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About the Australian Command & Staff Course (Joint)

The Australian Command and Staff College (ACSC) was established in 2001 with the amalgamation of the three single Services colleges into purpose built facilities at the Australian Defence College,  Weston, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ACSC is responsible for delivering many courses through various schools, centres and programs around Australia and overseas.

The Australian Command and Staff Course (Joint) (ACSC(J))  is one of the significant Courses conducted by ACSC. ACSC(J)  is a year-long, full-time post-graduate level course held on-campus for a maximum of 180 full time Defence Course Members O4/ O5 level officers from the Australian Defence Force, the Australian Public Service and selected allied and regional defence forces.

Course aim

Aim. To produce Officers who can fulfil command and staff appointments, at the O4-O6 level, in single-Service, joint, multi-national and interagency environments.

ACSC(J) prepares selected officers and officials for command and staff appointments in integrated, joint and single-Service environments at the O5 and O6 level. Successful leaders are characterised by strength of ethical character, professional competence and intellect. ACSC(J) therefore promotes excellence in command, leadership and military operations, while also focusing on the development of enduring personal qualities.

ACSC(J) is a collegiate professional military education environment which encourages reflection and the development of a high degree of personal awareness. The general curriculum is set at the post-graduate level. Historical and contemporary events are used to test the relevance and applicability of theory. The sharing of collective operational experience is one of the many opportunities for learning at ACSC(J), as it builds professional understanding and respect among course members. ACSC(J) fosters a tolerance for alternate views and the creation of enduring professional networks -intra-Service, inter-Service and international. Course members are expected to assimilate knowledge then utilise critical thinking skills to create innovative solutions to complex problems. Graduates of ACSC(J) will have the ability to analyse and evaluate opinion, to weigh and assess evidence dispassionately, to build a case for decision making from many sources and to tolerate and accommodate diverse viewpoints. The capacity to effectively communicate resultant arguments and conclusions is also fostered.

Course members will embrace uncertainty and display flexibility in their approach to novel and unresolved situations. Course members will have developed robust leadership, command, critical thinking and communication skills in order to better meet the challenges of our profession. Course members will develop these enduring personal qualities through both individual and team-based activities, as courses undertaken at ACSC(J) are conducted using contemporary models of delivery.

The main outcome of the Course is the achievement of the post staff course (joint) psc(j) military qualification. In addition and dependent on enrolment and achievement on course, Course members will graduate with either a post-graduate Graduate Certificate in Military and Defence Studies (GCMDS), a Graduate Diploma of Military and Defence Studies (GDMDS) or a Master of Military and Defence Studies (MMDS) awarded by the ANU.

Course objectives and modules

Click on the image below to view the objectives and modules

Administration and Joining Instructions for Successful Participants

Congratulations on your selection for the 2018 Australian Command and Staff Course (Joint) [ACSC(J)]. ACSC(J) Course Members are among a select group of officers from which our future military leaders and decision-makers are drawn. You should accept this selection as due recognition of your commitment and outstanding performance in your Service within either your national Defence Force or the Australian Defence Force and Australian Defence Organisation.

ACSC(J) is a world-class education institution, combining excellent vocational education, with an Australian National University (ANU) accredited post-graduate program. ACSC(J) seeks to realise the joint nature of the college and achieve the core aim of creating graduates with a joint operational focus. The Course comprises modules of study that culminate in the achievement of the passed staff college (joint) [psc(j)] qualification and include the ANU accredited post-graduate program. The ANU post-graduate academic qualification is an ancillary achievement, though highly valued by Course Members.

The ACSC(J) is a demanding military academic course comparable with leading military command and staff colleges around the globe. You should expect your year to be both challenging and rewarding. It is vital that you determine your goals for the year and also strive to achieve the right balance for yourself based on your personal capabilities, ambitions and individual circumstances. Another important aspect of this Course is the network that you will develop in your time here. Developing enduring relationships is a critical element of ACSC(J) and we encourage you and your families to take every opportunity to develop strong networks.

ACSC(J) seeks to establish an adult education environment. In 2018, the weekly routine provides certainty and should allow you to plan for and achieve a balance that works for you. There are times where your physical presence is required and other times when you will need to manage your workload with essential reading and study. In 2018, ACSC(J) will also include a mid-year dedicated leave break (utilising annual leave) to enable you to take suitable rest and reflection time.

The Joining Instructions provide direction and instructions for action required by you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the ACSC(J) COORD section at

We look forward to joining you for an important year in 2018. Remember, the staff at ACSC(J) are here to assist you throughout the year. All the very best; and, once again, congratulations on being selected for ACSC(J).



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