About This Course
2 years Part-time
Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
EU Fees 2018
See Fees and Costs for full details.
Non-EU Fees 2018
Candidates should hold a primary degree with a 2H1 (or equivalent) in any discipline. Candidates who hold a primary degree with a 2H2 will also be considered subject to the approval of the programme selection committee. See Requirements for full details.
Applications processed in rounds: See How To Apply section for full details
Non-EU Closing Date
Course Delivery Method
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.
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
Additional Teaching Mode Information
This programme will be taught online.
Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.
**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year.
In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments.
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.
Why Choose This Course
One of the few online Strategic Studies masters programmes in the world, this MA offers the flexibility that you would expect from an online programme, while a deliberately small class size offers the opportunity for close engagement with expert mentors. The course is competitively priced while offering top quality instruction from leading scholars. It includes a unique module on peace support operations that draws on extensive Irish experience in this area.
Skills and Careers Information
The course provides students with advanced analytical, research and writing skills and encourages students to apply those skills in real-world case studies. Potential career paths include: government service, diplomatic service, defence and security consultancies, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations operating in conflicts zones. Many of our postgraduate students have progressed to successful PhD study in the area of war, strategy and security.
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.
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.
Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.
For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .
Fees and Costs
The fee for this course is €2700 .
If your course is offered full time and part time, the fee for part time courses is half the full time fee.
If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.
EU student fee payment:
Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.
International student fee payment:
Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.
How can I pay?
By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.
If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at email@example.com .
The Non-EU fee for this course is €4,000 .
How Do I Apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
- Any supplementary forms requested for your course.
Please log into PAC for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.
Questions on how to apply?
EU students contact firstname.lastname@example.org
International students contact email@example.com
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
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)
Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds
Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th JuneApply Now