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The MA Applied Security Strategy (MStrat) is an interdisciplinary programme designed to develop confident, critical thinkers with the potential to lead on the development and execution of policy and strategy in an uncertain, culturally-diverse and resource-constrained world. The course content meets the needs of current and future strategic practitioners and anyone who wishes to understand strategy in action.

The programme employs simulations and field trips alongside lectures, seminars and conferences with leading academics and practitioners to create and train experts in the fusion of strategic communications and intelligence. The highly-relevant and practitioner-targeted programme will equip you with the skills to craft policy and strategy in the contemporary security arena.

  • Team taught by Strategy and Security Institute academics, led by Lieutenant General (Retd) Sir Paul Newton KBEDr Martin Robson and leading academics from across the University
  • Also learn from senior practitioners from the private sector, intelligence community, the military, NGOs, international organisations and across government
  • Innovative teaching includes crisis management simulations with practitioners and at NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps HQ
  • Field trips to the Balkans and Brussels to view strategic security issues at first hand
  • Exposure to Whitehall and participation in joint conferences with the Royal United Services Institute
  • Excellent networking and mentor and peer support
  • Full fee and other scholarships available for professional, academic, UK/EU and international students

Programme structure

The programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time).

You will complete 180 credits made up of 135 credits of compulsory modules and a 45-credit dissertation. Examples of modules can be found on the programme website.

Field trips and events

As part of these compulsory modules, the MStrat may also incorporate the following non-optional commitments and events:

  • Field Visit: Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
  • London Workshop: Royal United Services Institute, London
  • Field Trip: European Union and NATO
  • Simulation Exercise
  • Field Trip: Balkans
  • Crisis Watch Briefing Conference: Royal United Services Institute, London

Part-time option

The part-time MA programme content is exactly the same as the full-time programme and all the modules remain compulsory.

The four taught modules will need to be taken sequentially but may be spread over two years. The Crisis Watch: Active Strategy Module will run over two years; the Field Trips that form part of the module could be conducted in either year but would be best done sequentially, culminating in the London Conference in June of the second year as the final element of the Crisis Watch Module. The Dissertation module will be completed as part of the second year of the programme.

The four taught modules are block taught in Exeter and part-time students would be expected to be resident when undertaking these modules but could be elsewhere outside residential periods. Assignments for the taught modules are due for submission two or three weeks after the end of the module so those considering the part-time option should ensure they have allowed sufficient time after each module to complete the assignments. If you are considering the part-time option you should remember that the dissertation module does extend into the summer with submission programmed for early September.

Please contact us to assist you in planning and programming this course on a part-time basis as there are several options depending on your personal circumstances.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Find out more about Learning, Careers and Facilities on our website.


Visit the MA Applied Security Strategy page on the University of Exeter website for more details!

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