Course Outline

INT257 International Security

Course Coordinator:Stefanie Fishel ( School:School of Law and Society

2024Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course is designed to engage students in the practical and theoretical processes which underpin decision making in international security. Is peace possible? Is war inevitable? It will examine the traditional and non-traditional concepts of security including military, WMD, terrorism, environmental security, human rights, amongst other. Case studies will be presented to illuminate the paradoxes sometimes inherent in aiming for a secure world.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus tutorial/workshop 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Learning materials – online 1hr Week 1 13 times
Learning materials – online 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Online tutorial/workshop 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

What is in/security and how do we study it?

What are we securing?

Critical Security Studies

Human Security

Environmental Security

Feminist Approaches

Postcolonial Approaches

The UN and International Security 

Intervention and Humanitarian Issues

Fast and Slow Violence

Accountability and Law

Class Presentations

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Explain the origins and nature of security threats, both existing and potential. Knowledgeable
2 Apply key international security theories to explain the actions or inactions of actors within an international security context. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
3 Critically evaluate the nature and value of International Security and the challenges to it in the 21st Century Creative and critical thinker
4 Apply scholarly writing, research and reference practice in the field of Politics and International Relations. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

A knowledge of political science and/or international relations

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

The student will take a five question quiz over the first three week readings to test for reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. It will be available on Canvas or in class during the fourth week of class. This will provide formative assessment and give feedback to the students on their ability to engage with course readings

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Portfolio Individual 25%
200-250 word discussion posts
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) In Class
All 2 Case Study Individual 30%
1000-1500 words
Week 7 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Report Individual 45%
1500-2000 words with a round table discussion in the final tutorial.
Week 13 In Class
All - Assessment Task 1:Portfolio
The portfolio is designed to consolidate knowledge of key course concepts introduced through the weekly reading assignments. The discussion component aids students in accessing the material they are learning in multiple ways and serves as an end of the semester reference for creating the final assessment.
Product: Portfolio
Students will create 10 discussion responses on Canvas based on the instructor's prompt. This could be answering questions from the assigned reading or creating an original reading summary/ response based on one class reading for the week.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
​​Students will be assessed by the degree of achievement in the following areas: 
To the best of their ability, attends class times to discuss and interact with instructor and peers.
1 3
Is able to apply key theories and concepts to readings provided.
Whilst references are not required in the 200 words due for each week, students will be assessed on their ability to apply key theoretical frameworks and concepts to demonstrate their application of these to the actions (or inactions) of actors.
1 2
Demonstrates critical thinking, analysis and synthesis of argument.
Reading responses are concise and focused on the key topics covered in the class.
1 3 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Case Study
Research a chosen security issue (in discussion with the instructor) and write a case study addressing the main themes, including the application of relevant theories and concepts in to an event in the international security realm.
Product: Case Study
1000-1500 words - Submit the case study to Canvas.
Students will find an event that will serve as a security example and write a brief on this issue. Can be at the domestic or international level. The essay must address an event and apply relevant theories and frameworks from the course. Tutorial time will be given for formulation and discussion.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
​​The essay paper will be assessed by the degree of achievement in the following areas: 
Finds and analyses a relevant case study for the aims of the class.
Correctly applies relevant international security theories and frameworks.
Multiple perspectives are presented and arguments made to support relevant position(s).
1 2 3
Scholarly and authoritative reference sources are used to directly support claims and arguments.
1 2
Demonstrates critical thinking, analysis and synthesis of argument.
Sentence and paragraph structures are clear and absent of grammatical and typographical errors.
All - Assessment Task 3:Policy Brief
Provide a coherent and well-structured policy brief based on the scenario provided by the instructor.
Product: Report
The policy brief will be uploaded to Canvas. Emphasis is placed on the clarity and succinctness of the brief, which is essential in persuading the target audience of your key message. Policy briefs aim to be practical and well-researched in order to make timely evidence-based recommendations.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Extends and creates policy recommendations for case study from the first assessment.
2 3 4
Correctly applies relevant international security theories and frameworks.
Scholarly and authoritative reference sources are used to directly support claims and arguments.
3 4
Demonstrates critical thinking, analysis and synthesis of argument.
3 4
Sentence and paragraph structures are clear and absent of grammatical and typographical errors.
Effective slides that convey relevant information about their case study and policy recommendations.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Peter Hough 0 International Security Studies n/a n/a

Specific requirements

Not applicable

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

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