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Fields of Study: Social Sciences

This interdisciplinary program draws on the expertise of Australian National University (ANU) in strategic defense studies, international relations, politics, and history. The curriculum nurtures a fascination with security practices and modern challenges in the field. It’s an invaluable stepping stone to prepare for a career in global security, foreign policy, international intelligence, diplomacy, or NGOs.

Unique study opportunities

  • Undertake an internship for credit at an embassy, consulate, NGO, or other government body.
  • Learn how to respond to international security crises and terrorism.
  • Build leadership and diplomacy skills.


Language of Instruction: English

Language Study: Optional.

Foreign language study is available. Check the university course catalog.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Three or four courses for a total of 24 quarter/16 semester UC units per semester.
  • Take a 6-12 unit internship through the Australian National Internship Program.
  • You may take one course per semester for pass/no pass credit. 

Current Program Courses

You will enroll in three or four courses:

  • One 6 or 12 quarter/4 or 8 semester UC unit internship for credit through the Australian National Internship Program or an equivalent research project of your choice. If you do the internship for 6 quarter units, you will take three additional courses; if you do the internship for 12 quarter units, you will take two additional courses. 
  • At least two courses from the ANU International Security course list
  • One course from any other department at the university

International Security courses previously offered at ANU:

  • International Security issues in the Asia Pacific
  • Australia's Security in the Asian Century
  • Leadership and Diplomacy
  • Indian Foreign and Security Policy
  • Japanese Foreign and Security Policy
  • Security Communities from War to Peace
  • Coping with Crisis: The Practice of International Security
  • Southeast Asian Security
  • Chinese Foreign and Security Policy
  • US Foreign and Security Policy in Asia
  • Politics of Nuclear Weapons
  • International Terrorism

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

To help you acclimate to Australian campus life and culture, there are a few key differences and similarities to be aware of:

  • The Australian semester is longer and has a slower pace than the UC quarter or semester.
  • Students address Australian lectures and tutors informally by their first name.
  • Similar to UC, the main forms of teaching are lectures (50-500+ students), tutorials (10-25 students), seminars (30+ students; half lecture, half tutorial), and labs/practicals.
  • All lectures are recorded- avoid waiting until the last minute to watch them.
  • In Australia, students are expected to be independent and show initiative. Instructors won't chase you up if you miss classes or assignments.
  • Assignments tend to require significant research and critical analysis.
  • You'll need to use Australian English for your assignments.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Australian university grades are criterion-referenced rather than norm-referenced (i.e., curved). This means that your performance on an assignment will be compared to a predefined standard, not to the performance of your classmates. Your lecturer will advise you of this standard via a grading rubric.

Most assessment is due toward the end of the semester. In a semester, it is not uncommon to have your first assignment due in the sixth week and not receive any grades back until the eighth week. Finals may be very heavily weighted (40-80% of your final grade). There is usually a study week (called swot vac) between the last week of the semester and the start of the exam period.

UCEAP converts your Australian grades to UC grades. Fall grades are usually available late January to early February. Spring grades are usually available mid-August to mid-September.