Introduction

MSc Strategic Studies provides you with advanced understanding of the use of force in conflict.

This programme is studied on campus.

The MSc Strategic Studies provides you with ability to scrutinise real world security issues which challenge governments, conflict, armed services, peace, international organisations and business around the world. The programme intends to equip you with a range of advanced theoretical and operational understanding of the characteristics, practise and profound effects of use of force by states and non-state actors throughout the international system. The programme is multidisciplinary and international in course content, attracting international students.

You learn about the contribution of strategy as a mechanism for the application of power and force, addressing the nature of strategy, deterrence, arms control terrorism, counterinsurgency, sanctions and limited war. The history of international organisations and challenges contributing to the global order, will be examined. You learn about global security and its developments, policies in different areas and countries globally and defense policies internationally. You look at historical facets of transnational terrorism and different causes, plus you look at domestic, international and cultural ideological factors.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
ISS, MSc or PgDip
Duration
9 months, 12 months, 21 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
January or September

Study Options

ISS 12 months On Campus Learning Part Time September

Please contact socscipg@abdn.ac.uk for more information about this programme.

MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Candidates will select two courses from the following:

Strategic Theory (PI5001) - 30 Credit Points

'Strategic Theory' is the compulsory, cornerstone module for the MSc Strategic Studies degree programme, and also the MSc Strategic Studies & International Law and Strategic Studies & Management degree programmes.

View detailed information about this course

Religion, Conflict and Security (PI5027) - 30 Credit Points

Since the end of the Cold War the world has seen a resurgence of religious movements in the public sphere and, particularly since 9/11, religion has increasingly been viewed in policy debates as an issue of domestic and international security. In the ever increasingly globalized era, religious identifications criss-cross national boundaries and identities posing a dilemma for the established norms of the secular nation-state, political theory and actors. This course will examine some of the emerging theories associated with the rise of political religion, and the potential for conflict and peace that emerge. Utilizing diverse case studies ranging from religious Zionism, to political Islam to national Hindu movements the course will critique and employ contemporary theoretical frameworks to gain understanding of the current phenomena of religion in the international political domain.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Optional Courses

Two courses from the following:

Latin America: Security Conditions and Challenges (IR5508) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the current security conditions and challenges which face contemporary Latin America. This includes narco-terrorism, debt, populism and neopopulism amongst other things. The region’s different sub regions will all be examined with the international, domestic, cultural and ideological factors for the current security conditions being considered.

View detailed information about this course

The use of Force in International Law (LS5549) - 30 Credit Points

The course analyses how international law regulates the use of armed forces between States. It is of interest to students who want to understand the legal considerations which frame contemporary conflicts. The course will study the fundamental principle of the prohibition on the use of inter-State force. It will examine the current exceptions to this principle, and how States try to justify the use of force. Consequently, the course will study the most recent recourses to force on the international plane, in particular in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. Teaching will be delivered mainly through discussion based seminars.

View detailed information about this course

Terrorism and Counter Terrorism (PI5520) - 30 Credit Points

Salient, specific facets of historical and contemporary national, international and transnational terrorism and the problems and challenges these different kinds of terrorism pose for national and international counter-terrorism strategies will be scrutinised. The debates on the different causes for terrorism (for instance religion, ethnicity, and ideology) and the different theoretical approaches to explain and understand the roots of terrorism will be examined. Specific facets of terrorism like (female) suicide bombers, ‘lone wolfs’ and ‘home-grown terrorists’, as well as the national and international strategies to counter terrorism, will be critically reviewed.

View detailed information about this course

Global Security Issues (PI5502) - 30 Credit Points

'Global Security Issues' is an elective, second semester module for the MSc Strategic Studies, Strategic Studies & International Law and Strategic Studies & Management degree programmes.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Dissertation in Strategic Studies (PI5901) - 60 Credit Points

The Strategic Studies dissertation is a compulsory element of the MSc Strategic Studies, Strategic Studies & International Law and Strategic Studies & Management degree programmes.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Only candidates who complete the above programme at an appropriate standard will be allowed to progress to Stage 3.

MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Latin America: Security Conditions and Challenges (IR5508) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the current security conditions and challenges which face contemporary Latin America. This includes narco-terrorism, debt, populism and neopopulism amongst other things. The region’s different sub regions will all be examined with the international, domestic, cultural and ideological factors for the current security conditions being considered.

