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 - 2024 Semester 2 - 2024
    ZHSS8125 Strategic Communication Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8204 Modern Naval History and Strategy Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZHSS8403 Global Security Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8409 Asia-Pacific Security: The Dynamics of Change Distance Mode 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 Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZHSS8437 Global Justice and World Politics Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8435 Contemporary Strategy Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8441 Cyber-Security and World Politics Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8442 Conflict Transformation Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8452 Weapons of Mass Destruction and Global Security Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8453 Culture and Conflict Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8459 Special Operations: Theory and Strategic Utility Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8460 Power and Australian Government Policy Not Offered Distance Mode
    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 - 2024 Semester 2 - 2024
    ZBUS8101 Strategic Management Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8102 Organisational Behaviour Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8103 Strategic Human Resources Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8108 Accounting for Management Decisions Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8109 Business Law Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8201 Leadership Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8205 Business Ethics Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8302 Logistics Management Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8303 Strategic Procurement and Outsourcing Distance Mode Not Offered

    Elective courses

    Code Course Semester 1 - 2024 Semester 2 - 2024
    ZBUS8105 Finance and Investment Appraisal Not Offered Not Offered
    ZBUS8113 Public Service Implementation Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8114 Leadership of Safe and Healthy Work Not Offered Not Offered
    ZBUS8115 Public Service Performance and Evaluation Not Offered Not Offered
    ZBUS8116 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8147 The Business of Managing Projects Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8148 Economic World View Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8149 Finance for Decision-Making Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8203 Change Management Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8204 Marketing Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8208 Humanitarian Logistics Not Offered Not Offered
    ZBUS8210 Critical Analysis in Business Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8306 Sustaining Capability (Capability and Technology Management College) Not Offered In Person
    ZBUS8310 Commercial Skills in the Public Sector Not Offered Not Offered
    ZBUS8312 Logistics Intelligence and Big Data Analysis Not Offered Not Offered
    ZBUS8313 Risk Management in Logistics Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8314 People and Systems Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8315 Driving Performance Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8316 Developing Organisational Capability Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8317 Workforce Planning Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZBUS8318 Cross Cultural Management Not Offered Not Offered
    ZBUS8320 Strategic Logistics Management Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8321 Managing Diversity Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8501 Research Project - Business Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8502 Research Project - Business Distance Mode Distance Mode
    ZBUS8503 Workforce Planning Research Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8911 Asset Management Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZBUS8912 Delivering Capability Not Offered Not Offered
    ZBUS8913 Leadership, Change and Innovation Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8001 Professional Practice Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8102 American Empire Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8106 War and Memory Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8112 Occasional Elective: English Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8201 Contemporary Warfare Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8203 Foundations of Modern Strategy Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8210 Genocide: Perception and Intervention Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8220 Fighting the Second World War Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8221 The Development of the Art of War Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8223 The First World War 1914-1919 Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8224 Small Wars of Empire: Colonial Warfare from 1700 Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8225 Australian Military History: An Introduction Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8226 The Vietnam Wars: A Thirty Year Conflict Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8227 Civil Wars: Societies in Conflict Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8230 Russian Military History Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8231 The History of Special Operations Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZHSS8235 Ten American Conflicts: The Origins of US Military History Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8237 The Cold War Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8238 Australia's Relations with Asia Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8412 International Peacekeeping Operations Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8455 Australian Cyber Diplomacy Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZHSS8456 Australia and Cyber War Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZHSS8457 Cyber Security in Asia Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8458 Cyber Policy in China Distance Mode Not Offered
    ZHSS8461 GRIM Threats (Guerrilla, Revolutionary, Insurgent and Militia) and Irregular Warfare Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZHSS8462 Ethics in Special, Complex and Irregular Military Operations Not Offered Distance Mode
    ZHSS8464 Cyberspace, National Security and Law Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8501 Principles of Public Leadership Not Offered Not Offered
    ZHSS8503 Moral Leadership in Complex Military Operations Not Offered Not Offered
    ZINT8105 Academic Practice: Critical Reading and Writing Distance Mode Distance Mode
  • 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