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Bachelor of Social Science – Security and Counter Terrorism

Join a team of dynamic problem-solvers who protect our most important digital and physical spaces.

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3 years full-time

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Mar, Jul, Nov

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‘The support level has been unmatched. OLAs, student advisors, anyone you contact is always there for you. There is always someone to reach out to, always someone to help, always someone you can lean on.’

Corey, Swinburne Online graduate

14.6% ▴

As a Community Development Officer, you'll never be short of opportunities. Jobs are set to increase by 21.1% over the next 5 years


The Social Science faculty was awarded a 5-star rating for overall experience and teaching quality, by the Good Universities Guide 2022.

‘The support level has been unmatched. OLAs, student advisors, anyone you contact is always there for you. There is always someone to reach out to, always someone to help, always someone you can lean on.’

Corey, Swinburne Online graduate

14.6% ▴

As a Community Development Officer, you'll never be short of opportunities. Jobs are set to increase by 21.1% over the next 5 years


The Social Science faculty was awarded a 5-star rating for overall experience and teaching quality, by the Good Universities Guide 2022.


As a student of security and counter terrorism, you’ll have the chance to make a lasting difference to our community.

You’ll be taught by experts from a range of professional backgrounds, such as human rights lawyers and politicians, who will give you industry-level knowledge of these vital topics.

In this flexible course, you’ll learn about the changing nature of security in the twenty-first century. Topics covered include cybersecurity and the role of technology in contemporary warfare, as well as the major institutions and players in international politics, and strategies for countering violent extremism and radicalisation. You’ll also be able to tailor half of your degree to study the themes that interest you most, by taking electives or studying related social science topics.

With every unit designed to boost your professionalism, you’ll graduate with an understanding of the complex issues that inform and influence security, terrorism, and human rights. You’ll learn how create reports which unpack complex issues, giving you the skills to contribute to the strategic and operational protection of national security.

Students who complete this course can become job-ready for roles in risk analysis, security advisory, intelligence analysis, counter terrorism consulting, overseas aid and development and more.

What will you learn?

  • Cybersecurity: Examine the role of technology in the changing nature of warfare.
  • Countering Violent Extremism: Explore contemporary issues in counter-terrorism such as radicalisation.
  • International Politics: Gain an understanding of the major institutions, events and issues in international politics.
  • Dictators and Democrats: Examine the key concepts of Political Science and comparative political systems.
  • International Relations: Explore the role of the United Nations and the problems associated with global governance.

Learn more about our professional accreditations. Download a Course Guide.

Flexible study

What does flexible study mean for me?

Studying at Swinburne Online gives you the freedom to study how it suits you. Learn when and where it fits in with your life and tailor your study journey to your own needs without giving up what’s important.

Flexible study at Swinburne Online

Set a study pace that work with what’s going on in your life. If you’re unsure about how much you can commit to, we can offer part-time options and the option of increasing your unit load as your progress. Interested in fast-tracking your studies? You also have the opportunity to complete up to 12 units per year.

You don’t have to put your life on hold to study. Prioritise what matters to you and fit study around family, work and personal commitments through a course that is flexibly designed for online learners.

Start when it suits. Swinburne Online offers multiple intake dates and flexible unit availability, so you can choose when you begin your studies or if you need to take a break.

Flexible study requires flexible support. As a Swinburne Online student, you’ll have support for extended hours, 7 days a week, with Student Advisors available to help with anything from tech support to research advice and dedicated online tutors in each of your units.


Your course structure

The Bachelor of Social Science – Security and Counter Terrorism consists of 24 units, including four core social science units, eight Security and Counter Terrorism major units and 12 electives.

Your core units provide an essential foundation for studying social science. In this major you must complete COM10003 Learning and Communicating Online, SOC10004 Sociological Foundations and POL10001 Australian Politics. You may then choose INS10001 Connecting with Culture: Indigenous Australian Experiences, OR PSY10005 Introduction to Research Methods.

In your 12 elective units, you might like to choose study that compliments your degree, such as additional criminology or behaviour units.

Why study a degree in Security and Counter Terrorism with Swinburne Online? Our courses are at the forefront of industry and provide you with the practical skills to success come graduation. Get a taste through the course highlight below, or view all units in this bachelor’s degree.

View All Units

How you'll learn

Learning designed for online

Your study journey with Swinburne Online is tailored to the digital space. You’ll study in a dynamic virtual classroom environment, interact with your peers in the custom-built social platform, and receive support at the times you need it from advisors who understand studying online.

Your online study journey

You’ll complete each of your units in Canvas, your online classroom, and guided through coursework by an online tutor with real-world experience in your field of study. Canvas is where you’ll access classes, assignments and discussion boards with your peers.