View detailed information about this course

The use of Force in International Law (LS5549) - 30 Credit Points

The course analyses how international law regulates the use of armed forces between States. It is of interest to students who want to understand the legal considerations which frame contemporary conflicts. The course will study the fundamental principle of the prohibition on the use of inter-State force. It will examine the current exceptions to this principle, and how States try to justify the use of force. Consequently, the course will study the most recent recourses to force on the international plane, in particular in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. Teaching will be delivered mainly through discussion based seminars.

View detailed information about this course

Terrorism and Counter Terrorism (PI5520) - 30 Credit Points

Salient, specific facets of historical and contemporary national, international and transnational terrorism and the problems and challenges these different kinds of terrorism pose for national and international counter-terrorism strategies will be scrutinised. The debates on the different causes for terrorism (for instance religion, ethnicity, and ideology) and the different theoretical approaches to explain and understand the roots of terrorism will be examined. Specific facets of terrorism like (female) suicide bombers, ‘lone wolfs’ and ‘home-grown terrorists’, as well as the national and international strategies to counter terrorism, will be critically reviewed.

View detailed information about this course

Global Security Issues (PI5502) - 30 Credit Points

'Global Security Issues' is an elective, second semester module for the MSc Strategic Studies, Strategic Studies & International Law and Strategic Studies & Management degree programmes.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Dissertation in Strategic Studies (PI5901) - 60 Credit Points

The Strategic Studies dissertation is a compulsory element of the MSc Strategic Studies, Strategic Studies & International Law and Strategic Studies & Management degree programmes.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Only candidates who complete the above programme at an appropriate standard will be allowed to progress to Stage 3.

Religion, Conflict and Security (PI5027) - 30 Credit Points

Since the end of the Cold War the world has seen a resurgence of religious movements in the public sphere and, particularly since 9/11, religion has increasingly been viewed in policy debates as an issue of domestic and international security. In the ever increasingly globalized era, religious identifications criss-cross national boundaries and identities posing a dilemma for the established norms of the secular nation-state, political theory and actors. This course will examine some of the emerging theories associated with the rise of political religion, and the potential for conflict and peace that emerge. Utilizing diverse case studies ranging from religious Zionism, to political Islam to national Hindu movements the course will critique and employ contemporary theoretical frameworks to gain understanding of the current phenomena of religion in the international political domain.

View detailed information about this course

PgDip 9 months or 21 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January or September

Please contact socscipg@abdn.ac.uk for more information about this programme.

PgDip 9 months or 21 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January

Please contact socscipg@abdn.ac.uk for more information about this programme.

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

By written examination, essay work and class presentation as prescribed for each course and by submission of a dissertation. The degree of MSc shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to achieve a CGS grade of D3 or above in PI5901, irrespective of their performance in other courses.

Why Study Strategic Studies?

  • The programme scrutinises salient, real-world security issues which challenge governments, armed services, international organisations and business around the world.
  • MSc Strategic Studies has produced graduates of high repute with excellent career prospects for over thirty years, with a network of alumni internationally.
  • There are plenty of Strategic Studies Alumni from Aberdeen around the world and the student body is international with many countries represented.
  • An MSc in Strategic Studies provides you with a strong methodology and knowledge to interpret situations that present in a wide range of areas of work globally.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with at least 2:1 standard from a recognised university or body. In exceptional circumstances, applicants without this qualification may be admitted subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of work experience, appropriate to the field of study.

English Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

ISS 12 months On Campus Learning Part Time September

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact socscipg@abdn.ac.uk.

MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,000
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
International Students £14,300
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
PgDip 9 months or 21 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January or September

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact socscipg@abdn.ac.uk.

PgDip 9 months or 21 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact socscipg@abdn.ac.uk.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

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Careers

Government organisations
Non government organisations
Charities
Private business
Business organisations

Our Experts

A small and cohesive group of highly skilled academic staff with many years of graduate teaching experience, who are part of a network of high quality academics in strategic studies and international security.

Other Experts
Dr Samantha May
Dr Mervyn Bain
Dr Eva Herschinger
Dr Andrea Oelsner
Programme Coordinator
Mr James Wyllie

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

We provide a wide range of related research centres, which include:

  • Centre for European Survey Research
  • New Europe Centre - housing a variety of projects looking at values and behaviour
  • Centre for Global Security and Governance

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Social Science
University of Aberdeen
Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
Aberdeen
AB24 3QY