Operational Intelligence


Operational Intelligence JST428

An 8 point post-graduate subject delivered by the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security

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This subject will be delivered in intensive mode over a 1 week period. Specific dates will be provided once confirmed.

This subject provides students with a sound knowledge in the practice of operational intelligence, including tactical intelligence. The subject will equip students with an understanding of operational intelligence principles, and mastery of the relevant industry skill sets required to work effectively as an intelligence practitioner in tactical or operational intelligence environments.


Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • Reflect critically on the changes to the role of intelligence in supporting operational investigative objectives (including small and large operations) in multi-disciplinary law enforcement teams
  • Collect, analyse, consolidate and synthesise operationally relevant information and produce reports (such as problem profiles, target profiles, and operational assessments) that can describe and explain a range of criminal trends and threats, and provide solutions and recommendations to address these
  • Use a range of operationally relevant analytical tools, software and research methodologies; (eg, SWOT, PESTEL, flow charts and quantitative analysis) in supporting tactical/operational analysis and demonstrate being able to apply appropriate techniques to a range of analytical problems
  • Think critically about contemporary issues in information management, knowledge management and how they impact on being a tactical/operational intelligence practitioner
  • Identify and critically evaluate the key contemporary legal and ethical issues relating to practicing operational intelligence in the national security, law enforcement and other intelligence contexts

Indicative assessment

  • Intelligence operation briefing – 40%
  • Case study – 60%


The set text for this course is:

There is no set textbook for this subject.

Note that all of these texts offer something different and come at the subject from a different perspective, but all are by well-regarded experts in their field. Various chapters from these texts will readings within the subject, and will subsequently be made available electronically.

reading list extract

  • Fingar, T. (2011) ‘Spies Collect Data, Analysts Provide Insight,’ in Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security, Paolo Alto: Stanford University Press, pp. 33-49.
  • Hall, W.M. & Citrenbaum, G. (2010). ‘Link
    Analysis,’ in Intelligence Analysis: How to Think in Complex Environments, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International, pp. 121-138.
  • Olcott, A. (2014). ‘So what? Addressing the
    Signal-to-Noise Problem,’ in Open Source Intelligence in a Networked World, New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, pp. 133-149.
  • Central Intelligence Agency, A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytical Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis, Washington, DC: Center for
    the Study of Intelligence, March 2009.

subject availability

academic year 2018

INternal MODE (CBR)


Distance MODE