postgraduate coursework


1 year full-time

Commencing terms

Semester 1, Semester 2

Program code


Delivery mode



The Master of Security & Defence Management at UNSW Canberra is for postgraduate students and public policy professionals who want to gain a more detailed understanding of the factors shaping the contemporary strategic and security environment, and the complex policy challenges they present. This program will develop your awareness of the local and global dimensions of strategy and management in the defence environment from a range of perspectives. 

Find out more

For more information on this degree, including entry requirements, see the UNSW Handbook.

  • Students undertaking Master of Security & Defence Management need to take 8 coursework courses (48 UOC). 

    Students must complete at least three courses from each of the following areas:

    • Security 
    • Management 
  • The research project is recommended for those with a strong interest in pursuing original research in a particular area or intending to undertake a higher-level research qualification. Students who obtain at least a Distinction average in four courses may take a 12 UOC research thesis, ZHSS8401 Research Thesis A 6UOC and ZHSS8402 Research Thesis B 6UOC. You must enrol in both units to fulfil the requirements. You may enrol in the two units concurrently to do the thesis in a single semester, or consecutively to complete it over two semesters. Enrolment is subject to approval by the Postgraduate Coordinator.

  • Security

    Code Course Semester 1 - 2023 Semester 2 - 2023
    ZHSS8125 Strategic Communication Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8204 Modern Naval History and Strategy Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8403 Global Security Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8409 Asia-Pacific Security: The Dynamics of Change Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8410 Australian Defence Policy: Concepts and Challenges Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZHSS8417 Air Power in the 21st Century: Strategic Issues Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8430 China's Security Policy and Military Modernisation Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8437 Global Justice and World Politics Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8435 Contemporary Strategy Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZHSS8441 Cyber-Security and World Politics Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8442 Conflict Transformation Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8452 Weapons of Mass Destruction and Global Security Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8453 Culture and Conflict Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8459 Special Operations: Theory and Strategic Utility Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8460 Power and Australian Government Policy Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8463 International Law in Global Politics Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8467 Military Game Changers in 21st Century Warfare Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8504 Space Cooperation, Conflict and Competition Not Offered Distance Mode



    Code Course Semester 1 - 2023 Semester 2 - 2023
    ZBUS8101 Strategic Management Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8102 Organisational Behaviour Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8103 Strategic Human Resources Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8108 Accounting for Management Decisions Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8109 Business Law Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8201 Leadership Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8205 Business Ethics Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8302 Logistics Management Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8303 Strategic Procurement and Outsourcing Distance Mode Not Offered
  • For information regarding entry requirements, please refer to the UNSW Handbook

Key contacts

Program Coordinator
Dr Debbie Lackerstein
E: d.lackerstein@adfa.edu.au

Student enquiries
T: (02) 5114 5000