Taught course

Strategic Studies

University of Aberdeen · School of Social Science

Entry requirements

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.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

The MSc Strategic Studies programme provides you with the ability to scrutinise real-world security issues which challenge governments, conflict, armed services, peace, international organizations, and business globally. The programme intends to equip you with a range of advanced theoretical and operational understanding of the characteristics, practice, and profound effects of the use of force by states and non-state actors at a regional (especially Asian) and global level. The programme is multidisciplinary, attracting a diverse international cohort.

Strategy is notoriously tricky. Most strategies fail, most of the time. However logical the connection of means, ways, and ends may be on paper, it is notoriously hard to achieve. Why is this so? This programme will address these questions and more. You will learn about the contribution of strategy as a mechanism for the application of power and coercion, addressing the nature of strategy, causes of war, deterrence, arms control, terrorism-counterterrorism, Chinese security issues, religion and conflict, and the impact of emerging technology (AI, cyber, drones, hypersonics, etc.) on strategic affairs, and much more.

The course considers the historical background and context that has shaped key developments in strategic affairs from domestic, international, political-psychological, and strategic-cultural standpoints. Students will learn about these issues from Western and non-Western (especially China) perspectives.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

School Administrator