MA in Strategic Studies

The MA in Strategic Studies is a two year, part-time degree offered in a fully online format by the School of History. It offers a uniquely well-rounded approach to strategic studies that considers pressing global challenges such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, international peacekeeping, the changing international system, and the rise of non-state actors and new ways of warfare.  It will provide students with a deep understanding of how historical developments have affected the evolution of strategy.

The course equips students with the knowledge and skills to develop a sophisticated understanding of both the history of strategy and warfare and of contemporary security issues.  Its flexible, online delivery will mean that it will appeal to busy professionals as well as those with a broad interest in warfare and strategy.

The School of History has a strong track record in military history and strategic studies, and our staff have published extensively in the area, with some winning international prizes for their work.

Dr David Fitzgerald: specialist in American military and foreign policy, especially counterinsurgency warfare and ‘small wars’.

Dr Mervyn O’Driscoll: nuclear history, foreign policy, European integration and IR theory.

Professor Geoffrey Roberts: specialist in international history, Soviet and Russian security policy and IR theory.

Professor David Ryan: specialist in contemporary history, regional conflict and diplomacy and the politics of military intervention, American history and US foreign policy and grand strategy

This 24-month course consists of two parts – a fifteen month online taught component, which overlaps with a twelve month research phase, culminating in a 20,000 word dissertation. 

In part one, students take the following compulsory online modules:

  • Introduction to Strategic Studies (10 credits) (semester one, year one)
  • The Making of Modern War and Strategy, 1450-1945 (semester one, year one)
  • US Grand Strategy (semester two, year one)

And select three of the following modules

  • Terrorism, Insurgency and Political Violence (10 credits, semester two, year one)
  • Strategic Studies Summer School (10 credits, semester three, year one)

N.B.  This is an intensive one-week on-campus module that will take place in the summer of year one.

  • Nuclear Strategy and Diplomacy (10 credits, semester one, year two)
  • Small States, Peacekeeping and Peace Support Operations (10 credits, semester one, year two)

In part two, students work closely with an academic supervisor to complete a 20,000 word minor dissertation on a topic of their choosing within the broad area of strategic studies.  There will be a series of online workshops to facilitate students in selecting, researching and writing their dissertations.

The course is designed to be flexible to take into account the busy schedules of professionals, and so allows you to engage with the course material when it suits you.  Each module is built around a series of short lectures, assigned readings and extensive discussions that are built around weekly cycles.  Typically, each week requires around 10-15 hours of study.  More time will be required to research and write the longer course essays.

As the course is delivered online, we recommend that candidates have access to reliable internet connection of at least 2Mb/s or more download speed and 0.5Mb/s upload speed.

For more information, please contact the Course Director, Dr David Fitzgerald, at D.Fitzgerald@ucc.ie

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