Students

PICT8050 – Strategic Thinking

2021 – Session 2, Fully online/virtual

Session 2 Learning and Teaching Update

The decision has been made to conduct study online for the remainder of Session 2 for all units WITHOUT mandatory on-campus learning activities. Exams for Session 2 will also be online where possible to do so.

This is due to the extension of the lockdown orders and to provide certainty around arrangements for the remainder of Session 2. We hope to return to campus beyond Session 2 as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Some classes/teaching activities cannot be moved online and must be taught on campus. You should already know if you are in one of these classes/teaching activities and your unit convenor will provide you with more information via iLearn. If you want to confirm, see the list of units with mandatory on-campus classes/teaching activities.

Visit the MQ COVID-19 information page for more detail.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Senior Lecturer
Tom Waldman
B659, 26B Wally's Walk
By appt.
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MPICT or MCPICT or GradDipPICT or GradDipCPICT or PGCertPICT or MPICTMIntSecSt or MCPICTMIntSecSt or MIntSecStud or GradDipIntSecStud or MSecStrategicStud or MCyberSec or MSecStrategicStudMCrim or MSecStrategicStudMIntell or MSecStrategicStudMCyberSec or MSecStrategicStudMCTerrorism or admission to BSecStudMSecStrategicStud
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit addresses the challenges of formulating, assessing and engaging with strategy in historical and contemporary geopolitical contexts. It exposes students to classical and contemporary approaches to strategic thought, and teaches students how to write policy briefs where they will engage with strategic problems in relation to real-world policy contexts. Content will include the fundamentals of strategy; the challenges of strategy formulation under conditions of uncertainty; the influence of bureaucratic considerations and domestic political pressures; the role of information and strategic narratives; the making of strategy in conventional and unconventional scenarios; and the dynamics of military intervention. Students will further address these issues by identifying and exploring them in cases and assessing their implications for contemporary challenges.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Demonstrate specialised knowledge of key concepts, theories and contemporary issues in the field of strategic studies, aligned with the field’s leading thinkers, texts and paradigms.
  • ULO2: Comprehend the challenges and complexities of strategy-making as well as the main features, applications and relative merits of various strategic approaches.
  • ULO3: Apply disciplinary knowledge to analyse and critically evaluate real-world historical and contemporary strategic decisions, cases and issues.
  • ULO4: Apply critical thinking skills in order to cogently and effectively defend intellectual positions and to produce well-reasoned, theoretically informed and empirically substantiated written work.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Policy Memo 20% No Week 8
Research Essay 40% No Week 12
Online Quizzes 20% No Weeks 4, 7, 10 & 13
Active Engagement 20% No Weeks 4-13

Policy Memo

Assessment Type 1: Professional writing
Indicative Time on Task 2: 15.00 hours
Due: Week 8
Weighting: 20%

 

The policy memo is a written brief addressed to a high-level policy-maker who is considering the use of force in a particular situation to advance the government’s interests. The memo will identify and analyze the strategic factors that should inform the policy-maker’s decision, and recommend a particular course of action.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Apply disciplinary knowledge to analyse and critically evaluate real-world historical and contemporary strategic decisions, cases and issues.
  • Apply critical thinking skills in order to cogently and effectively defend intellectual positions and to produce well-reasoned, theoretically informed and empirically substantiated written work.

Research Essay

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 36.00 hours
Due: Week 12
Weighting: 40%

 

The completion of a Research Essay allows students to develop core disciplinary knowledge, enhance research skills, show effective written communication skills, and demonstrate originality and critical thinking. The essay should flow logically from the introduction to the evidence in the main body to the conclusion. It should reflect wide reading across a diverse body of academic literature, and should demonstrate critical analysis and objectivity.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate specialised knowledge of key concepts, theories and contemporary issues in the field of strategic studies, aligned with the field’s leading thinkers, texts and paradigms.
  • Comprehend the challenges and complexities of strategy-making as well as the main features, applications and relative merits of various strategic approaches.
  • Apply disciplinary knowledge to analyse and critically evaluate real-world historical and contemporary strategic decisions, cases and issues.
  • Apply critical thinking skills in order to cogently and effectively defend intellectual positions and to produce well-reasoned, theoretically informed and empirically substantiated written work.

