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MA in Geopolitics and Grand Strategy

At the outset of the 21st century the world is undergoing a significant process of strategic and geopolitical redefinition. Several major powers have been developing comprehensive doctrines aligning a wide range of national economic, political and social policies with their wider strategic objectives in the 21st century: grand strategies.

This MA investigates the geopolitical relationships and strategies of the major states within the international system. It focuses on three aspects:
• the historical evolution and current revival of the concept of geopolitics, including global economic rivalries, energy security, competition over resources, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, and democracy promotion
• the grand strategies developed by the major powers including the foreign and security policy of the US, the debate over American grand strategy, the re-emergence of Russia and its foreign/security policy, and the rise of China with its grand strategy
• the key regional dynamics of contemporary geopolitics including the international security of the Middle East, NATO and the future of transatlantic security, European security, international security in south and east Asia, and geopolitical rivalries in Africa.

This MA draws on Sussex’s established reputation for excellence in research and teaching in international security, international relations, global political economy, and area studies. Sussex’s interdisciplinary perspective on questions of world politics provides a distinctive take on the new global geopolitics and grand strategic doctrines.

The course includes an optional fieldtrip to Brussels, Belgium.

Research placements

The School of Global Studies offers you support in finding a research placement, allowing you to gain experience in an area of work relating to your subject of study and to acquire practical skills in preparation for a professional career. Research placements run over a 12-week period in the summer term and vacation. If you take a research placement, you will have the opportunity to write a dissertation based on your experience.


Geopolitics and Grand Strategy is assessed by a 5,000-word term paper. New Security Challenges is assessed by an unseen paper. Assessment of the spring-term options is by 5,000-word term papers. You will also write a 10,000-word dissertation.

Course structure

Autumn term: Geopolitics and Grand Strategy • New Security Challenges.

Spring term: you choose two options from Death and Sex in World Politics • East Asia in the International System • Foreign Policy Analysis • Human Rights in International Relations • International Law in World Politics • Irregular Warfare • Militarism and the World Military Order • Peace Processes and Post-Conflict Reconstruction • Political Economy of the Environment • Queer IR • Religions, Cultures and Civilisations in International Relations • Rethinking Imperialism • Russian Foreign and Security Policy • Terror, Security and the State • The Global Politics of Disease and Biosecurity • The Middle East in Global Order • The Political Economy of Development • The Political Economy of Global Finance • War in World Politics.

You also take a Research Methods and Professional Skills module, which provides training to prepare you for further research and a professional career. This module is delivered as a series of workshops including one that prepares you for your dissertation.

Summer term: you carry out work on your MA dissertation under the supervision of a member of faculty. There is also a dissertation with placement option.


** The University of Sussex is proud to offer a range of generous scholarships of up to £3,000 for postgraduate scholars. These prestigious awards are designed to attract the most talented students and recognise the difficult funding climate. For full details of our scholarships, conditions and how to apply, please visit: **http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/pg/2015/taught/4711/31701#fees

Visit the MA in Geopolitics and Grand Strategy page on the University of Sussex web site for more details!

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We are offering students wishing to start their postgraduate studies in autumn 2015 at any university listed on FindAMasters.com the chance of winning a £5,000 Masters scholarship. We will also be awarding a number of £500 scholarships.

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