The Student Hub is your online campus, where you’ll access the support and resources to assist you throughout your study journey. From managing your course to technical support and library resources, you’ll find it all in one easy location.

Swinburne Online will be there for you each step of the way. From enrolment through to graduation, we offer extended, flexible support in each of your units and advisors to assist with anything from technical support to referencing and assignment tips.

Entry requirements

Completion or partial completion of an approved tertiary qualification (including diplomas, advanced diplomas, associate degrees and degrees). Additional performance criteria and prerequisite requirements may also apply.

Applicants without a formal qualification but with significant and relevant work experience and appropriate English language skills, or a suitable Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) result, will be considered if they can demonstrate that they can undertake the course with a reasonable prospect of success.

Read our Applying and Enrolling FAQs.

The University may determine selection criteria and restrictions in respect of courses to apply in addition to these entry requirements.

VCE Units 3 and 4: a minimum study score of 25 in any English (except EAL) or 30 in English as Alternate Language (EAL) or equivalent

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee offer of a place. See Admissions at Swinburne, for general information about admission process.

Credit transfer

Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and/or experience and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Speak to a Course Consultant about applying for credit.

Applicants who have completed a Diploma in a related discipline may be eligible for credit of up to 8 units; the equivalent of a third of the course. Students admitted to the course with prior tertiary studies that satisfy part of the academic requirements of this course may be eligible for academic credit of up to 16 units.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows students to gain credit (advanced standing) towards their course in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Speak to a Course Consultant about applying for RPL.

Pathways allow students to progress from one qualification to another where the first course is recognised as an entry requirement and provides advanced standing to the second.

Credit available may vary depending on the major selected within any given degree but in most instances you may receive up to 8 unit credits.

Our Course Consultants will step you through the process of entry and credit using previous study.


The estimated annual fee for this course is $16,323*. This is based on completing eight 12.5 credit point units in one calendar year.

Commonwealth provided loans are available to assist eligible students to pay their course fees and there are a range of university, government and privately funded scholarships and prizes.

Discover more information about HELP loans.

Course fees will be affected by a student’s unit selection and any credit awarded in recognition of previous academic experience.

This course is offered to domestic and offshore international students. Depending on your citizenship, you may be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place.

Domestic students also contribute to student services and amenities via an annual fee.

Scholarships are available for both commencing and current students. You may be eligible for Swinburne Scholarships.

Career Outcomes

Kick-start your meaningful career

The Bachelor of Social Science – Security and Counter Terrorism prioritises your readiness to succeed come graduation through industry connections embedded in your degree:

  • Professional Teaching: Learn from experts with practical, real-world experience who are ready to share their knowledge with you.
  • Networking: Develop professional connections with your peers as you collaborate on projects and learn industry level skills.
  • Learn conflict resolution: In this course you’ll develop practical skills to understand the nature of conflict and how it can be resolved, a skill that is highly valued in the workplace.

Work with organisations to keep their systems and information secure.

Help to monitor developments in social, cultural, political or military matters to assist with Australian national security.

Advise government departments on issues relating to security and foreign affairs.

Use your knowledge of social science to help address issues facing communities and work to find solutions to problems facing various groups.

This degree can help people already working in Defence to advance their career, by equipping them with specialised knowledge relating to security.


‘At Swinburne Online you learn from real people. It’s all fully online, I’d do my remote learning in the car before work, which makes it so easy to have your own life. I love the fact that they cater to all learning styles. Swinburne Online has had a profound impact on my journey and I would recommend it to anyone else.’


Swinburne Online graduate

What are other students asking?
For students undertaking a degree, most of your learning materials are included with a free license provided to you by Swinburne Online. However, in some cases, you will be notified via your student email that you will need to buy specific software or eTexts. For TAFE Business students, all of your learning materials will be available online and are covered by your course fees. You won’t need to purchase any further materials.
For students undertaking a degree, most of the software, like your online eTexts, that you will need to complete your course can be downloaded for free, using a license provided to you by Swinburne Online. However, certain units will require students to purchase some software. If you are studying a unit(s) that requires you to purchase software, you will be notified via email prior to the start of the teaching period. All students can download a free version of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) for the duration of their studies. You will also need ongoing access to either:
  • Mac: OS X Version 10.7 or higher
  • PC: Windows 7 or newer.
You won’t normally have to be online at a specific time. Your course material is available for you from the beginning of each teaching period and you can work through it in the hours that suit you. There are some live webinar sessions that run approximately once a month. These are a special opportunity for students to sign in at the same time as their tutors, normally before an assessment deadline. It gives you the chance to ask any questions relating to the assignment in real time and hear other student’s questions and thoughts. We understand that students won’t always be able to make these sessions, so they can be replayed the next day.

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