Online Quizzes

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 15 hours
Due: Weeks 4, 7, 10 & 13
Weighting: 20%

 

You will complete a number of quizzes throughout the unit. Each quiz will be conducted online via the unit’s iLearn space. The quizzes are designed to test your knowledge and understanding of core course material.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate specialised knowledge of key concepts, theories and contemporary issues in the field of strategic studies, aligned with the field’s leading thinkers, texts and paradigms.
  • Comprehend the challenges and complexities of strategy-making as well as the main features, applications and relative merits of various strategic approaches.

Active Engagement

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 10 hours
Due: Weeks 4-13
Weighting: 20%

 

Active engagement by students will increase the unit's value as an exercise in critical thinking, analysis, and communication. Internal students will demonstrate active engagement in tutorials; external students will demonstrate it by contributing to online activities.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate specialised knowledge of key concepts, theories and contemporary issues in the field of strategic studies, aligned with the field’s leading thinkers, texts and paradigms.
  • Comprehend the challenges and complexities of strategy-making as well as the main features, applications and relative merits of various strategic approaches.
  • Apply disciplinary knowledge to analyse and critically evaluate real-world historical and contemporary strategic decisions, cases and issues.
  • Apply critical thinking skills in order to cogently and effectively defend intellectual positions and to produce well-reasoned, theoretically informed and empirically substantiated written work.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

UNIT REQUIREMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS

  • You should spend an average of 12 hours per week on this unit. This includes listening to lectures prior to seminar or tutorial, reading weekly required materials as detailed in iLearn, participating in Ilearn discussion forums and preparing assessments.
  • Internal students are expected to attend all seminar or tutorial sessions, and external students are expected to make significant contributions to on-line activities.
  • In most cases students are required to attempt and submit all major assessment tasks in order to pass the unit.

REQUIRED READINGS

  • The citations for all the required readings for this unit are available to enrolled students through the unit iLearn site, and at Macquarie University's library site.  Electronic copies of required readings may be accessed through the library or will be made available by other means.

TECHNOLOGY USED AND REQUIRED

  • Computer and internet access are essential for this unit. Basic computer skills and skills in word processing are also a requirement.
  • This unit has an online presence. Login is via: https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/
  • Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.
  • Information about IT used at Macquarie University is available at  http://students.mq.edu.au/it_services/

SUBMITTING ASSESSMENT TASKS

  • All text-based assessment tasks are to be submitted, marked and returned electronically.  This will only happen through the unit iLearn site. 
  • Assessment tasks must be submitted as a MS word document by the due date.
  • Most assessment tasks will be subject to a 'TurnitIn' review as an automatic part of the submission process.
  • The granting of extensions is subject to the university’s Special Consideration Policy. Extensions will not be granted by unit conveners or tutors, but must be lodged through Special Consideration: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration

LATE SUBMISSION OF ASSESSMENT TASKS

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – 10 marks out of 100 credit will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted seven days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments - e.g. quizzes, online tests.

WORD LIMITS FOR ASSESSMENT TASKS

  • Stated word limits include footnotes and footnoted references, but not bibliography, or title page.
  • Word limits can generally deviate by 10% either over or under the stated figure.
  • If the number of words exceeds the limit by more than 10%, then penalties will apply. These penalties are 5% of the awarded mark for every 100 words over the word limit. If a paper is 300 words over, for instance, it will lose 3 x 5% = 15% of the total mark awarded for the assignment. This percentage is taken off the total mark, i.e. if a paper was graded at a credit (65%) and was 300 words over, it would be reduced by 15 marks to a pass (50%).
  • The application of this penalty is at the discretion of the course convener.

REASSESSMENT OF ASSIGNMENTS DURING THE SEMESTER

  • Macquarie University operates a Grade Appeal Policy in cases where students feel their work was graded inappropriately: http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html
  • In accordance with the Grade Appeal Policy, individual works are not subject to regrading.

STAFF AVAILABILITY

  • Department staff will endeavour to answer student enquiries in a timely manner. However, emails or iLearn messages will not usually be answered over the weekend or public holiday period.
  • Students are encouraged to read the Unit Guide and look at instructions posted on the iLearn site before sending email requests to staff.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/policies). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
12/07/2021 Late penalty.