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Space Security 101

Key information

Subject area:

Public Policy, Politics & Security

Course type:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Credit level:

Not for credit


5 hours (self-paced)

Available course dates:

To be confirmed

Course overview

Space is a global commons that is vital to military, environmental, socioeconomic, and human security. The ability to access and use space is critical to a world that is increasingly reliant on space capabilities. Space assets support applications from global communications to financial operations; farming to weather forecasting; and environmental monitoring to navigation, surveillance, and treaty monitoring.

The space is nevertheless a fragile environment, threatened by both natural hazards and human activities. Meanwhile the proliferation of state and non-state actors, and their competition, is making the maintenance of space security, safety, and sustainability more complex and challenging.

This course is an introduction to space security in the 21st century. It explores the importance of space security and the how the proliferation of new actors, technologies, and activities in the domain have evolved the threat landscape.

This is a self-paced online course where students can access and work through the material at their own convenience.

What does this course cover?

This course will provide participants with a contextual understanding of both space and security, and how the two are interconnected with national security and strategic thinking. It will provide an overview of key terms and concepts in space security, as well as the major issues and themes that frame its discourse. It will include a foundational discussion on definitional governance, theoretical, deterrence and resilience themes for space security. It will also provide a more focused exploration of contemporary issues in space security, including cooperation, strategic competition, export controls, critical infrastructure, cyber threats, safety, traffic management, and the sustainability of space resources.

The individual units in this course will cover:

  • Key Terms and Concepts
  • The Space Environment: The Physical Attributes of the Operable Domain
  • Historical Background: Cold War Origins
  • New Space Age: Commercial Drivers
  • Counterspace Weapons

What will I achieve?

  • Foundational knowledge of key concepts in space security
  • Understanding of space security and its growing importance
  • Knowledge of recent and on-going changes in the space security landscape
  • Continuing professional development and research in space security

Who will I learn with?

Wyn Bowen

Wyn Bowen

Professor of Non-Proliferation and International Security

Reyhaneh Noshiravani

Reyhaneh Noshiravani

Research Associate at the Freeman Air and Space Institute

Julia Balm

Julia Balm

PhD Candidate

Who is this for?

This course is aimed at professionals of any background who have an interest in developing a foundational understanding of space security.

There are no formal education or professional requirements, however, all learning will be delivered in English, therefore we recommend minimum IELTS Level 6 for learners to get the most from the spoken and written content.

Course status:

Opening soon

Full fee £450

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