Study War, Strategy, and Security online at University College Cork
An innovative new online program that offers the chance to study war, strategy, and security in historical and contemporary contexts.
Taught entirely online, the MA in Strategic Studies is a two-year, part-time degree offering a uniquely well-rounded approach to the study of war, strategy, and security. We explore pressing global challenges such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, international peacekeeping, the changing international system, and new ways of warfare. The MA will provide students with a deep understanding of how historical developments have affected the evolution of strategy and how strategists attempt to understand the challenges of the modern world.
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 means that it will appeal to busy professionals as well as those with a broad interest in warfare and strategy.
What will I be studying?
The taught element of the course involves six modules (classes) delivered over an eighteen-month period. Three core modules – Introduction to Strategic Studies, The Making of Modern War and Strategy, and US Grand Strategy – explore the relationship between military force, economic policy, ideology, and soft power in the formulation of strategy, the development of strategic thinking over time, and the debates surrounding the nature of war and its changing character.
Students choose three elective offerings examining key contemporary issues such as political violence, insurgency and terrorism; nuclear strategy and diplomacy; small states, peacekeeping, and peace support operations, a module that draws on extensive Irish experience of peacekeeping operations across a range of environments, from Lebanon and Syria, to Chad and East Timor. Our elective Summer School involves an intensive one-week on-campus course that focuses on a different research topic each year and offers students the opportunity to interact with some of the top scholars in the field.
A key element of the degree is the 20,000-word thesis undertaken in year two of the course. Here, students work closely with a supervisor to pursue their own research interests while being guided by an expert mentor.
University College Cork is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide, and has a long and distinguished tradition of excellence in research and teaching. Should you visit our beautiful and historic campus for the Summer School or graduation, you’ll have a chance to explore Cork city, which is among Lonely Planet’s top ten places to visit in the world.
The School of History, which coordinates the MA in Strategic Studies, is home to a vibrant group of scholars of war and strategy, who have published extensively not only on war and rebellion in Ireland, but also on nuclear strategy, peacekeeping, US and Soviet foreign policy, Cold War history, counterinsurgency, and military culture. In recent years, our work has twice been recognized by the Society of Military History: Professor Geoff Roberts won the prestigious Distinguished Book Award in 2013 for his biography of Marshal Zhukov, and Dr. David Fitzgerald was a finalist in the 2012 Edward M Coffman First Manuscript Prize (awarded to the best emerging scholar in military history).
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 the deliberately small class size offers the opportunity for close engagement with expert mentors. Students can work at a pace that suits them from anywhere in the world, while remaining closely engaged with their tutors and classmates. Our online classroom is more than just a series of videos, with much of the learning centered on extensive discussion and engagement with staff and other students, as well as student exercises involving the exploration of online archives and databases, and collaborative research projects such as group reports and wikis.
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, defense 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.
For more information, please contact the Course Director, Dr. David Fitzgerald, at D.Fitzgerald@ucc.ie