(Online) Strategic Studies MA

Fact File

Course Code: CKE11 Part-time

Course Title: Strategic Studies Online Course

College: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Strategic Studies

Duration: 2 years Part-time

Course Delivery Method*: Online

Teaching Mode: Part-Time

This programme will be taught online.

Qualifications: MA

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018: Irish/EU students pay €2700 in year 1 and €2700 in year 2, via 2 installments of €1350 per year.

Entry Requirements: Candidates should hold a primary degree with a Second Class Honours Grade 1 (or equivalent) in any discipline. Candidates who hold a primary degree with a Second Class Honours Grade 2 will also be considered subject to the approval of the programme selection committee. Graduates who do not meet this requirement and have a minimum of 3 years’ experience in a relevant field (such as the military or security services) will be considered as an honours equivalent. Such applicants may be invited for online interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme. Some applicants who do not fulfil the usual entry requirements may be invited for online interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Strong references and personal statements are an important part of the application, as is relevant working experience.

Closing Date: Applications now closed for 2017/18

Next Intake: September 2018


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.

Course Details

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.

Given that our students have a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds, each module makes extensive use of focused online discussion groups and other interactive learning opportunities, which will enable students to share their experiences and relate them to core course themes and concepts.

 Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Studies

  • Candidates who pass 60 credits of taught modules may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Studies

Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Studies

  • Candidates who pass 30 credits of taught modules may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Studies

Detailed Entry Requirements

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to apply.

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view here: CKE11AdditionalQuestions (55kB)

All other required supporting documentation (e.g. evidence of non-UCC undergraduate/postgraduate qualifications) must be UPLOADED via the PAC "Application Status" link or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway (marked with the applicants PAC application number)

Early applications are encouraged for early decisions.

Course Practicalities

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.


Assessment in the taught component of the course consists of essays, policy papers, reports, analysis of texts, participation in group discussions, and collaborative projects. The dissertation, worth one third of the total mark, and undertaken under the supervision of a staff member, reflects the importance of independent research.

Who Teaches This Course

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. 

Further Contact Information

Deirdre O'Sullivan/Geraldine McAllister,
School of History
University College Cork

+353 (0)21 4902755

Contact us

E: Dr. David Fitzgerald

P: 00 353 21 4903755
W: Website

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