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Strategic Studies (MLitt) 2021 entry

The MLitt in Strategic Studies addresses core themes in strategic studies, enabling students to apply knowledge of strategy-making and strategic thinking as a historical practice to armed conflict.

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Key information

Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 6 September 2021
  • End date: 30 September 2022

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

Home: £11,990
Overseas: £24,240

Application deadline

Friday 30 April 2021, 5pm (BST). Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé
  • personal statement indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you (500 words)
  • sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MLitt in Strategic Studies is a one-year taught postgraduate programme run jointly by the Schools of International Relations and History, and is linked to the Institute for the Study of War and Strategy.

Highlights

  • The course is firmly grounded in a historical approach to the subject, with a view to strategic theory as a subfield of both intellectual history and political theory.
  • The wide-ranging choice of optional modules enables students to tailor the programme’s taught elements to their individual requirements and interests.

Teaching format

The programme consists of four taught modules taken over two semesters and a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice.

Modules are taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Average lecture sizes range from 20 to 30 students, and tutorial sizes range from 1 to 15 students. Assessment methods include a combination of examination and coursework.

Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2020–2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.

  • Modern War and Strategy: provides students with essential knowledge of strategy and military history as well as the necessary skills and techniques for independent further study of topics and questions in strategic studies.
  • Strategic Thought: provides students with essential knowledge of strategic thought and the history of strategic thought as well as an overview of the academic field of strategic studies.

Students choose two from the range of optional modules available. Modules dedicated for Strategic Studies students include:

  • Directed Reading in the History of War and Strategy
  • The influence of seapower on history 1805-present
  • Military Effectiveness
  • The Military in Politics

Modules across the School of International Relations are also available to choose from, depending on availability of spaces, which include:

  • African Political Thought
  • Conflict and Peace in Post-communist Eurasia
  • Emergent Great Powers
  • International Relations of the Modern Middle East
  • International Society and Central Asia
  • Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Order and Violence in the Middle East 
  • Politics after the Death of God: Evil and Tragedy in Modern Politics
  • Security and Development in East Asia
  • Security and Justice Institutions in World Politics
  • Social Movements, Revolutions and Authoritarianism in North Africa
  • Spaces of Securitization
  • State Responses to Terrorism
  • Terrorism and Liberal Democracy
  • Terrorism and Theories of Collective Action
  • The Changing Face(s) of Diplomacy: Emotions, Power and Persuasion in International Relations
  • Theories of Friendship and Enmity
  • Topics in International Political Theory

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).

The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000-word dissertation. The dissertation should focus on an area of strategic studies in which you are interested. Each student is supported by a relevant supervisor from the School who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by the end of August.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students. 

The next virtual visiting day will be in November 2021.

Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.

Online information events

Conferences and events

The School of International Relations hosts a variety of research seminars throughout the academic session to promote the work of the faculty, students and visiting speakers.

A number of student-led associations and organisations contribute to the development and profile of International Relations throughout the University and the community.

Funding

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews. 

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

After the MLitt

Research degrees

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Strategic Studies.

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in a PhD programme at St Andrews. 

PhD in International Relations

Careers

Students who graduate from the MLitt in Strategic Studies go on to work in various professional fields including:

  • law
  • policy research and consultancy
  • NGOs
  • charities
  • international organisations
  • civil service
  • publishing.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

"The most valuable part of the programme is the community, with plenty of opportunities to build friendships, networks, and learn more about the research within the School. Fortnightly events with visiting academics and policymakers have provided a great chance to discuss realistic applications of theories and have provided inspiration for essays and my dissertation topic. The modules have suited my interests and future career aspirations and are impressive in their scope and depth. Not only will I have a great qualification from a reputable university, but I have also formed friendships that will continue throughout my career."

Asli
Asli
- Aarhus, Denmark

Contact

School of International Relations
University of St Andrews
Arts Building
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 1944
Email: irpgt@st-andrews.ac.uk

International Relations website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).

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