Strategic Studies and Management, MSc

Strategic Studies and Management, MSc


Our MSc in Strategic Studies and Management provides a mix of in-depth business understanding combined with a strategic approach to understanding global threats, risk and growth.

This course has January and September start dates. Apply Now.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study

The programme delivers clear understanding of cotemporary links between various uses of coercion by states and non state actors and the complexities of managing large and small organisations in the modern governmental, economic and business environment. You will look at negotiation, selling, business rhetoric, communication and web presence and you learn the theories and techniques from economics and sociology applied to business situations, recognising that decisions are affected by human agency, structure and durability. From this, you will then look at decision making and effective leadership, the invention of new goods and services and the delivery of change.

Available Programmes of Study


Strategic Studies and Management

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January More
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £11,100
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • 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 Tuition Fees page.


Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

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.

Why Study Strategic Studies and Management?

  • The programme scrutinises salient, real-world security issues which challenge governments, armed services, international organisations & business around the world.
  • This programme 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 & the student body is international with many countries represented.
  • This programme provides you with a strong methodology & knowledge to interpret situations that present in a wide range of areas of work globally.
  • This programme will arm you with many transferable skills; critical for the competitive working environment including oral communications skills, written communications skills, critical analysis, problem-solving, teamwork skills (eg negotiation, persuasion, decision-making, leadership), IT skills, & working independently (eg establishing & prioritising objectives, working to deadlines).
  • This programme encourages collaboration with course experts who have experience of public policy, government departments, & international organisations (eg NATO, EU, UN, and think-tanks), or working as advisers to government (including in the UK, the US, EU, & East Asia).
  • PIR hosts an exciting range of events, including research seminars with world-renowned guest speakers, international policy, academic conferences, & other global policy-focussed forums.
  • The programme will allow you to gain exciting opportunities in a range of internships, fellowship & other kinds of work experience.
  • The programme delivers a balanced and comprehensive appreciation of the complex character of international security, in particular the energy dimension.
  • Inculcate an awareness of the costs & benefits of the strategies deployed, often of a military nature, to address energy security issues.
  • Enhance your understanding of the difficulties encountered when attempting to assess the prospects for stability and security in key, pivotal 'energy-rich' & 'energy-poor' regions of the international system. 
  • You will gain an insight to the immutable & enduring influence of certain core strategic issues, inherent in the management of power & coercion, on the international system regardless of levels of economic & social development.
  • Strategic Studies convenes a Wargaming Club that students can participate in to sharpen their skills in strategic thinking, tactics, diplomacy, communication, & team-work.

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with a 2:1 standard from a recognised university or body.

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. Also taken into careful consideration is the trajectory of results, an applicant without an overall 2.1 but with 2.1 results in their final two years of study may be admitted.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employers, or other professional individuals

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded postgraduate taught (PGT) students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Explore our Global Scholarships, including eligibility details, on our dedicated page.

Aberdeen Global Scholarships


  • Military Officers
  • Intelligence Analysts
  • Political Analysts
  • University Lecturers
  • Journalists
  • Law enforcement Officers
  • Senior Associates
  • Senior Research Officers
  • Freedom of Information Officers

Chinese Security Issues

In this short video, Dr James Johnson tells us more about the course "Chinese Security Issues".

Useful Fact about this Subject

In this lecture, Dr Jim Johnson introduces one of MSc Strategic Studies courses, ‘Strategic Theory’.

7th and 9th in the UK

We are ranked 7th in the UK for International Relations and 9th in the UK for Politics by the Guardian University Guide 2024.

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.

  • Strategic Theory: Dr Jim Johnson
  • Interpersonal Management, Negotiation and Persuasion: Dr Colin Clarke
  • Business Strategy : Dr Raluca Bunduchi
  • Chinese Security Issues: Dr Jim Johnson
  • The Leadership Challenge: Dr Ian Heywood
  • Managing Change and Innovation: Professor Patrick Dawson
  • Summer dissertation coordinator: Dr Jim Johnson

Other Expert
Professor Patrick Dawson
Programme Coordinator
Dr James Johnson

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.


The Department of Sociology is held within the School of Social Science. All of our degrees provide thorough advanced level training in the principles of social science with a wide choice of specialised subjects in preparation for the practice of social research and a wide variety of career opportunities.

We provide computer facilities, reading rooms, study spaces and a range of cafes to suit all international tastes.

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Politics & International Relations Society

Politics & International Relations Society

The student-led Politics and International Relations Society is one of the largest societies on campus. It's a place for students to come together and explore their curiosities with like-minded people, whilst having lots of fun!

Find out more
Image for Regular Seminar Series and Guest Speakers
Regular Seminar Series and Guest Speakers

Regular Seminar Series and Guest Speakers

We have regular seminar series hosted by the department of Politics and International Relations along with guest speakers throughout the year.

Find out more
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Cutting Edge Research-led Teaching

Cutting Edge Research-led Teaching

PIR focuses on topics such as energy policy, environmental policy, health policy, and identity politics (gender and ethnicity), all of which span the traditional division between domestic/comparative and international politics.

Find out more

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX