Master of International Security

Lead strategic security policy and response

The range and complexity of security challenges facing the world has never been greater—and it’s continually growing. Climate change, cyber-attack, violent extremism and inter-state rivalries are a constant threat to stability for nation-states and regions all over the globe.

Understanding and managing these critical and fluid situations is a matter of the highest priority, both in Australia and abroad, with significant implications for foreign policy and international development. Our Master of International Security prepares you to take the lead.


What will you do?

Studied over two years full-time, the degree will equip you with the specialist knowledge, awareness and skills to diagnose emergent cross-border security challenges and produce sustainable policy or practice solutions.

The program is designed and delivered by Adelaide’s internationally recognised academics, whose research informs Australian national security policy, international security organisations and non-government organisations (NGOs).

Highly interdisciplinary, it integrates knowledge from our politics, international relations, public policy, Asian studies and geography experts to provide you with:

  • advanced skills in identifying and analysing emerging global security threats
  • deep understanding of strategic cultures and unconventional conflict
  • the opportunity to explore particular interests in cyber security, Indo-Pacific security, national security law, transnational crime, human rights, the impact of climate change, and more
  • high-level research skills, through a major final-year research project.


Where could it take you?

You will emerge equipped for senior security strategy and policy-related roles in Australia, the region and overseas. You could find yourself analysing threats in a national security agency. You might develop risk-mitigation strategies for an international non-government organisation operating in conflict zones. Or you might contribute to Indo-Pacific policy for Australia’s growing defence industry. In whichever sector you find yourself, this degree will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to engage with the most complex security dilemmas.

  • Learn from world class academics
  • Strong links to industry
  • Gain a global perspective on world security

Entry Requirements

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February and July
Selection Criteria
Graduate entry

Higher Education Study A completed Bachelor's degree or equivalent or a completed Graduate Certificate in International Security.

Students may be eligible to complete the program in a full-time standard duration of 1.5 years on the basis of prior learning.

How to Apply

  • Admissions Transparency Data
    Student Profile
    Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2023
    Number of students Percentage of all students
    International students 3 42.9%
    All students 7 100.0%

Fees and Scholarships

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Australian Full-fee place

Where the standard duration of the program is less than one year the full cost of the program is displayed.


These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.


Potential careers

Risk Analyst, Strategic Analyst, Information Management Officer, Business Analyst, Policy Adviser, Corporate Policy Advisor, Management Analyst, Business Consultant, Business Data Analyst, Non Government Organisation Worker, Consultant, Political Adviser, Political Analyst, Cyber Intelligence Expert, Diplomat, Diplomatic corps, Telecommunications Analyst, Government or Corporate Policy Adviser, Intelligence Officer, International Aid Agency Employee, International Government and Trade Policy Adviser, International Trade or Business Analyst ...

Degree Structure

To qualify for the degree of Master of International Security, the student must satisfactorily complete a program of study with a combined total of not less than 48 units.

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

Example Study Plan

For the two year program, you will need to complete a combined total of not less than 48 units, comprising 18 units of core courses, 18 units of research dissertation courses, and 12 units of elective courses.

Courses are worth 6 units each, unless specified otherwise.

Core courses
You must complete 18 units of core courses as follows:
POLIS 7026 International Security

And 12 units from:
POLIS 7001 Masterclass in Politics & International Relations
POLIS 7002 Strategic Cultures and Unconventional Conflict
POLIS 7004 International Relations of the Indo-Pacific
POLIS 7021 The Politics of the Internet: Pluralism in Digital Age

Research Dissertation
You must complete 18 units of research dissertation courses as follows:
ARTS 7xxx International Security Project (12 units)

And 6 units from:
EDUC 7011 Introduction to Quantitative Methods
EDUC 7020 Qualitative Approaches to Research
EDUC 7054 Research Design
EDUC 7055 Research Communication

Elective Courses
Choose 12 units of elective courses from these options:
POLIS 7001 Masterclass in Politics & International Relations
POLIS 7002 Strategic Cultures and Unconventional Conflict
POLIS 7004 International Relations of the IndoPacific
POLIS 7021 The Politics of the Internet: Pluralism in Digital Age
COMMGMT 7026 Policies & Procedures in Organisational Cyber Security (M) (3 units)
CYBER 7000 Cyber Security Special Studies (3 units)
ELEC ENG 7070EX Digital Security Estonia Tour (3 units, must be enrolled in research unit)
GEOG 7014 Sustainable Cities: Planning for Climate Change
PUB HLTH 7090 Global public health (3 units) Peng Bi
AGRIBUS 7053 Globalisation & Agriculture in Emerging Economies (3 units, intensive)
LAW 7073 Transnational Organised Crime (3 units)
LAW 7120 Human Rights: International Perspectives (3 units)
LAW 7165 National Security Law and Technology (3 units)
LAW 7172 Strategic Space Law (3 units)
LAW 7129 International Humanitarian Law
MANAGEMT 7150 Defence Industry Leadership I: Leading Oneself (3 units)
MANAGEMT 7151 Defence Industry Leadership II: Leading Others (3 units)
MANAGEMT 7078 Submarine Programs for Industry and Defence Managers (3 units)
PROJMGNT 7024 Complex Project Management (3 units)


The University has numerous support networks to assist students with adjusting to their new lifestyle, and the difficulties this may bring.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Wednesday, 13 Sep 2023