Executive Short Courses (ESCs)

Indo-Pacific Security Challenges and Comparative Policy Approaches (1 and 2-week options)

This course is tailored for those who seek to develop their knowledge and skills about the key policy challenges facing the countries of the Asia-Pacific today and those that are emerging across the horizon. More specifically, the course examines a comprehensive range of traditional and non-traditional security issues such as great power rivalry, territorial disputes, resource scarcity, state fragility, transnational crime, bio-security (e.g. pandemics), and the environment. The course will also seek comparative insights from across the Indo-Pacific to formulate best practice policy responses to this interdependent mix of security challenges. In the process, participants will acquire a comprehensive understanding of the complexity behind contemporary security issues, the prioritisation and allocation of finite resources in policy making, and the associated importance of assessments of ‘risk’ and ‘threat’. The seminars in this course will be provided by key Australian policy makers, relevant officials, and academics.

Southeast Asia’s Politics, Economies and Cultures: The Implications of Complexity and Diversity (1 and 2-week options)

As highlighted by Australia’s recent Defence and Foreign Policy White Papers, Southeast Asia is critical to Australia’s national interests and, therefore, this course is of vital importance to any policy maker who will be posted in the region or who is tasked with the analysis of the region or parts therein. Understanding the complexity of the region and indeed many of the states within it is no easy feat: Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse regions on earth. The ten Southeast Asian states that together form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, represent the intersection of all the great religions, contain more than 1,000 ethnic linguistic groups, and are situated between most of world’s great powers. This course provides an understanding of both the challenges and opportunities associated with these dynamics at the regional level and, as the course progresses, at the domestic level. Therefore, in commencing at the regional level, transnational relations and the political and economic considerations that link to ASEAN are examined. At the domestic level, the course then utilises key case studies to examine how different political systems and cultural and religious environments have affected both the daily life of the people as well as the policy positions of their governments. Key case study countries include the autocratic-authoritarian countries of Cambodia and Brunei, the bureaucratic-authoritarian countries of Singapore, Vietnam, and Myanmar, as well as the (quasi?) democracies of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The course links the domestic analysis with the policy implications for cooperation and collaboration both within ASEAN and with Australia.

Extra-curricular activities:  

A range of extra-curricular activities, tailored to each of the two Executive Short Courses, further improve the educational and collegial experience enjoyed by the participants. Such activities include visits to the Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney, Australian Federal Police Training facilities in Canberra, Emergency Management Australia and its Crisis Control Centre, the Australian War Memorial, Parliament House, and/or the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. Participants will also travel to meet Ambassadors, Defence Attaches, and other senior officials at various Embassies and/or High Commissions as appropriate to the content of each course. These activities will be further complemented by social ‘participant bonding’ activities such as dinners and lunches in Canberra and Sydney.

Higher Degree linkages:

The Executive Short Courses are accredited with Masters’ Degree course equivalence (when undertaken in ‘Assessed Mode’) and can, therefore, contribute toward credit in, or as a point of entry to, the University of Canberra’s Graduate Certificate and/or Master of Public Administration and, potentially, a proposed Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate/Master of Security and International Relations.

Graduation Ceremonies and Alumni Program

For institutions and agencies where the program has an ongoing arrangement, then graduation ceremonies will be held in those countries each year. The NASC also includes an active Alumni Program and, aside from being invited to attend some of the extra-curricular activities listed above, Alumni will also be invited to dinners and special seminars that will also be broadcast online (but exclusive to the members of the alumni network). For institutions where the program holds an ongoing arrangement then alumni visits and presentations will also be provided whilst undertaking annual recruitment activities and/or delivering Executive Short Courses. Regular Alumni updates are provided on a ‘private’ corporate Facebook Alumni site that details developments within the Program, the University, its graduates, and daily news briefs.

Accommodation and Meals

The University of Canberra offer a wide range of accommodation options for individuals and groups. or non-Canberra based residents, quotations for ESCs will include local accommodation and meals. For all participants, lunch and morning and afternoon teas as well as other meals associated with special dinners and extracurricular activities will be provided. The Agencies for international participants will be expected to arrange and pay for any travel to Canberra.


For general enquiries please contact the Director, Christopher Roberts, via one of the following options:

Office: +61 2 6201 2755

Email: chris.roberts | at | canberra.edu.au